India deliberately on fresh strategies to combat China’s cyber threat

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India is deliberating on a new strategy to strengthen India’s cybersecurity during the allegations raised by China’s intrusions which may have created an impact on the operations over a key stock exchange and supply of electricity for the commercial capital of the country.

The plan will be based on coordinated responses via Ministeries which comprises of Home Affairs, Information Technology, Defense and National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre for any instances of attack, and curated audit procedures, said Rajesh Pant, former Lieutenant General, India’s National Security Coordinator. It will be given an approval by the cabinet committee on security led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The investigation for the recent suspected cyber intrusions by authorities is in-process which could potentially invoke a power outrage in Mumbai, disrupted systems in the banks and will lead to glitches at the country’s premier National Stock Exchange, he said.

“We also want to know what happened,” Pant said, who has formerly worked in Indian army and currently coordinates India’s cyber intelligence and presents the report to Prime Minister’s Office.

Sandeep Shukla, working on the state funded cybersecurity project at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur said, “India will have to work at breakneck speed to put in place stringent security for critical infrastructure.” He has further even given recommendations to the federal government in the past. He said, “There may also be a need for state financial backing to help smaller companies that are part of the grid. Because if one is hacked, entire systems can be compromised.”

He said the new strategy will curated stringent protocols which will aid in the prevention and audit to secure the government’s digitally connected domains of water, health, and education systems which are being treated as Critical infrastructure. Several other parts of infrastructure like nuclear, power and aviation which will be termed supercritical.

Pant said, “In my view, if internet-connected computers are infected by malware, I won’t say it’s an attack but an infection unless it jumps from IT systems to other operation systems…” He further asked, “It’s like a crank caller. Can you stop someone from dialing your number?”

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