Critically discuss India's preparedness to tackle the threats posed by ransomware and state-sponsored cyber attacks.

Published: August 31, 2017

In the era of computer dependent society, cyber attacks are the use of cyber space to cripple the information infrastructure of a country. For example, Ransomware which is a type of malicious software used to block access to a computer system until a ransom money is paid.
As per experts most Indian homes are vulnerable to Ransomware like Wannacry because of the use of pirated software.Also, there is a low level of awareness about malicious software. These pirated Operating Softwares which are hardly updated, this makes users more vulnerable to the modern day virus threats like ransomware. Also, there are issues about the casual approach adopted by government sectors where old machines & software are still in use and no patches were ever applied. This makes them vulnerable to such cyber threats. The old method of keeping important data backed up offline should be adopted.
The cyber security architecture in India is still not fully developed.The Indian government’s Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-IN) is a nodal agency responsible for handling cyber security threats. However, the organization is facing various problems. There is a weakness in National cyber security architecture. The major issue is lack of trained manpower. Another issue is the absence of coordination between government and the private sector. The National Cyber Coordination Centre is still in nascent phase. Also, there is the absence of policy and legal options to deal with such situations.There is a need to strengthen the Information Technology act. It does not cover a lot of crimes which can be committed through digital devices.
With increasing internet penetration and government Digital India initiative, the government needs to step up its efforts of identifying and neutralizing the threat. CERT-Fin for the financial sector is a welcome initiative. The need of the hour is to ensure coordination between government and private & to have a trained manpower to handle such situations.

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