The cyber ecosystem of India

The revolutionized and digitalized world of modern times would astound the human race’s forebears if they were to awaken today after a protracted period of centuries’ sleep.
Every aspect of human life has been significantly impacted by the arrival of digitalization. However, the usage of information technology has been shown to be a double-edged sword due to the sharp rise in cybercrime and its dangers.

Cyberspace is becoming a major worry for national security as India moves toward a more digital future in all domains. Data from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) shows that 52,974 incidents of cybercrime were recorded in India in 2021, up more than 5% from 50,035 cases in 2020 and more than 15% from 2019. (44,735 cases).
Although the Indian government has made initiatives to ensure cyber security, including the establishment of the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C) under the Ministry of Home Affairs to deal with all forms of cybercrime, considerable work still has to be done to fill the infrastructure gap.

How does cybersecurity work?

  • Cybersecurity, also known as information technology security, refers to the methods used to safeguard computers, networks, programmes, and data against unauthorised access or assaults that try to exploit vital information infrastructure and cyber-physical systems.
  • Cyber-physical systems link physical infrastructure and things to the Internet and to one another by integrating sensing, computing, control, and networking into them.
  • Examples include smart grids, water systems, robotics systems, and industrial control systems.
  • The Information Technology Act of 2000 defines critical information infrastructure as a computer resource that, if incapacitated or destroyed, would have a negative impact on public health, safety, the economy, or national security.
  • Malware, viruses, trojan horses, spyware, and backdoors that provide remote access are examples of cyberthreats.
  • Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS), which overwhelms networks and servers and renders them inoperable.
  • Attacks on the DNS (Domain Named System), which breach the DNS and cause websites to be redirected to nefarious domains.
  • Major Topics in Cybersecurity Include: Application Security: To safeguard applications against dangers that may arise due to design defects in the application. Information Security: To prevent unauthorised access to information, prevent identity theft, and preserve privacy.
  • Disaster recovery is a process that involves risk assessment, prioritisation, and the development of recovery plans in the event of a cyber disaster.
  • Effective network security addresses a number of dangers and prevents them from accessing or spreading on the network. o Network Security: encompasses efforts to safeguard the usability, dependability, integrity, and safety of the network.
  • Disaster recovery is a process that involves risk assessment, prioritisation, and the development of recovery plans in the event of a cyber disaster.

What are cyberwar, cyberterrorism, and cybercrime?

  • Cybercrimes: Cybercrimes are crimes in which a computer is used as a tool, a target, or both.
  • Traditional criminal behaviours, such theft, fraud, forgery, defamation, and mischief, among others, can also take place online.
  • Cyberwars are planned attempts by a nation state to undertake cyberoperations against other countries.
  • The use of the Internet for intelligence collection falls under this category.
  • The fusion of terrorism with cyberspace is known as cyberterrorism.
  • It describes illegal assaults and threats of assault on computers, networks, and the data they contain when carried out to frighten or compel a government or its citizens in pursuit of political or social goals.

What are the issues India is facing with regard to cyber security?

  • Profit-oriented infrastructure mindset: Following liberalisation, the private sector made significant investments in the telecom, power, and information technology (IT) sectors. However, their insufficient attention to readiness and recovery from cyber attacks in regulatory frameworks is a matter for worry.
  • All operators have a profit-driven mindset and do not want to spend money on infrastructure that won’t bring in money.
  • Absence of Separate Procedural Code: The investigation of computer- or cyber-related offences is not subject to a separate procedural code.
  • Cyberattacks’ Transnational Character: The majority of cybercrimes are transnational in nature. In addition to being challenging, gathering evidence from overseas countries takes a long time.
  • Expanding Digital Ecosystem: Over the past several years, India has effectively established a place for itself by digitalizing many aspects of its economy.
  • The Internet of Things (IoT) and other cutting-edge technologies will expand the ecosystem’s reach.
  • As a result of the development of digitalization, crucial consumer and citizen data will likely be maintained in digital format, and transactions are likely to be made online, making India a haven for potential hackers and cybercriminals.
  • Limited Authority and Expertise: Due to the limited resources available to investigate these crimes, cryptocurrency-related offences continue to go unreported.
  • Despite the fact that the majority of State cyber laboratories are capable of analysing hard drives and mobile devices, they have not yet received certification as “Examiners of Electronic Evidence” (by the central government). They are unable to offer professional advice on electronic data until that time.

What are India’s current cyber security regulations?

  • Indian National Security Council: To influence the cyber policy environment.
  • National Cyber Security Strategy: To place security at the forefront of all digitization efforts.
  • For notifications relating to cybersecurity breaches and problems, see Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In).
  • Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C): To deal with various cybercrime-related concerns in a thorough and coordinated way.
  • Cyber Swachhta Kendra seeks to safeguard the internet by identifying botnet infestations in India.

What Are the Best Current Solutions To the Problems of Cyber-Threats?

  • Police and public order are on the State List, therefore States have the primary responsibility for reducing crime and building the appropriate cyberinfrastructure. This is known as the Center-State Nexus Towards Secure Cyberspace.
  • The central government should look forward to developing consistent statutory processes for the law enforcement agencies as the IT Act and other significant laws are central laws.
  • The Center and States must collaborate to create statutory rules that will make it easier to investigate cybercrime. They must also commit enough money to build the much-needed and important cyber infrastructure.
  • Modernizing Cyber Labs: With the arrival of new technology, cyber forensic laboratories should be modernised.
  • A good beginning in this regard is the National Cyber Forensic Lab and the Delhi Police’s Cyber Prevention, Awareness and Detection Center (CyPAD) programme.
  • Capacity Building: It’s critical to create a system with enough power to combat cybercrime. Each district or range might have its own cyberpolice station, or each police station could have staff members who are technically skilled.
  • Reforming the Justice Delivery System: In order to maintain both the infrastructure and the safety of Indians, it is crucial to develop standardised and uniform procedures to deal with electronic evidence. This is because electronic evidence differs significantly from evidence of traditional crimes in terms of privacy invasion.
  • Creating a Cyber-Defence Mechanism: Whether conducting cyber search operations or broadening the breadth of countermeasures against cyberattacks, dealing with cyber combat requires a comprehensive strategy.
  • A more engaged, stable, and secure cyber environment is made possible by a clear public stance on cyber defence and combat.