By: Dr. Satywan Saurabh
The faster we are moving towards the digital world, the faster the number of cybercrimes is increasing. There is a cyber attack on Australia’s communication system in Corona’s time; the communication system seems to be questioned. Meanwhile, now cyber experts have expressed the possibility of a major cyber attack in India as well. The government has warned against a massive cyber attack against individuals and businesses, where attackers can steal data collected under Covid for personal and financial information.
The advisors of India’s Cyber Security Nodal Agency have issued warnings that potential cyber-attacks could target government agencies, departments, and trade bodies tasked with overseeing the disbursement of government financial aid. The attackers are suspected of sending malicious emails under the pretext of local officials who are in charge of the government-funded Covid-19 support initiative. According to the information, cyber attackers are expected to have 2 million email IDs and are planning to send breathtaking emails at such times
Cyber-attacks have been taking place in India in the past as well. For example, in 2016, the leaking of personal information of 3.2 million debit cards of bank account holders and their data theft was a major cyber attack in India. Currently, the cybersecurity strategy has become an integral part of national security. Its area of influence is not less than military influence and its importance in covering all aspects of governance, economy, and welfare of a country. Today, the Internet is used in almost every field.
The concept of cybercrimes has also evolved along with the development of the Internet and its associated benefits. The danger of increasing cyber attacks in recent times is high. The growing cybercrime in the country from fraudulent calls to multiverse can bring the banking system to a standstill. Cybersecurity is very much needed today when the country is moving towards a cashless society and digitization. In this era of Corona, when most of the work is going on online transactions and cashless, taking cybersecurity seriously is paramount in India.
Security is a challenge because privacy is a fundamental right and increasing cyber crimes can cause privacy violations and freedom of expression to lose dignity. Cybersecurity has become an important law of cyberlaw today. Anyway, the Government of India has initiated a program to transform the country into a digital economy. The future of many initiatives is now dependent on digitization, starting from Aadhaar, Magow, Government e-market, DigiLocker, Bharat Net, Startup India, Skill India, and Smart Cities to propel India towards technological initiatives and change.
At present, there is a need to strengthen cybersecurity to check the increasing risk of financial fraud. In India, cyber networks, software, and cyber-physical systems and platforms must be cyber secure. This requires a prudent mix of people, policies, and technology as well as strong public-private partnerships. The dependence on information and communication technology (ICT) products and our inability to identify vulnerabilities is a major cybersecurity risk.
There is a lack of skilled people in Indian military forces, central police organizations, law enforcement agencies to understand technical aspects related to various software and hardware required in this field. Also, there is a shortage of cutting-edge technology-savvy professionals such as artificial intelligence, blockchain technology, machine learning, data analytics, cloud computing, and the Internet of Things. According to many experts, the country currently needs at least three million cybersecurity professionals.
India, like the European Union, lacks active cyber defense, like the General Data Protection Regulation or the US ‘Clarifying Law Full Overseas Use of Data. The United States, Singapore, and the UK have only one organization working in the field of cyberspace while India has several central bodies that deal with cyber issues. Therefore each body has a separate reporting structure, which shows a lack of uniformity in the functioning of regulatory organizations. There is a lack of indigenization in hardware as well as software cybersecurity devices in India.
This makes India’s cyberspace vulnerable to the cyber attack. Today, social media in India is becoming a powerful tool for dissemination of information, thereby spreading misleading news, which continues to threaten cybersecurity. The government and the private sector must jointly give cybersecurity some priority in its security and risk management plan. There should be a proliferation of cyber awareness and a multi-stakeholder approach – technical input, legal input, law enforcement, strengthening systems are extremely important
Institutions such as the National Cyber Security Coordinator (NCC), National Technical Research Organization, Computer Emergency Response Team, and National Cyber Security Coordinator Center in India are all doing appropriate work in a team spirit. But they suffer from a lack of skilled manpower and proper coordination.
The National Security Council and NCC should be strengthened to bring much-needed synergy between various institutions and to work a coordinated approach to cybersecurity for cybersecurity. Central universities, private universities, industry associations, industrial training institutes, and other educational institutions should incorporate courses in cybersecurity.