Cyber Security

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  • PM’s address to police chiefs: A Wake up Call

    The Prime Minister’s address highlighted critical threats to internal security and expected counter-measures with the aim of refocusing the attention of the police forces on these vital issues.

    September 12, 2012

    The Invisible War in West Asia

    The two recent malware attacks on energy companies in West Asia are particularly worrisome since they represent a rapid escalation in capabilities and intent on the part of the perpetrators.

    September 07, 2012

    Manish Sawankar asked: How internet-based social media could be a threat to security, and what can be done about it?

    Cherian Samuel replies: Internet based social media is per se not a threat to security. It follows in a long line of technological innovations that have enhanced human interaction, enabling both the conveying of information, news and opinion at a rapid pace, as well as widening and deepening the democratic discourse. Like any other advancement in technology, its use comes with challenges, making it a double edged sword, in this case, for those involved with safeguarding public security. They are concerned by its potential for disrupting public order, either involuntarily through the unchecked spread of rumours, or deliberately through the propagation of misinformation with the intent of creating enmity between groups. A combination of the two was witnessed recently and has led to calls for regulating social media. However, the nature of the medium is such that it has raised valid questions as to whether such regulation is possible without infringing on the fundamental rights of the citizen relating to freedom of speech and privacy.

    Even as that debates continues, there are many other steps that the government can take to get in front of the problem. In the first instance, the authorities can use the same medium to provide correct information and nip rumours in the bud. Existing technologies and laws provide sufficient leeway to the authorities to effectively monitor internet traffic, including social media, in real-time, but are under-utilised for a variety of reasons, largely to do with coordination. In fact, along the matrix of cyber security challenges, social media pales in comparison to other challenges, such as securing critical infrastructure and countering cyber espionage, which are much more pressing and can have greater negative consequences.

    Don’t Shoot the Messenger: The ‘Un-Social’ Strategy

    The raging controversy on social media regulation post the violence in Assam has left the government in a losing perception battle. It is time to engage with the new media and exploit its potential to communicate strategically and not shoot the messenger

    August 28, 2012

    Chanchal Garg aked: What efforts India is making towards cyber security? Wouldn't indigenisation of telecom equipments help?

    Cherian Samuel replies: The government has been contemplating various steps to strengthen cyber security within the country. These include the delegation of responsibilities of securing cyber space to various agencies that have the capability to undertake these responsibilities and dialoguing with various stake holders including the private sector which owns much of the cyber infrastructure.  That said, administrative and technical measures form only part of the solution. Many of the current threats require a response in the form of user education; the general population has to be apprised of basic cyber security measures, and law enforcement and judicial professionals also have to be updated to deal with cyber issues. Much of this is happening, but at different speeds, since policy making and responsibilities are spread across different ministries. Moreover, areas such as law and order are the domain of the states.   A nodal agency on cyber security has been suggested to have a holistic approach to cyber security as against the fragmented approach that currently prevails

    As far as the indigenisation of telecom equipment is concerned, many countries are considering similar steps. This is the case because telecom and data networks are the arteries that connect the various critical infrastructures. However, the dispersion of technical know-how and manufacturing capabilities across the world, and cost considerations, and the lack of an eco-system in telecom component manufacturing within the country, just to name a few factors, are the challenges to operationalising such a policy. Many of these issues are addressed in the IDSA Task Force Report on Cyber security available here

    CBMs in Cyber Space: What should be India’s Approach?

    India should support the idea of TCBMs (transparency and confidence building measures) as a first step towards a code of conduct or eventual cyber security convention.

    June 27, 2012

    Panetta’s Prescription for New Directions in US-India Defence Relations: Cyber and Space Security

    There is an ongoing global competition to gain dominance in the space and cyber domains; while going it alone might be the best policy, collaboration with clearly laid out guidelines and end-goals is not without its benefits.

    June 08, 2012

    Emerging Trends in Cyber Security

    The absence of agreed norms of conduct in cyberspace and the scope for conducting a myriad range of malafide activities with limited risk of retribution is leading to both vertical and horizontal proliferation of such activities.

    March 28, 2012

    India's Cyber Security Challenge

    India's Cyber Security Challenge
    • Publisher: Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses

    This report argues that Government and the private sector give cyber security some priority in their security and risk management plans, and do this jointly. Being a report that is addressed to the security community in the widest sense and intended to stimulate public discussion, it relies on publicly available information.

    • ISBN 81-86019-98-7,
    • Price: ₹. 125/-
    • E-copy available

    The Year That Was in Cyberspace

    Where the next headline grabbing cyber event would take place or in what form is difficult to predict, though it could well be perpetrated by a class that is yet to open its account, the cyber terrorist.

    December 29, 2011