Monday 30 November 2015 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

A Seven Level Counter Radicalisation Response
2G: Holistic Risk Management by Telecom Companies Lacking
Modi Defence and Security Policies – Exploiting the “Triple Whammy”
Counter Militancy: Review of Reconciliation Process in South Asia
Bhutan Elections: India Backs PDP’s Surprise Win
Economic Slow Down: India's Defence Modernisation First Casualty
Aero India 2013 – Fulfilling Larger IAF Mission - I
China and India: Rational Irrationality & Parallel Pathways
NSCN IM Blames Government for Failure of Peace Talks
Indo US Defence Cooperation: High Point of Prime Minister’s US Visit
Inter Community Relations in South Asia
Pakistan’s Coming Civil Military Standoff?
Nawaz Sharif’s T2 Dilemma with India
Chicago Summit, NATO & India: Lost Opportunity
Exercise Sarvada Vijay & Azm E Nau A Brief Comparison
Defence allotments remain in estimated range
Are India’s Security Forces Prepared for 2014?
Nawaz Sharif’s “K” Dilemma, Choosing Kayani’s Replacement
Is Pakistan Army Launching Operations in North Waziristan?
India’s Asia Pacific Rebalancing?
Pakistan: The Soft Coup to Constrain Nawaz Sharif
France Emerging as Third Pole In Defence Co-Operation with India
Tweaking the “Tweet Policy,” for the Indian Armed Forces
Civil Military Relations in South Asia
Ukraine and Crimea: India Retains Balance
Boeing’s First India Defence Contract Challenge
Smart Strategies For Defence Indigenisation
Clinton’s South Asia Visit: Beyond Bonding with Mamata
Ex Sudarshan Shakti – Integrated Theatre, Network Centricity
Standing While Running: India China Relations
South Asia 2014: As A Flash Back of 2013
Preview of Asia’s Future Power Balance
PM Modis Twitter Diplomacy: The Pluses and Minuses
Reasons Why World’s 15 Top Military Spenders Splurge?
BAT Actions on LOC: Tactics with Strategic Impact
Perils of Measuring Instability or Peace Uniformly
Why Army Aviation will be Most Sought After in Aero India 2015?
Afghan Strategic Partnership Regional Response
Underlying BDCA Message – exercise restraint – Leadership to Military
Pentagon 2012 Report on China: PLA’s Rapid Modernisation
Tracking South Asia Through the Decade
A Threat to Karzai’s Power Base?
Is Bangladesh On the Sights of Al Qaeda?
Indian Navy - Beyond Platform Centrism
Maldives National Defence Forces (MNDF): Crisis Within
Indian Army's Battle for Hearts and Minds in Srinagar
Nawaz Prompt Felicitations from India underline hopes
US/NATO- Pakistan Relations: Towards A New Low
Daw Aung Suu Kyi: The Liberal Pragmatic
Armed Forces Modernisation and Upgradation

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 2015 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.