Cyber security threats faced by india

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Cyber security one of the most important topics surfaced in this year. Various incidents of cyber-attack necessitated the engineering of stronger cyber defence mechanisms. In this context, this following article will provide an insight about cyber security.

Introduction

  1. India witnessed more than 27,000 cyber security threat incidents in the first half of 2017.
  2. Authorities including the telecom regulator TRAI are also noticing the threat posed by mobile applications that collect sensitive user data

Recent incidents

  1. Two Indian conglomerates were forced to pay $5 million each in order to prevent hackers from disclosing information that could have implicated them in a wrongdoing.
  2. State run Union Bank of India was breached by cyber hackers. The hackers had managed to get past the bank’s security systems but the money trail was traced and the movement of funds was blocked.
  3. The vulnerability of the banks came into light recently when data of about 3.2 million debit cards was lost in what is claimed to the India’s biggest breaches. SBI, HDFC Bank, ICICI, YES Bank and Axis were worst hit by the breach of the debit cards.
  4. WannaCry, a crypto-ransomware that is also called WannaCrypt, affected at least 200,000 computers in 150 countries, including India, described as the largest ever of its kind. The WanaCrypt encrypts data on a computer within seconds and displays a message asking the user to pay a ransom of $ 300 in Bitcoins to restore access to the device and the data inside.

Analysis

What is Cyber Space?

  1. Cyberspace comprises IT networks, computer resources, and all the fixed and mobile devices connected to the global Internet
  2. A nation’s cyberspace is part of the global cyberspace; it cannot be isolated to define its boundaries since cyberspace is borderless. This is what makes cyberspace unique.
  3. Unlike the physical world that is limited by geographical boundaries in space—cyberspace can and is continuing to expand. Increased Internet penetration is leading to growth of cyberspace, since its size is proportional to the activities that are carried through it.

The term “cyber security” refers to three things:

  1. A set of activities and other measures, technical and non-technical, intended to protect computers, computer networks, related hardware and devices software, and the information they contain and communicate, including software and data, as well as other elements of cyberspace, from all threats, including threats to the national security;
  2. The degree of protection resulting from the application of these activities and measures;
  3. The associated field of professional endeavour, including research and analysis, aimed at implementing and those activities and improving their quality.

India’s Vulnerability on cyber space

  1. India remains vulnerable to digital intrusions such as cyber-espionage, cybercrime, digital disruption and Distributed Denial of Service (DoS)
  2. The crimes related to cyber world can be multi-layered, multi-location, multilingual, multicultural and multi-legal, that’s why it is difficult to investigate and reach to the criminal.
  3. The cases related to cyber-crime have increased by 70% in the year 2014 as compared to the year 2013.
  4. There is growing threat from online radicalization.
  5. The number of cybercrime cases registered in India has risen by 350 per cent in the three-year period from 2011 to 2014, according to a joint study by PwC and Assocham.
  6. With the growing adoption of the Internet and smart-phones, India has emerged “as one of the favourite countries among cyber criminals.”
  7. Major security threat: Critical infrastructure: Attackers can gain control of vital systems such as nuclear plants, railways, transportation or hospitals that can subsequently lead to dire consequences.
  8. Despite having a National Cyber Security Policy (2013), risks to our critical infrastructure remain.
  9. In spite of instituting a National Cyber Security Coordinator (2014), the rivalries between the National Technical Research Organisation (the nodal agency for cybersecurity) and the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology impede cooperation.
  10. Lack of coordination among different government agencies.
  11. China’s emphasis on ‘cloud computing techniques’, and the involvement of its Ministry of State Security in this endeavour, suggests that it is preparing for all-out offensive cyber operations. India would be a prime target.

What India Wants

  1. Bleeding edge technology: Bleeding edge refers to technology that has been released but is still not ready for the general public due to the fact that it has not been reliably tested. The term bleeding edge was formed as an allusion to the similar terms “leading edge” and “cutting edge”.
  2. Big data analytics: it is the process of collecting, organizing and analysing large sets of data (big data) to discover useful information.
  3. Air gapping: Air gapping is a security measure that involves isolating a computer or network and preventing it from establishing an external connection. An air gapped computer is physically segregated and incapable of connecting wirelessly or physically with other computers or network devices.  Emphasis on cloud computing techniques.
  4. Offensive cyber operations and strengthened cyber security.

International Convention on Cyber-crime:

  1. Convention on Cybercrime, also known as the Budapest Convention.
  2. The Budapest Convention is the first international treaty that addresses Internet and computer crime by harmonizing national laws, improving legal authorities for investigative techniques, and increasing cooperation among nations.
  3. The Budapest convention is the only multilateral convention on cyber security – considered critical to economic and national security of a country
  4. .Developing countries including India have not signed it stating that the developed countries lead by the US drafted it without consulting them.

Way Forward

The success in the futuristic space endeavour will depend upon setting up a well-tuned, cyber secure and tamper proof cyber security system, which can provide surge capabilities to bolster India’s Space programme during critical period or in hostilities.

Questions:

Q.) Cyber security, in the near future, will be the main component of the state’s overall national security and economic security strategies. Are citizens, organizations and public institutions ready to face challenges of cyber security? Critically analyse

Q.) Discuss the necessity of and measures being taken to introduce strong cyber security framework for banking sector in India.

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