Discuss the potential threats of Cyber attack and the security framework to prevent it.

The Indian government’s vision of Digital India is gradually improving and on its way to achieving the desired target. In the meantime, India is facing a big challenge created by the growing Cybercrime attacks. Social media privacy, emails, bank transaction details, online trading credentials are under threat. According to a report, the global economy is going to face a loss of 5.2trn USD over the next 5 years because of cybercrime, with insurers, banks, and capital markets facing a 700bn USD hit.

Cyber attack types

There are several ways of a cyber attack. Each and every one of them has its own set of procedures and all are potentially dangerous.

Spam emails: It is the most widely used way of cybercrime. Attacks on businesses and individuals are made by sending phishing emails and thereby stealing personal information like IDs, passwords, credit card pins, bank credentials, etc.

Spyware/ Malware: It is the second most type of attack. Spyware and Malware contain malicious viruses that can delete or steal important information. The hackers can operate the system anonymously. It can deliver the data to the hackers based on the keyboard input.

Ransomware: It can hack the computer automatically or manually. It has the ability to block the computer system and freeze the whole system. The attackers demand money compensation in the name of fixing.

Tricky access: Malicious techniques are used in this case like putting gum on an ATM input board, counterfeiting the card, etc.

Security Framework

  • The nodal cybersecurity agency of the Indian government, Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) always provides warning about possible phishing attacks.
  • The National Cyber Security Policy of 2013 was formulated to ensure a safe cyber ecosystem by taking necessary steps and strengthening the cyber network.
  • The Central Government has rolled out a plan for the establishment of the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C) to address the issues related to cybercrime in the country cooperatively.
  • The National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC) has been established for the protection of critical information infrastructure in India.
  • It became mandatory for the organizations to report all cybersecurity incidents to CERT-In.
  • Crisis Management Plan has been formulated to counter cyber-attacks and cyber-terrorism.
  • The government decided to audit government websites and applications before their hosting.

The data published by the Data Security Council of India (DSCI) showed that India has been the second most cyber-attacked country between 2016 to 2018. Taking all necessary steps the cyber attack could be avoided and it will further strengthen the Digital India initiative.

Question for UPSC Mains:
Discuss the potential threats of Cyber attack and the security framework to prevent it. (Answer in 150 words)

Published: October 31, 2017 | Modified:August 31, 2020

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