India is vulnerable to cyber threats and has devised various policies to secure its cyberspace. However, there are several lacunae that need to be addressed to make India safe from cyber threats. Critically examine.

India has 14500km of boundary including 7500km of maritime international borders, faced by a variety of security threats. Also, recent rise in cyber-attacks poses a new frontier.

India: Geostrategic instability & cyber-threats:

  1. Western borders – Radicalization & militant infiltration.
    • Funding of cyber-terrorism in India. E.g. Radicalization of youth via social media in J&K.
  2. Eastern borders – Unmanned and difficult terrain.
    • Rise of advanced threats such as drone attacks, funding of terror activities.
  3. NE-region, J&K – Insurgency, Naxalism, Communalism.
    • Use of deep-fakes, AI etc for radicalization, etc.
  4. New & emerging form of threats.
    • Power-blackout is Mumbai due to cyber attack, Ransomware, etc.

India’s current cyber-security policy:

  1. National cyber security policy 2013 – Overarching framework for cyber security.
    • Skilling of man power
    • Coordination & Cooperation
    • R&D
    • Infrastructure
  2. Institutional measures – National central information infrastructure protection centre, designated as the National Nodal Agency in terms of Critical Information Infrastructure Protection.
  3. Awareness – Cyber Surakshit Bharat Abhiyan, Vittiya Saksharta Abhiyan.

Issues with current framework:

  • Silos-based approach – Multiplicity of agencies like NCIIPC, Cert-IN, etc.
  • Lack of a comprehensive data analytics framework.
  • Concerns around privacy and surveillance, e.g. Pegasus spyware case.
  • Lack of indigenization of cyber-components, e.g. dependence on China for electronic components.
  • Inadequacy of trained manpower in AI, Big data, etc.

Measures needed:

  • Increase R&D in cyber security.
  • Adopt personal data protection policy.
  • Update policy to involve new technology.

PPP approach for indigenizing infrastructure.

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