As the government of India gears up to transform the country into a digitally empowered society, digital tools which enable the society to go cashless have become the key change makers. Even though the Indian government was late to move to computerization, there has been an increasing thrust on e-governance. The government is determined to accelerate cyber connectivity. There has been a boost in e-commerce, and many activities associated to e-governance are now being executed over the cyberspace. Additionally, the growth of social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook etc. has set up the new means of communication that ignores national barriers.
As we become more dependent on the internet for our day to day activities, we also turn out to be more susceptible to an array of cyber security threats. What’s the use of being connected to everything when our identities, our data, and our transactions are not secure? Breaching, manipulating, interrupting and interfering with the technology or digital platforms have grown apace with the rise in the number of users. They serve as a wake-up call to the authorities concerned to have a robust and effective mechanism for cyber security in India. To mitigate the hazards of cyber attacks, the government would necessarily have to initiate cyber security measures.
Cyber threats can be disaggregated, based on the culprits and their intentions, into four baskets: cyber terrorism, cyber crime, cyber warfare, and cyber espionage. Cyber attackers use multiple vulnerabilities in cyberspace to perpetrate these acts. They deliberately attempt to access valuable information, usually with the goal of theft, damage, disruption or other lawful actions. Hacking is a common way of penetrating the defenses of protected computer systems and interfering with their functioning. Identity theft is also common. The scope and nature of cyber threats and vulnerabilities are building up with every passing day.
So far, cyber security in India has received little attention from our policy makers. It is essential that more attention at the highest level is paid to make sure that cyber-related vulnerabilities that can impact on critical sectors are recognized and eradicated. Efforts must be made by the government to impart cyber crime investigation training to the law enforcement agencies and to formulate effective policies on cyber security in India. The lack of comprehensive cyber security laws and policies will surely impede India’s national security and economic development.
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