08 August 2012

Cyber security: Imperatives for India

Cyber security must be considered as a key enabler for India’s economic growth and the government and industry efforts and initiatives should reflect this realization
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The phenomenal success of Indian outsourcing industry has positioned India as the global hub of IT and BPO services. In FY 2011, the industry aggregated revenues of USD 88.1 billion and is expected to grow revenues to USD 225 billion by 2020 – out of which more than 75 percent revenue will be on account of export of software and services. 
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The journey however has not been easy. Since the initial years, there have been serious concerns on the security of data in outsourced assignments.
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Today, the importance of data security for India is not limited to the growth of outsourcing industry. As a subject, it has far greater implications. Our dependence on technology as a nation is increasing - e-payments in India currently account for 35.3 percent of the total transactions in terms of volume and 88.3 percent in terms of value, card circulation - both credit and debit - was around 200 million in 2010..............

Also, India is expected to be the third largest Internet user base by 2013 in the world. Considering the power of the web, the Government is investing USD 10 billion in various e-Governance projects – the Government policies are relying on technology to solve governance, corruption, service delivery and financial inclusion issues. In addition, businesses are leveraging technology to transform their business models and Defense and Police agencies are making strategic use of technology to modernize.
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In such a scenario, it is essential for us as a country to comprehensively understand the threats associated with the use of technology and operating in ‘cyberspace’- which is emerging as a fifth domain after land, sea, air and space that has no geographical boundaries and cuts across jurisdictions. These threats range from petty cyber crimes impacting an individual to sophisticated cyber attacks impacting national security by affecting economy, public safety or citizens’ lives. The number of cyber attacks and crimes are rising globally and India is no exception. There have been cyber attacks on PMO, CBI website, T3 terminal, etc. Stuxnet, the deadliest attack vector that has been designed so far, that destroyed a nuclear reactor in Iran has reportedly infected systems in India. There is an increase in the number of cyber crimes registered under the Information Technology Act 2000. 

In the cyberspace, we must defend ourselves against international syndicates, terrorists, rogue nation states, competitors and disgruntled insiders, who operate from anywhere in the world and exploit vulnerabilities in IT systems to achieve their motives, without getting traced. What makes their job easier is the availability of information about such vulnerabilities on the Internet.
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There are numerous challenges in cyber security. From a national security perspective, security of critical information infrastructure (CII) is a top priority of the government. National Security has traditionally (for air, land and sea) been the sole responsibility of the governments. But as the world has moved into the information age, with increased dependence on information infrastructure for production and delivery of products and services, the new responsibility of securing the CII against the rising number of cyber attacks has come within the ambit of national security.
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The second challenge is of coordination and cooperation at both - the national and international level. At the national level, there is currently lack of a comprehensive framework to ensure coordinated response and recovery, intelligence and information sharing mechanism, clarity in the role of different government agencies, involvement of state governments, and specified role of government and industry in PPP models. At the international level, there is absence of cooperation across jurisdictions to track cyber criminals and norms to address cyber security requirements, making it difficult for the Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) to bring cyber criminals to justice.

Third and one of the most important challenges in cyber security is poor awareness and education about cyber security threats and the need to follow best practices, across different levels – ranging from school children to top government officials / top management.
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1 comment:

smo guardsight said...

Hello,

Now, using of internet is increasing day by day. Also, India is expected to be the third largest Internet user base by 2013 in the world. It is the big challenge for India. Thanks a lot for this site....

Intelligence Management

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