•After China and the U.S., India has the highest number of Internet users. There are also an estimated over 381 million mobile phone subscriptions with Internet connectivity. In the list of online infection risk India ranks 9th and in personal computer across the globe, India ranks 7th. •A recent survey by McAfee named India next to Brazil, Romania and Mexico the least able to defend against cyber attacks. •Cyber security threats and hacking attempts in India rose to 22,060 in 2012 from 23 in 2004 What it means
•Cyber terrorism is the convergence of terrorism and cyberspace.
It is generally understood to mean unlawful attacks and threats of attacks against computers, networks, and the information stored therein when done to intimidate or coerce a government or its people in furtherance of political or social objectives. Cyber Threats
Cyber threats can be disaggregated, based on the perpetrators and their motives, into four baskets: cyber espionage, cyberwarfare, cyberterrorism, and cyber crime. Cyber Warfare – attacking the information systems of other countries for espionage and for disrupting their critical infrastructure.
Why Cyber Security is needed
•Third most populous country after China and India is not any geographical entity but a ‘virtual state’ called facebook! •The same computing DNA that produced the communications revolution has also created acute vulnerabilities – and attractive terror targets – for societies that depend on cyberspace for national security and economic survival. •The growing dependency on the information technology (IT) makes cybersecurity a vital component of the India’s national security infrastructure. Lately, data collection, processing, storage, transmission capabilities, mobile, wireless, and cloud computing are increasing in huge numbers and make cyber attacks easily to occur.
•Considered the newest domain in modern warfare, cyberspace has now joined the ranks of traditional areas assessed by militaries all over the world. And this is exactly how cyberspace should be assessed, since an effective terrorist attack against a nation’s power grid,
for example, could result in massive loss of life, crippling damage to infrastructure and a blow to the economy that could take years to repair. Stuxnet has carried out what in the past could only be accomplished by directly bombing a country’s infrastructure or sending in human agents to plant explosives. •It can affect Infrastructures like banking system, air traffic control, power infrastructure and gas pipelines. •Destruction now can bypass the military force and attack via “cyber-brute-force” suppressing a country’s military control systems, navigation, communication system, shutting down or paralysing critical infrastructure and affecting the country’s economy, cyber-weapons linking nuclear weapons •Most common usage of Internet is by designing and uploading websites on which false propaganda can be pasted. This comes under the category of using technology for psychological warfare. •The web can promote and support acts of terrorism by means of propaganda, promotion, instructional dissemination and execution, financing, training, recruiting and can also facilitate specific attacks. •Non-state actors have the technology to create cyber attacks or endanger the cyber environment of the global socio-political system. The 2011, Arab Spring revolution in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya was successful to use cyberspace to pass its message. •Threats abound: cyber crime, cyber espionage, cyber war and cyber terrorism, all represent genuine risks to nations, firms and individuals around the world. Experts reckoned it is a matter of time before cyberspace becomes an “independent theatre of war”. •With the rapid march of technology, such attacks will only become more widespread as the use of Internet for manipulating things increases. “We have now entered into a new phase of conflict in which cyber weapons can be used to create physical destruction in someone else’s critical infrastructure. And there is a distinct possibility that the disruptions and dislocations it causes are permanent and severe.”
•The Flame virus (which has been circulating for more than five years and has yet to be claimed by an owner, although speculation centres around Israel) has turned the computer into the ultimate spy, gathering data files, turning on PC microphones to record nearby conversations, logging instant messaging chats, taking screen shots and even remotely changing settings on
other computers. •Moreover, hacker groups, such as Anonymous and Lulz Security (Lulz Sec), have executed distributed denial of service (DDOS). Under that process, they were successful to deface websites to various governmental and corporate interests. They hacked NASDAQ and International Momentary Fund (IMF). •Internet’s capabilities dictate the rules of engagement in cyberspace to initiate on-ground battles and at the same time create a fertile ground for new, aspiring jihadist. •In the recent past, the case of Stuxnet virus which attacked centrifuges. While the targeted victim was the Natanz nuclear site in Iran, other organisations across the world, including in India, operating with the Siemens system suffered from collateral damage from the attack. •Since 2000-01, there have been regular reports of Pakistani cyber criminals defacing Indian websites and writing derogatory messages against India. On the other hand, China has become a formidable adversary in cyber space. Recent cases of Chinese hacking into many Indian government establishment computers and even the highly secure national security domains provide enough evidence of its capability in waging cyber warfare. Since 2003, the People’s Liberation Army has trained more than 30,000 cyber warriors and another 150,000 in the private sector. According to several reports available in the public domain, the Chinese goal is to build the world’s best ‘informationised armed forces’. •
Existing Counter Cyber Security Initiatives.
Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (Cert-In).
Cert-In is the most important constituent of India’s cyber community. Its mandate states, ‘ensure security of cyber space in the country by enhancing the security communications and information infrastructure, through proactive action and effective collaboration aimed at security incident prevention and response and security assurance’.
National Information Security Assurance Programme (NISAP).
(a) Government and critical infrastructures should have a security policy and create a point of contact. (b) Mandatory for organizations to implement security control and report any security incident to Cert-In. (c) Cert-In
to create a panel of auditor for IT security.
(d) All organizations to be subject to a third party audit from this panel once a year. (e) Cert-In to be reported about security compliance on periodic basis by the organizations.
Indo-US Cyber Security Forum (IUSCSF).
Under this forum (set up in 2001) high power delegations from both side met and several initiatives were announced for intensifying bilateral cooperation to control cyber crime between the two countries.
To mitigate supply-chain risks emanating from telecom equipment manufactured by companies belonging to China, the telecom and home affairs ministry have issued guidelines mandating service provides to secure their networks and induct equipment that has been tested as per international standards.
CCTNS taking help of ISRO for making project fully indigenous Warned by intelligence agencies that using a foreign satellite in the proposed nationwide Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS) could make critical databases vulnerable to eavesdropping by other countries, the Union Home Ministry has decided to take the help of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to make the project fully indigenous. Since the intelligence agencies raised objections to the proposed use of the IPSTAR satellite managed by Thaicomm in the project, the BSNL diverted to this project some 400 VSATs that it had for other services.
Fact Box: National Cyber Coordination Centre (NCCC)
Indian government will establish its own multi-agency body — National Cyber Coordination Centre (NCCC) — that would carry out “real-time assessment of cyber security threats” and “generate actionable reports/alerts for proactive actions” by law enforcement agencies. NCCC , to be set up at a cost of Rs 1000 crore, would be a multi-agency body under Department of Electronics and IT. It will function in sync with other government agencies. These agencies include: •National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS)
•Intelligence Bureau (IB)
•Research and Analysis Wing (RAW)
•Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In)
•National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO)
•Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)
•DIARA (Defence Information Assurance and Research Agency) •Army, Navy, Air Force
•Department of Telecommunications
What will be its functions?
•It will be India’s first layer for cyber threat monitoring and all communication with government and private service providers would be through this body only. •The NCCC would be in virtual contact with the control room of all Internet Service Providers to scan traffic within the country, flowing at the point of entry and exit, including international gateway. •Apart from monitoring the Internet, the NCCC would look into various threats posed by cyber attacks. • The agency will provide law enforcement agencies direct access to all Internet accounts, be it e-mails, blogs or social networking data.
DRDO doesn’t uses any US based company services in its organization.
In India, we need to create an environment within which security is built into our cyber and communications working methods. While it is the government that correctly takes a lead in evolving a coherent picture of what constitutes vulnerability in our cyber domain and a strategy on how to counter attacks, the private sector needs to recognise the real threat it faces. And this is not a future threat or a prospective threat that we need to prepare ourselves against; this is an ongoing, current threat.Cyber threat will continue to grow due to the fast evolution and development of internet and related technologies. At the global level, nations are stepping up their cyber defence efforts. The U.S. was one of the first countries that considered this to be a strategic problem in 2006, both in terms of national
security and their future economic wellbeing.
•The major concern when dealing with Cyber threats is ubiquity and anonymity. What other international medium is highly accessible, far-reaching, ridiculously inexpensive, whereby information is transferred at the speed of light, the attacker invisible and untraceable? Unlike a missile trajectory, IP (Internet Protocol) pathways can be masked and the locations appear opaque. Implicating a source and assigning blame to the attack progenitor is extremely difficult. •the extreme difficulty of producing timely actionable warning of potential cyber attacks •the extreme complex vulnerability associated with the IT supply chain for various India’s networks •India’s approach to cyber security has so far been ad hoc and piecemeal. A number of organisations have been created but their precise roles have not been defined nor synergy has been created among them. • Lack of awareness and the culture of cyber security at individual as well as institutional level. • Lack of trained and qualified manpower to implement the counter measures. •Too many information security organisations which have become weak due to ‘turf wars’ or financial compulsions. •A weak IT Act which has became redundant due to non exploitation and age old cyber laws. • No e-mail account policy especially for the defence forces, police and the agency personnel. •Cyber attacks have come not only from terrorists but also from neighboring countries inimical to our National interests.
•Acknowledging that better indigenous snooping capabilities may not be enough to protect India’s cyber security, National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon has advocated formulating a set of “standard operating procedures” (SOPs) — ground rules for cooperation which would help India succeed in obtaining Internet information from major powers that control much of cyber space. •Given the cyber reality, ‘sensible’ powers should work towards a globally acceptable cyber regime to bring in a set of rules, build transparency and reduce vulnerabilities. •Agreements relating to cyber security should be given the same importance as other conventional
agreements. •The government should also consider joining the European Convention on Cyber crime. •A 24×7 nodal point for international cooperation with cyber authorities of other countries should be set up. Critical Infrastructure
•Cyber security should be mandatory in computer science curriculum and even separate programmes on cyber security should be contemplated. Government should initiate a special drive of implementing practices in the critical infrastructure sectors and provide necessary budgetary support for such implementation. • Government should establish a mechanism for measuring preparedness of critical sectors such as security index, which captures preparedness of the sector and assigns value to it.
•Government should incorporate IT Supply Chain Security as an important element of e-security plan to address security issues. •Government should promote R&D in private industry through active government support for industry-led research projects in the areas of security. Establish enabling mechanisms to facilitate this. •Emphasis should be placed on developing and implementing standards and best practices in government functioning as well as in the private sector. Cyber security audits should be made compulsory for networked organisations. •Capacity building in the area of cyber crime and cyber forensics in terms of infrastructure, expertise and availability of HR and cooperation between industry, LEAs and judiciary. •Cyber security education, R&D and training will be an integral part of the national cyber security strategy. •PPP model should be explored for taking security to the regions and industry sectors. •Strengthening telecom security – one of the key pillars of cyber security, especially through development of standards and establishment of testing labs for telecom infrastructure(equipment, hardware). •More investment in this field in terms of finance and manpower. •The impact of the emergence of new social networking media, and convergence of technologies on society including business, economy,national security should be studied with the help of relevant experts,
•Procedural laws need to be in place to achieve cooperation and coordination
of international organisations and governments to investigate and prosecute cyber criminals. •Government must put in place necessary amendments in existing laws or enact a new legislation like a Data Protection/Privacy Act so as to safeguard against the misuse of personal information by various government agencies and protect individual privacy. •Need for trained and qualified experts to deal with the highly specialised field of cyber security and laws related to it. •
•Make it a mandatory requirement for all government organisations and private enterprises to have a designated Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) who would be responsible for cyber security. •Establishment of a cyber range to test cyber readiness.
• More powers to sectoral CERTs.
•Establish an online mechanism for cyber crime-related complaints to be recorded. •Policymakers need to recognise this and put in place structures that allow the sharing of cyber security information through both formal and informal cyber exchanges. That requires a fast, unified action between government agencies and the private sector. •Indian agencies working after cyber security should also keep a close vigil on the developments in the IT sector of our potential adversaries. •Joint efforts by all Government agencies including defence forces to attract qualified skilled personnel for implementation of counter measures.
Need to sensitize the common citizens about the dangers of cyber terrorism. Cert-in should engage academic institutions and follow an aggressive strategy.
•Defining how we deal with Cyber threats and attacks internationally is crucial to peace and security. If Cyber weapons are treated with indifference in comparison to other weapons then it can open the doors to
multifaceted retaliation if a nation is provoked •Enforcing the right policies to amalgamate security of governments and law-abiding citizens is critical. The safety of individuals outweighs commercial piracy. Sophism and intellectual rhetoric redirects focus on eliminating irrefutable threats like violence and terrorism. Instead, diluted versions of policies are implemented and lives are put at risk. •. “India must take an early lead in creating a framework where the government, the national security experts and the industry catering to strategic sectors of economy, can come together, to pursue the goal of cyber security in the larger national cause •Need to prepare cyber forces .
The United States was the first country to formally declare this as the fifth domain warfare after land, sea, air and space. It has also formally classified the use of cyberspace as a “force”, a euphemism for offensive capability. The Chinese adopted the concept of “informationalisation” in the mid-1990s and have relentlessly built up structures and operations in this domain.
Cyber Security Dilemma
•John Herz, an American scholar of international relations and law is credited for coining the term “security dilemma”. • The dilemma expresses how both the strong and weak states can upset the balance of power that could eventually become a catalyst for war. The security dilemma could arise from the state’s accumulation of power due to fear and uncertainty about other states’ intentions. • Post-9/11, successive US administrations have mostly attempted to handle global disorder by accumulating more “power”. Not surprisingly, since 2007, the US has been collecting and analysing significant amount of data available in the cyber space. •Cyber security dilemma of the US was recently exposed by the US whistle-blower Edward Snowden, giving details about the US National Security Agency’s controversial Prism programme. • The US, clearly has been monitoring the global e-traffic covertly and in the process checking on cyber activities on Google, You Tube, Skype, Facebook, etc. This has resulted in a huge amount of metadata (a data about data). • US administration has been spoofing on the rest of the world. •In the 21st century, with the number of computer
and internet users is increasing significantly, the cyber environment has almost become fundamental to a nation’s ‘existence’. • Over the years Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) have become central to various sectors from social, economic, political to defence. The fillip side to it is that various unauthorised, illegal, criminal, anti-national and terrorist activities have also become rampant. Astonishing as it may sound, but the third most populous country after China and India is not any geographical entity but a ‘virtual state’ called facebook! •The human rights activists and states who are under the US surveillance consider it an anti-democratic act that undermines the civil liberties and individual privacy. The absence of a globally accepted cyber regime and legal structure adds further to the commotion. • The excessive dependence on cyber tools has given rise to various vulnerabilities. Recently the US National Security Agency chief Gen Keith Alexander, who also heads the US military’s Cyber Command, has expressed concerns and is of the opinion that on a scale of 1 to 10, the US critical infrastructure’s preparedness to withstand a destructive cyber attack is about 3, this in spite the US having established a major defence infrastructure to defend against foreign hackers and spies. This assessment would push the US to strengthen its defences further. However, since the nature of the threat is extremely dynamic it may not be possible to build any foolproof defensive mechanism. •Any cyber architecture can be viewed as a doubled edged sword – either ignore it and be exposed or use it to one’s advantage. Cyber espionage is here to stay. Today, the US is upfront because of its technological superiority and ability to ‘manage’ the ICT industry and prevent few acts of terrorism from actually happening. More importantly, the data gathered would have utility in other fields too.
•Snowden has clearly exposed the US but it is hard to imagine that the US would halt its cyber activities. As a leading power, the US is accustomed to international criticism, lawsuits and questioning and at the end of the day cyber spying and spoofing actually strengthens their intelligence gathering capability. •It is important to note that cyber expertise offers significant amount of asymmetric advantage to the user. In the future, it is
not only the US but many other states that are also likely to use this method (mostly covertly). •States would support a cyber regime essentially because intelligence collection is not the sole purpose for possessing cyber assets. ITC also leads to empowerment and its importance for socioeconomic development s undisputed. •In general, the norms of privacy in a cyber-era world would remain a constant subject of debate since the nature of technology presents a challenging task to catch the actual offender. Technologically superior power would always have an advantage. The time has come to recognize that in the future we would always be watched and mostly against our own wishes!
India-US collaboration in Cyber Security
Indian officials and security officers would soon be visiting the U.S. for training in an array of courses — from cyber security, megacity policing and forensics, to critical infrastructure protection, financial terrorism and anti-terrorism intelligence. “The list of training programmes include ‘Land Transportation Anti-terrorism’; ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’; ‘Seaport Security’; ‘International Border Interdiction Training’ and ‘International Sea Interdiction Training’ to check smuggling and trafficking; ‘Handling of equipment for screening men against radiological, chemical and explosive materials’ and ‘Handling of intrusive detection at airports and seaports.’
With the growing population in cities and increasing threat perception, the U.S. has also offered India to help develop the concept of megacity policing, a step it has been promoting since the 9/11 attacks.
“An advance course in surveillance, control room design and its operation by various security agencies and police authorities are key elements of this concept.
Balancing vigilance and privacy
As the government steps up its surveillance capabilities, the entire social contract between the state and citizens is being reformulated, with worrying consequences
The Indian state is arming itself with both technological capabilities and the institutional framework to track the lives of citizens in an unprecedented manner.
A new Centralised Monitoring System (CMS) is in the offing, which would build on the already existing mechanisms. As The Hindu reported on June 21, this would allow the government to access in real-time any mobile and fixed line conversation, SMS, fax, website visit, social media usage, Internet search and email, and will have ‘unmatched capabilities of deep search surveillance and monitoring’.
Civil society groups and citizens expressed concern about the government’s actions, plans, and intent at a discussion organised by the Foundation for Media Professionals, on Saturday.
Usha Ramanathan, a widely respected legal scholar, pointed to the larger political context which had permitted this form of surveillance. It stemmed, she argued, from a misunderstanding of the notion of sovereignty. “It is not the government, but the people who are sovereign.” Laws and the Constitution are about limiting the power of the state, but while people were being subjected to these restrictions, the government itself had found ways to remain above it – either by not having laws, or having ineffective regulators. States knew the kind of power they exercised over citizens, with the result that ‘impunity had grown’.
“There is also a complete breakdown of the criminal justice system,” Ms Ramanathan said. This had resulted in a reliance on extra-judicial methods of investigation, and ‘scape-goating’ had become the norm. ‘National security’ had been emphasised, re-emphasised, and projected as the central goal. “We haven’t paused to ask what this means, and the extent to which we have been asked to give up personal security for the sake of national security.” It was in this backdrop that technology had advanced by leaps, and made extensive surveillance possible.
The implications are enormous. The data is often used for purposes it is not meant for, including political vendetta, keeping track of rivals, corporates, and digging out facts about a citizen when he may have antagonised those in power.
Pranesh Prakash, director of the Centre of Internet and Society (CIS) looked back at the killing of Haren Pandya, the senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader in Gujarat. Mr Pandya was using the SIM card of a friend, and it was by tracking the SIM, and through it his location, that the Gujarat government got to know that Mr Pandya had deposed before a commission and indicted the administration for its role in the riots. Eventually, he was found murdered outside a park in Ahmedabad. The Gujarat Police had accessed call details of 90,000 phones.
It is also not clear whether mining this kind of data has been effective for the national security purposes, which provide the reason for doing it in the first place. Saikat Datta, resident editor of Daily News and Analysis, and an expert on India’s intelligence apparatus, said a core problem was the absence of any auditing and over sight. “There needs to be a constant review of the number of calls, emails under surveillance, with questions about whether it is yielding results. But this does not happen, probably because a majority is not for counter-terrorism. There would be trouble if you build accountability mechanisms.” When he sought information under RTI around precisely such issues, he was denied information on the grounds that it would strengthen ‘enemies of the state’.
Anja Kovacs, who works with the Internet Democracy Project, said this form of “mass surveillance” criminalised everybody since it was based on the assumption that each citizen was a “potential criminal”. She also pointed out that having “more information” did not necessarily mean it was easier to address security threats – there was intelligence preceding the Mumbai attacks, but it was not acted upon. She added, “Most incidents have been resolved by traditional intelligence. Investing in agencies, training them better could be more effective.”
Bring in the caveats
Few argue that the state is not entitled to exercise surveillance at all. In fact, a social contract underpins democratic states. Citizens agree to subject some of their rights to restrictions, and vest the state with the monopoly over instruments and use of violence. In turn, the state – acting within a set of legal principles; being accountable to citizens; and renewing its popular legitimacy through different measures, including elections – provides order and performs a range of developmental functions.
This framework, citizens and civil liberty groups worry, is under threat with governments appropriating and usurping authority to conduct unprecedented surveillance. Citizen groups, technology and privacy experts came together globally to draft the International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communication Surveillance.
It prescribed that any restriction to privacy through surveillance must be ‘legal’; it must be for a ‘legitimate aim’; it must be ‘strictly and demonstrably necessary’; it must be preceded by showing to an established authority that other ‘less invasive investigative techniques’ have been used; it must follow ‘due process’; decisions must be taken by a ‘competent judicial authority’; there must be ‘public oversight’ mechanisms; and ‘integrity of communications and systems’ should be maintained. (Full text available on www.necessaryandproportionate.org)Mr Prakash of CIS, which has done extensive work on surveillance and privacy issues, said, “An additional principle must be collection limitation or data minimisation.” Giving the instance of Indian Railways seeking the date of birth from a customer booking a ticket, Mr Prakash said this was not information which was necessary. But it could be used by hackers and many other agencies to access an individual’s private transactions in other areas. The UPA government is finalising a privacy Bill, but its final version is not yet public, and it is not clear how far the government would go in protecting citizen rights.
National cyber security Policy 2013
National Cyber Security Policy 2013
This policy aims at facilitating creation of secure computing environment and enabling adequate trust and confidence in electronic transactions and also guiding stakeholders actions for protection of cyber space.
• The National Cyber Security Policy document outlines a road-map to create a framework for comprehensive, collaborative and collective response to deal with the issue of cyber security at all levels within the country.
• The policy recognises the need for objectives and strategies that need to be adopted both at the national level as well as international level.
• The objectives and strategies outlined in the National Cyber Security Policy together serve as a means to:
i. Articulate our concerns, understanding, priorities for action as well as directed efforts. ii. Provide confidence and reasonable assurance to all stakeholders in the country (Government, business, industry and general public) and global community, about the safety, resiliency and security of cyber space. iii. Adopt a suitable posturing that can signal our resolve to make determined efforts to effectively monitor, deter & deal with cyber crime and cyber attacks.
Salient features of the policy
•The Policy outlines the roadmap for creation of a framework for comprehensive, collaborative and collective responsibility to deal with cyber security issues of the country. The policy has ambitious plans for rapid social transformation and inclusive growth and India’s prominent role in the IT global market. •The policy lays out 14 objectives which include creation of a 5,00,000-strong professional, skilled workforce over the next five years through capacity building, skill development and training. •The policy plans to create national and sectoral level 24×7 mechanisms for
obtaining strategic information regarding threats to ICT infrastructure, creating scenarios for response, resolution and crisis management through effective, predictive, preventive, proactive response and recovery actions. •The policy will also establish a mechanism for sharing information as well as identifying and responding to cyber security incidents and for cooperation in restoration efforts. •The policy identifies eight different strategies for creating a secure cyber eco-system including the need for creating an assurance framework apart from encouraging open standards to facilitate inter-operability and data exchange amongst different products or services. •There is in place a plan to operate and strengthen the national Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) to operate 24×7 and to act as a nodal agency for all efforts for cyber security, emergency response and crisis management, as an umbrella agency over CERTs. •It is expected that he policy will cater to the cyber security requirements of government and non-government entities at the national and international levels. The policy will help in safeguarding the critical infrastructure like Air Defence system, nuclear plants, banking system, power infrastructure, telecommunication system and many more to secure country’s economic stability.
National Nodal Agency
•The National Cyber Security Policy, in order to create a secure cyber ecosystem, has planned to set-up a National Nodal Agency. The nodal agency will be coordinating all matters related to cyber security in the country. •The nodal agency has a wide mandate as it will cover and coordinate security for all strategic, military, government and business assets. This is distinctive, since, so far, national security regimes have been divided among the Ministry of Defence (for securing India’s borders) and the Ministry of Home Affairs (for national and internal security across States).
Public-private partnership to protect national assets
•Another defining aspect of the policy is the level at which it envisages public-private partnership to protect national assets. •There is a clear recognition in the policy that, apart from India’s IT, technology and telecommunications services, large parts of financial & banking services,
airline & transportation services, energy and healthcare assets are not only owned by the private sector but, in fact, remain vulnerable to cyber-attacks, both from state and non-state actors.
•A crucial aspect of the policy is building resilience around the Critical Information Infrastructure (CII) by operationalising a 24×7 Nation Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC). The Critical Information Infrastructure will comprise all interconnected and interdependent networks, across government and private sector. •The NCIIPC will mandate a security audit of CII apart from the certification of all security roles of chief security officers and others involved in operationalising the CII.
•The policy will be operationalised by way of guidelines and Plans of Action, notified at national, sectoral, and other levels. While there is a recognition of the importance of bilateral and multilateral relationships, the policy does not clearly identify India’s position vis-à-vis the Budapest Convention even though government delegations have attended meetings in London and Budapest on related issues in 2012.
Why does India need a cyber security policy?
•Cyber security is critical for economic security and any failure to ensure cyber security will lead to economic destabilisation. •India already has 800 million active mobile subscribers and 160 million other Internet users of which nearly half are on social media. India targets 600 million broadband connections and 100% teledensity by 2020. Internet traffic in India will grow nine-fold by 2015 topping out at 13.2 exabytes in 2015, up from 1.6 exabytes in 2010. •The ICT sector has grown at an annual compounded rate of 33% over the last decade and the contribution of IT and ITES industry to GDP increased from 5.2% in 2006-7 to 6.4% in 2010-11, according to an IDSA task force report of 2012. •Given the fact that a nation’s cyber ecosystem is constantly under attack from state and non-state
actors both. It becomes extremely critical for India to come up a coherent cyber security policy. •One of the key objectives for the government is also to secure e-governance services where it is already implementing several nationwide plans including the “e-Bharat” project, a World Bank-funded project of Rs. 700 crore.
The release of the National Cyber Security Policy 2013 is an important step towards securing the cyber space of our country. However, there are certain areas which need further deliberations for its actual implementation. The provisions to take care security risks emanating due to use of new technologies e.g. Cloud Computing, has not been addressed. Another area which is left untouched by this policy is tackling the risks arising due to increased use of social networking sites by criminals and anti-national elements. There is also a need to incorporate cyber crime tracking, cyber forensic capacity building and creation of a platform for sharing and analysis of information between public and private sectors on continuous basis.
Creating a workforce of 500,000 professionals needs further deliberations as to whether this workforce will be trained to simply monitor the cyberspace or trained to acquire offensive as well as defensive cyber security skill sets. Indigenous development of cyber security solutions as enumerated in the policy is laudable but these solutions may not completely tide over the supply chain risks and would also require building testing infrastructure and facilities of global standards for evaluation.
Indian Armed forces are in the process of establishing a cyber command as a part of strengthening the cyber security of defence network and installations. Creation of cyber command will entail a parallel hierarchical structure and being one of the most important stakeholders, it will be prudent to address the jurisdiction issues right at the beginning of policy implementation. The global debate on national security versus right to privacy and civil liberties is going on for long. Although, one of the objectives of this policy aims at safeguarding privacy of citizen data
however, no specific strategy has been outlined to achieve this objective.
The key to success of this policy lies in its effective implementation. The much talked about public-private partnership in this policy, if implemented in true spirit, will go a long way in creating solutions to the ever-changing threat landscape.
Central Monitoring System (CMS) project – Justified??
•Indian government’s own Central Monitoring System (CMS) project. •roughly 160 million users are already being subjected to wide-ranging surveillance and monitoring, much of which is in violation of the government’s own rules and notifications for ensuring “privacy of communications”. • While the CMS is in early stages of launch, investigation shows that there already exists — without much public knowledge — Lawful Intercept and Monitoring (LIM) systems, which have been deployed by the Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DoT) for monitoring Internet traffic, emails, web-browsing, Skype and any other Internet activity of Indian users. •While mobile operators deploy their own LIM system, allowing “interception” of calls by the government, only after checking “due authorisation” in compliance with Section 5(2) of the Indian Telegraph Act read with Rule 419(A) of the IT Rules •In the case of the Internet traffic, the LIM is deployed by the government at the international gateways of a handful of large ISPs. The functioning of these secretive surveillance systems is out of reach of these ISPs, under lock and key and complete control of the government.