Technology Computer & Networking security

India To Establish Cyber Command Authority. Online Computer Training Can Create Awareness

During the recent past, countries across the world have witnessed cyber-attacks on computer systems and websites of government departments and defense establishments. Some of the countries, which have suffered cyber-attacks on government websites during the past few years, include U.S, China, S.Korea, Germany, India, Australia, Argentina, Estonia and Georgia. The computer systems of the Pentagon, the U.S Department of Defense headquarters have repeatedly faced hacking attacks. While China has been blamed by many countries for cyber-attacks, the country has also reported hacking attacks on defense ministry websites.

Recently, India has announced plans to establish a Cyber Command Authority (CCA) after a series of attacks on government websites, including the country's premier counter crime agency, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The decision to establish CCA was taken after a confidential report shared by U.S, which claims that intelligence agencies of over 100 foreign countries are trying to intrude into India's cyber networks. The report also cautioned that some of the agencies have developed the capabilities to destabilize information infrastructure. The proposed authority will be established after the review of cyber security scenario. Lack of security conscious environment in government departments may lead to security gaps, which may exploited by those with malicious intentions. Online computer training programs can create awareness on IT security issues among the employees. Security conscious culture is crucial to ensure security of privileged information stored in computer systems of government departments. Cyber security experts can identify and mitigate vulnerabilities through security audits, vulnerability assessments and penetration testing.

The proposed cyber command will have the mandate to deal with cyber-attacks on crucial military and infrastructure facilities such as defense installations, nuclear plants, airports, ports and power plants. On the positive front, India has the advantage of large number of IT professionals to deal with cyber security issues. However, government departments and organizations must encourage employees to regularly update their skills by undertaking security certification programs such as certified ethical hacker training program. Professionals must also keep themselves up to date on the latest threat in the cyber space.

Cyber-attacks may be initiated by hackers loyal to a rival nation, amateur hackers, organized cybercrime groups, hacktivists and foreign intelligence agencies. The recent Stuxnet attack on industrial installations, leakage of classified documents and diplomatic cables by WikiLeaks have acted as an eye-opener for many countries. Cyber security experts worldwide have expressed concerns that government sponsored cyber-attacks may quickly escalate into full-scale war if a foreign government's involvement is established by the affected country.

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