Thursday, August 30, 2012

Why India Is Ignoring Cyber Security?

Cyber crimes and cyber attacks have become a prime cause of concern world over. Even India is facing serious cyber threats but India is not well prepared to deal with the same. Take the example of cyber security of power sector of India that is in doldrums.

Cyber security in India has not received the attention it required from Indian government.  Naturally there are many cyber security challenges in India that have still to be redressed by India. India is still struggling to deal with menaces of cyber terrorism, cyber espionage, cyber warfare, etc.

According to Praveen Dalal, leading techno legal expert of Asia and managing partner of ICT law firm Perry4Law, India should step up its efforts to strengthen cyber defence in tandem with traditional national security capabilities. Ensuring foolproof cyber security, he believes, is next to impossible. However, Dalal said that cyber attacks can be minimized, though. "India has remained indifferent towards cyber defence for long, which resulted in poor cyber security capabilities," he opined.

India also lacks effective cyber law and enforceable cyber security policy. For instance, we have a single provision to tackle cyber terrorism in India. This may not adequately protect India's sovereign interest given the global onslaught of cyber terrorist activities.

There is no doubt that India requires a dedicated law on cyber terrorism. Existing laws in India, even the Indian Penal Code and the IT Act 2000, are not sufficient for effectively regulating all the cyber crimes occurring in India.

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.

It is high time for India to take care of these issues to prevent further troubles and problems.

Cyber Security Of Power Sector In India

Indian government is famous for its knee jerk reactions. It always tries to cure the problem rather than preventing it from happening. Even the cure part of India government is far from perfect. In short, Indian government is neither interested in preventive nor a curative situation.

One such area that has been ignored for more than a five years by Indian government pertains to cyber security that is still an ignored world. Surprisingly, Praveen Dalal, leading techno legal expert of Asia and managing partner of ICT law firm Perry4Law, warned about this situation in the year 2006/07 itself but it seems the Indian government is too slow to react.

Another related warning was given by Praveen Dalal regarding the lack of cyber security of power sector of India in the year 2011 but Indian government again failed to pick up the signal. It is only after a massive power blackout that Indian government has woken up to the dangers of cyber attacks against Indian power sector.

The truth is that cyber security of power energy and utilities in India is in really bad shape. Now even the enquiry into the July 30-31 grid collapse has affirmed the opinion of Praveen Dalal. The enquiry report has affirmed that Indian power systems could be vulnerable to severe cyber attacks on a scale that can have serious implications for national security and economy.

I am not sure whether even this would be successful in waking up Indian government to streamline its power sector cyber security systems in general and cyber security of India in particular.

Cyber security challenges for the smart grids in India are not easy to manage and India is clearly not equipped to do so at present. According to Praveen Dalal, Power Grids and Utilities Cyber Security in India and their Challenges are not easy to manage. They require a systematic, dedicated and security oriented approach on the part of Indian Government. In fact, Smart Meters are becoming headache for power companies world wide, informs Praveen Dalal. Naturally, Cyber Security Capabilities of India must be Strengthened opines Praveen Dalal.

Keeping this fact in mind, critical infrastructure protection in India in general and cyber security of automated power grids of India in particular must be ensured with latest technology and international best practices.