Cyber Security Breaches Are Up Manifold as Internet Penetration Grows

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NEW DELHI — With the rise in Internet penetration and use of digital banking in the country, the number of cyber attacks or cyber security incidents in India have gone up multiple times over the last few years.

Data accessed by IANS said that cyber security incidents related to government institutions have increased significantly, particularly in 2022.

As many as 54,314, 48,285 and 1,92,439 cyber security incidents related to government agencies, institutions and undertakings were observed during the years 2020, 2021 and 2022, respectively.

According to official data, total number of cyber security incidents tracked by Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) during the year 2019 was 3,94,499, which spiked to 11,58,208 in 2020 and further increased to 14,02,809 in 2021. Similarly, 13,91,457 cyber security incidents were observed in 2022.

The cyber attack, which put the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi out of order on November 23 was one such example. Multiple agencies were roped in to resolve the issues.

Similarly, cyber attackers on December 1 briefly hacked the Ministry of Jal Shakti’s Twitter handle. This was the second major cyber attack on a government site after AIIMS Delhi’s server was majorly hacked.

A Parliamentary standing committee in its report observed that with the advancement of technology, cyber crimes have emerged as a major issue across the globe. The cyber crimes transcend geographical boundaries, which make it tough to track the criminals.

The Committee expressed its deep concerns over the rising trend of cyber crimes in the country. It felt that on this issue, both the Central and state governments need to get together on the same boat to tackle the growing menace of cyber crime.

“The committee observed that traditional training of the police personnel is not sufficient to deal with cyber crimes as these criminals are tech-savvy and are following new modus-operandi on a regular basis,” said the report ‘Police -Training, Modernisation and Reforms’ tabled in the Parliament this month.

The committee in the report observed that each day, cyber criminals are using newer methods and new modus-operandi to commit cyber crimes. Therefore, it is important for the police to stay updated on the new modus-operandi and technology trends adopted by criminals.

“The committee recommends that MHA may advise the states to set up cyber cells in all the districts. The states should map the cyber crime hotspots which will help in quick detection of crimes and taking proactive measures to prevent cyber crimes,” said the report

As per the Ministry of IT, the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) is the national agency for coordination of cyber incident response activities.

CERT-In, in April 2022, had issued directions for mandatory reporting of cyber incidents to CERT-In within six hours of such incidents being noticed or being brought to notice.

Moreover, CERT-In has formulated a Cyber Crisis Management Plan for countering cyber attacks and cyber-terrorism, for implementation by all ministries and departments of the Centre, state governments and their organisations and critical sectors.

It has empanelled 150 security auditing organisations to support and audit the implementation of information security best practices.

Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) have been appointed in various Central government ministries and departments as nodal officers for ensuring cyber hygiene and security aspects of their respective ministry or department.

CISOs are being sensitised regarding their roles and responsibilities and salient aspects of cyber security through skill enhancement programmes. — IANS

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