Monday, March 28, 2011

India Is Facing Serious Cyber Threats

India has been facing serious cyber threats these days. These include threats from cyber espionage, cyber terrorism, cyber warfare, etc. Even social networking sites and cloud computing applications have come under cyber attacks.

Although cyber crimes and cyber threats have increased significantly in India yet cyber crimes prevention and network security in India are still far from perfect. India’s preparedness to tackle growing cyber crimes and cyber attacks is not proper and we do not have any cyber law policy in India.

In fact, cyber attacks and cyber terrorism preparedness of India is missing at all. Cyber terrorism is a concept that is closely related to national security and cyber security of any nation. While the definition and nature of cyber terrorism is still debatable yet none can doubt about the use of information and communication technology (ICT) for attacking crucial computer systems of others, says Praveen Dalal, India’s leading techno-legal expert.

Realising the importance of cyber security and a defense against cyber terrorism, countries all over the world are streamlining their defense networks. Some have merged their traditional armed forces defenses with technology driven security while others have established a separate and dedicated cyber security segment for themselves. India also needs good techno-legal cyber security for its defense forces.

India must urgently formulate good cyber security policy and effective crisis management plan for cyber attacks and cyber terrorism. The issue must be taken at the national level and a national policy is needed in this regard, says Dalal.

We have launched a centre for protection of human rights in cyberspace that is covering the issues pertaining to protection of critical ICT infrastructure in India, prevention of cyber terrorism in India, cyber espionage in India, defense against cyber war in India, etc. The centre would also provide suggestions and methods to prevent e-surveillance by governmental as well as non-governmental persons and organisations, informs Dalal.

Time has come when India must seriously take issues like cyber security, cyber terrorism, cyber war and other rallied issues. We need both policy level as well as legislative measures to make Indian cyberspace robust and secure. On the legislative side, we must enact strong cyber laws and on the policy side we must enact suitable cyber security policy of India and cyber crimes policy of India.

Till now India lacks initiatives on both these fronts. The present cyber law of India has decayed and it needs must urgently be repealed. The information technology act 2000 is not serving much purposes these days and it must be replaced by a more effective and strong cyber law. Let us hope that Parliament of India would do the needful in the forthcoming session.