Is In­dia safe?

Mid Day - - BREAKING IT DOWN -

For In­dia, the risk is most prom­i­nent and im­me­di­ate from China and Pak­istan, sug­gest ex­perts. “The chances of wars be­ing fought purely in the cy­berspace are slim, but it will be used as a force mul­ti­plier. Al­ready, these at­tacks are car­ried out on a daily ba­sis. That said, In­dia’s de­fence has been strong enough to stop most of these at­tacks,” says Mu­n­ish Sharma, con­sul­tant, In­sti­tute for De­fence Stud­ies and Analy­ses (IDSA).

Dr Che­rian Sa­muel, re­search fel­low at IDSA who has has writ­ten sev­eral pa­pers on cy­ber se­cu­rity, says, “Cy­ber at­tacks are an easy way to make other coun­tries in­se­cure, be­cause tech­nol­ogy has be­come in­te­gral to ev­ery­thing.”

He added, “The rules of en­gage­ment are blurred. First of all, at­tri­bu­tion of an at­tack is dif­fi­cult, be­cause non-state ac­tors have ac­cess to same tech as the state, which has never hap­pened be­fore.”

The threat is om­nipresent and three-di­men­sional, agrees Sharma, but as­sures that the govern­ment has taken steps like ap­point­ing a na­tional cy­ber se­cu­rity co­or­di­na­tor, Gul­shan Rai, in 2015. A de­fence cy­ber agency is in the pipe­line as well.

Dr Sa­muel added, “While some have called for a Min­is­ter of Cy­ber­se­cu­rity, that might be over­reach­ing. In fact, in Aus­tralia, they have scrapped that po­si­tion af­ter hav­ing a min­is­ter for two years.”

For the first time, non-state ac­tors have ac­cess to same tech­nol­ogy as the state

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