Outline the various types of cyber-threats that India faces and bring out the measures that have been taken to counter them. (15 marks)

Outline the various types of cyber-threats that India faces and bring out the measures that have been taken to counter them. (15 marks)

Approach:

  • Introduce by defining cyber threats
  • List various types of cyber threats
  • Enumerate measures taken by govt. – legal and administrative – IT Act, CERT-In etc.
  • Conclude appropriately
Model Answer :

Cyber threat is the possibility of a malicious attempt to damage or disrupt a computer network or system. Issues over the recent years like petya ransomware, debit/credit card data hacking, Aadhaar data misuse etc. has raised the concern on India’s ability to secure cyber space. With internet penetration rapidly rising in India, we need a more robust security infrastructure to deal with such threats.

Various cyber threats:

  1. Cyber Crime: Cybercrimes are usually of two kinds:
    1. Those directed at computers or other devices (for example, hacking, malware, DoS attacks virus attacks etc)
    2. Those where computers or other devices are integral to the offence (for example, online fraud, identity theft, cyber bullying, distribution of child exploitation material etc)
  2. Cyber Espionage: Cyber espionage represents the strategy of breaking into computer systems and networks in order to extract sensitive governmental or corporate information.
  3. Cyber Terrorism: Actions threatening unity and security of India or striking terror in people by denying access of penetrating into a computer to cause death and destruction of property or adversely affect the critical information infrastructure.
  4. Cyber Warfare: States attacking the information systems of other countries for disrupting their critical infrastructure and disrupt an adversary’s ability to function during a conflict

Measures to counter cyber threats:

  • Legal measures
    • Information Technology Act 2008 (as amended in 2012)
    • Relevant sections of Indian Penal Code.
  • Administrative Measures
    • National Cyber Security Policy 2013 (NCSP): serves as an umbrella framework for defining and guiding the actions related to security of cyberspace.
    • CERT-In: A Computer Emergency Response Team –India (CERT-In) as nodal agency for cyber security incident response. It runs the 24×7 National Watch and Alert System.
    • National Cyber Coordination Centre (NCCC): NCCC is to ensure near real time threat assessment and to coordinate between intelligence agencies.
    • National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC)
    • Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C) for cyber crime monitoring
    • Setting up of cyber forensic units and creating trained human resources

As nature of cyber space is fast evolving and transnational, the response system also needs to be constantly evolving. India needs to focus on cyber security literacy, updating cyber laws, institutionalizing transnational cooperation mechanisms and creating a dedicated cadre of cyber security personnel. The new cyber security policy acts as a guide in the right direction.

Subjects : security issues

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