Cautioning that cybercriminals, in some cases supported by hostile state players, may be turning their attention on financial nerve centres, he urged business organisations to invest in people, processes and technology to ensure resilience to quickly detect, act and recover from such attacks.
He was speaking at the inauguration of the first Cyber Security and Resilience Conference organised by Bombay Stock Exchange and Securities and Exchange Board of India in Mumbai.
The governor said India has nearly one billion mobile phone users or nearly 78 percent of the population and almost 300 million Internet users, and the growing use of technology and smart phones for online banking trading and e-commerce has made India one of the most favourites of cybercriminals.
"According to a report, the number of cybercrimes in India may touch 300,000 this year, almost double of 2014. Mobile frauds have also become an area of concern for companies as 35-40 percent transactions are done via mobile devices these days," Rao said.
"I am told, manipulation of stock exchanges is the new modus operandi used by terrorist groups to raise funds for their operations," he said.
He called upon all organisations to have a digital forensic team to prevent and deal with such cyber-attacks and the need to create the necessary regulatory framework that would ensure creation of secure and private cyberspaces.
India already has a National Cyber Security Policy in this regard and Maharashtra will create a 1000-strong cyber force to tackle cybercrimes, while the government plans to set up 'cyber laboratories' in each district with NASSCOM help.
Emphasising that cyber-security monitoring services offered considerable employment opportunities, he said universities and industry must forge partnerships to offer cyber-security programmes at undergraduate and higher levels.
"India can provide leadership to the world in the war on cybercrime by creating a trained force of young and talented cyber professionals, and offering its expertise to the world," Rao said.
Among those present at the conference were BSE Chairman S. Ramadorai, BSE MD and CEO Ashishkumar Chauhan and SEBI Chairman U.K. Sinha, industry representatives, DRDO, specialized agencies dealing in cybercrimes, Mumbai Police and industry experts.