India braces to thwart cyber attacks on defence facilities

cyber security

As India seeks to enhance cyber security capabilities, its preparedness to confront security threats to its defence networks seems to be inadequate.  The government has admitted to attacks on the Internet connections of some defence personnel.

“There have been cyber-attacks on some isolated Internet connections of defence personnel. However, all computers employed for official work by the defence forces are comprehensively isolated from the internet to obviate any breach,” Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said in response to a question in Parliament. Precautionary steps are being taken by the defence forces to combat cyber attacks such as maintaining physically segregated exclusive networks, cyber emergency response teams (CERTs) to take care of any threats and safeguards in the form of audits, physical checks and policy guidelines.


Steps needed to counter cyber attacks

The government has taken several steps to protect confidential information pertaining to the defence sector from cyber-attacks. However, current counter preparedness to tackle cyber threats in India and around the world is not adequate. Very few government agencies and enterprises in India are able to defend against sophisticated cyber attacks.  India will need to increase its budgets, especially in defence, or cut down its expenditure in other areas of defence activity to pay for enhancing cyber capabilities. 

Some cyber experts have even suggested that India must develop its own cyber infrastructure that may make it less vulnerable to attacks. According to them foreign hardware and software solution is not the perfect measure to tackle cyber threat. India’s defence installations have been vulnerable to cyber attacks and are facing increased such threats.

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