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Sansad TV: Cyber Crime

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Growing Importance:

  • It is defined as a crime where a computer is the object of the crime or is used as a tool to commit an offense.
  • Cybercrimes are at an all-time high, impacting individuals, businesses, and countries.
  • Cyber security spends in India are rising rapidly because of the massive digitisation movement.
  • With data gradually transcending into the open domain with numerous firms permitting employees to work from their homes amid the pandemic, sensitive information has become susceptible to security vulnerabilities.
  • The rise of digital payments has also increased complex cyber crimes.
  • Also, Cyber crimes have gone up by almost 500% in India during the global pandemic.
  • The Information Technology Act, 2000, that dealt with cybersecurity and cyber crimes is not equipped to consider new-age changes in the mode of functioning of businesses and modus operandi of crimes in cyberspace.
  • The ransomware attacks in the past have added to the urgency of these spends.
  • Cyber-space remains a key area for innovation.
  • Demonetisation and the government’s push for Digital India have pushed demand for cyber security talent.

India’s Vulnerability on cyber space:

  • To balance Individual’s rights, liberty and privacy.
  • India remains vulnerable to cyber-espionage and cybercrime.
  • With the growing adoption of the Internet and smart-phones, India has emerged “as one of the favourite countries among cyber criminals.”
  • There is growing threat from online radicalization.
  • Lack of coordination among different government agencies.
  • Attackers can gain control of vital systems such as nuclear plants, railways, transportation or hospitals that can subsequently lead to dire consequences.

Steps taken by the Government to spread awareness about cyber crimes:

  • Online cybercrime reporting portal has been launched to enable complainants to report complaints pertaining to Child Pornography/Child Sexual Abuse Material, rape/gang rape imageries or sexually explicit content.
  • A scheme for establishment of Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C) has been established to handle issues related to cybercrime in the country in a comprehensive and coordinated manner.
  • Establishment of National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC) for protection of critical information infrastructure in the country.
  • All organizations providing digital services have been mandated to report cyber security incidents to CERT-In
  • Cyber Swachhta Kendra (Botnet Cleaning and Malware Analysis Centre) has been launched for providing detection of malicious programmes and free tools to remove such programmes.
  • Formulation of Crisis Management Plan for countering cyber attacks and cyber terrorism.

Challenges involved in ensuring cyber security:

  • New technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning also face new challenges for cyber security.
  • Internet of things are often not built with security
  • New technologies aid hackers too.
  • We don’t have a cyber-security mindset. People still don’t understand cyber risks to an organization
  • Most of the cyber-attacks are not reported
  • Scarcity of cyber security professionals, especially at the leadership level.
  • Cyber bullies, extremists and terrorists are creating havoc within the system.
  • India is not a signatory to the Budapest convention which is the only multilateral convention on cyber security
  • No full time cyber security experts.

Way Forward:

  • Regularly issue alerts/advisories
  • Coordination among CERTs of different countries.
  • Nations must take responsibility to ensure that the digital space does not become a playground for the dark forces of terrorism and radicalization.
  • Alertness towards cyber-security concerns should become a way of life.
  • Ensure that vulnerable sections of our society do not fall prey to the evil designs of cyber criminals.
  • Understanding and implementing the global best practices of the cyber space.
  • Need for India to move on from IT security to cyber security.
  • Law enforcement authorities and businesses must punish individuals using technology to cause damage.
  • A person won’t stop causing damage unless there is deterrence.
  • Organisations that are hit by cyber attacks must inform law enforcement immediately instead of worrying about their reputations.
  • Important to have crisis management plans so that it helps to react in a given situation.

Conclusion:

  • Cyber security has many degrees of relevance as far as India is concerned and is applicable across most domains.
  • Cyber security has become a global challenge and countries like India will have to acquire much higher levels of national capacity and niche expertise to ensure composite national security whether it is cyber technology, commerce, law or global internet management.
  • Young India should become more cognizant of this orientation and the collective effort must be there to give this sector the attention it requires.