Monday 29 August 2016 Home | Sitemap | Contact Us

  Research Papers  |  Books  |  Items
Security Issues South Asia » IW/Cyber Security » India Cyber Security: Need for Robust Approach
Rahul Bhonsle

Oct 18, 2012

Print Bookmark Email

India Cyber Security: Need for More Robust Approach

Even as, “cyber wars,” have become a reality across the globe, India’s security czars have issued a report on Recommendations of the Joint Working Group (JWG) on Engagement with Private Sector on Cyber Security. The pork barreled Report which appears to be designed to benefit the large Information Technology sector in the country has a narrow focus that of convergence in public and private sector on cyber security. The motive is laudable yet the proposals appear to be too infirm to facilitate development of capabilities in meeting the challenges in the cyber domain in real time. Some issues which need consideration are outlined as per succeeding paragraphs.

Given the express task to the National Security Adviser (NSA) Mr Shiv Shanker Menon by the Prime Minister Dr Man Mohan Singh, the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) has been seized with this challenge for some time now. In response to a question by a media person on his return from the Non Aligned Meet (NAM) in Tehran the Prime Minister indicated, "I have been asking my NSA to zero in the gaps to find a viable policy to tackle the menace of cyber terrorism threat." Possibly the ambit includes all facets of threats emanating from the cyber domain and not just cyber terrorism.

Ms Vijay Latha Reddy the Deputy National Security Adviser is the point person for cyber security in the NSCS and has been the steering force behind the JWG. While the NSCS is an ideal medium for deliberations on important issues of national security, there are challenges it is likely to face in implementing proposals which essentially fall in the ambit of various ministries. The NSCS can at best push the envelope (files) for implementation yet it being a deliberative body has limitations in execution of the policy or even recommendations of its own report.

Thus there are serious concerns on this front and like many documents hitherto fore the JWG should not remain, “on paper”. Perhaps the issues which involve interests of private sector may get implemented given the vigor in this dimension, whereas when government institutions are involved ground for skepticism does exist.

The recommendations of the JWG Report are based on two seminal studies one by the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) and a second one by the industry bodies NASSCOM and Data Security  Council of India (DSCI).  Both these studies released in March 2012, have highlighted some of the key challenges faced by India in the cyber domain and recommended institutional and other mechanisms to overcome the same.

The pace at which changes take place today may have rendered assessment of threats by these reports somewhat dated. Evidence denotes a full fledged cyber war being waged between Iran on one hand and United States and Israel on the other. Attacks on Iranian nuclear and energy infrastructure by the now famous Stuxnet worm have been followed by Duqu, Flame and mini Flame. These have been allegedly carried out by state parties implying US and Israel. On the other hand Iran is being accused of targeting US banking infrastructure and oil companies in the Gulf. Some of these attacks were fairly common denial of service attacks; others have affected the infrastructure for days.

Will the JWG Report prepare us for these scenarios referred to by some as a, “cyber Pearl Harbour,” the answer is clearly no; neither the report is proposed to be so. May be there is a more expansive document in the government domain which will cater for all cyber threats, cyber war, crime, terrorism, espionage and privacy violations. A holistic assessment of threats and strategy to meet these challenges is necessary if we want to realistically face the cyber challenge.

More over a central coordinating agency for cyber security does not exist and but for the NSCS which as has been highlighted is not an executive body the diffused approach split in many ministries, with Information and Communication, Home Affairs and Defence being the principal ones is unlikely to produce quick results.

The differences as well as linkages between cyber and information and communication security have also to be highlighted. These are different domains and have to be addressed separately as well as holistically. The dimension of information threats to societal security spread through the cyber and communication networks is a different ball game altogether and actions in the computer security domain are not likely to prove of help in meeting such challenges.

One common factor in the two reports by IDSA and NASSCOM- DSCI was identification of the need for Cyber Command in the armed forces with defensive and offensive capabilities. Present capability for offensive cyber attacks is likely to be in the National Technical Research Organisation as per some reports. The effectiveness of these is not clear even as some countries ranging from the United States, Russia, China, Iran and Israel are already fielding offensive cyber forces. Raising such units with calibrated capabilities is hopefully under consideration though this may not be reflected in the open domain.

Suffice to say, the JWG Report is hopefully the first step in India’s cyber capability accretion and a concerted campaign to meet this ever expanding challenge has to be undertaken under a nodal executive agency at the earliest.

Related Tags


Article by Same Author

Civil Military Relations in Pakistan: Memogate
France Emerging as Third Pole In Defence Co-Operation with India
Ukraine and Crimea: India Retains Balance
India China Fruitful Engagements
Night of January 16th
Concerns over Implementation of Offset Policy
Trends in Operations in Afghanistan in 2012
Afghan Army – Heavy Casualties Due to Faulty Deployment
Chabahar Trilateral Agreement: Securing The Strategic Linkages
Nawaz Sharif’s T2 Dilemma with India
Proposed Model Indo Myanmar Border Management
Ministry of Defence All Eyes on Mr Parrikar To Deliver
Maldives National Defence Forces (MNDF): Crisis Within
South Asia 2014: As A Flash Back of 2013
Ex Sudarshan Shakti – Integrated Theatre, Network Centricity
Karzai's India Visit: The Agenda
Nawaz continues to dither on top military appointments
Tomahawk Precision Strike: The US Military Option in Syria
Maldives Presidential Elections: Political Instability May Continue
India’s Final Defence Budget 2014-15: Continuing Challenges to Modernisation
Interpreting FDI Liberalisation in Defence Sector
Can India Do Without BAE Light Howitzers?
Maldives Elections: Updated
Are India’s Security Forces Prepared for 2014?
NSA Talks: Effect of Civil Military Relations in Pakistan
India-Pakistan: Low Hanging Fruits and Stumbling Block of Siachen
Maldives & GMR: Small Fish in a Big Pond
Indo US Relations: Main Agenda of Kerry Visit
18th SAARC: Regional Diplomacy Primer for Modi Government
2G: Holistic Risk Management by Telecom Companies Lacking
US Defence Secretary Carter Visit: A Test of India’s Multi-Alignment Foreign Policy
Underlying BDCA Message – exercise restraint – Leadership to Military
Bangladesh – Arming Without Aiming?
Indian Army: One Plains Strike Corps Too Many
Pakistan Elections & Indo Pakistan Relations
Indian Navy - Beyond Platform Centrism
India’s Bangladesh Dilemma Gets More Complex
Talking to Pak without a Counter-Terror Strategy
India Launches New Generation AGNI 4, Prepares for AGNI 5
Pakistan’s Foreign Policy in Crisis: Reform of Perish
Inter Community Relations in South Asia
Pakistan Prime Minister’s Ajmer Visit – A Review
Nawaz Sharif’s China Visit: Comfort Away from Home
CM Mufti in Kashmir: Make Haste Slowly
Iran's Presidential Election: Implications for Indo Iranian Relations
South Asia Political Security Challenges
India’s Defence and Security Policy: In Flux
India’s Disaster Vulnerability and Response
Pakistan : Winds of Political Change?
South Asia Monsoon Discords

Y! MyWeb

Home | Security Trends South Asia | Security Issues South Asia | Top Stories | Publication  | Events | About Us | Contact Us | Disclaimer  | Privacy Policy
© Copyright of Security-risks 2016 All Rights Reserved Web Design India Internet
In case you come across any suspicious activity, any suspicious movement or have any information to tell to the Anti-Terror Squad, please take a note of the new ALL INDIA TOLL-FREE Terror Help-line "1090". Your city's Police or Anti-Terror squad will take action as quickly as possible. Remember that this single number 1090 is valid all over India. This is a toll free number and can be dialled from mobile phones also. Moreover, the identity of the caller will be kept a secret.

Please try to make aware each and every citizen of India about this facility.

BC is the westernmost of Canada's provinces and is famed for its natural beauty.Vancouver is BC's largest city.