Saturday, January 16, 2010

Cyber Security Initiatives Of Home Ministry Of India Are Insufficient

Cyber security in India has always remained an “ignored world” and the same must be strengthened as soon as possible. India is also suffering from the menaces of cyber war and cyber terrorism. Nobody cares about any of these threats in India. In April 2008, Indian intelligence agencies detected Chinese hackers breaking into the computer network of the Ministry of External Affairs. Similarly, for about 3 months the e-mail communications from PMO got affected as the e-mail system was affected by a virus program. With the highest offices of India being so indifferent and adopting wrong cyber security strategies not much can be expected in this crucial direction in future as well.

Recently it was reported that the Chinese intelligence agencies may have planted computer malware and broken into the headquarters of 33 Corps, the army formation looking after most of the north-eastern border with China. The break-in included the planting of trojan viruses which may have given Chinese operatives remote access to the computer network at the 33 Corps headquarters in Sukhna, near Siliguri, West Bengal.

The Union Home Ministry is considering the option to ban the use of Internet by the lower rank staff up to section officers. Many computers of the Home Ministry were found infected with different kinds of computer viruses. However, does this step increase the cyber security of Indian offices?

According to Praveen Dalal, Managing Partner of Perry4Law and the leading Techno-Legal Expert of India, “Home Ministry is barking the wrong tree as security through obscurity and non-access in itself and without further steps is a bad choice. The Government of India must concentrate upon “Capacity Development” of not only its employees but also its core Departments and Offices”.

Another crucial aspect related to a secure and strong cyber security in India pertains to critical ICT infrastructure protection in India. Critical infrastructure is becoming increasingly dependent upon ICT these days. If we are unable to secure an ICT system we are also risking critical ICT infrastructure as well, says Praveen Dalal.

Indian government must concentrate upon many crucial aspects of cyber security. The task is difficult and time consuming hence it must start seeking the help of the right and capable manpower as soon as possible.