Scaling up the Cybersecurity of Nuclear systems in India

by October 18, 2020 0 comments

Cybersecurity

India is amongst the top five countries facing cyber threats and targeted attacks.

The world is divided to possess nuclear power. Countries like the USA and Iran, are already waging war against each other for nuclear power. Moreover, having an advanced nuclear system is important for the national security. Hence, countries are spending billions of dollars for gaining momentum in their nuclear plans.

But as nuclear power is proving to be authoritative, the nuclear system is becoming prone for cyber attacks. Over the past twenty years, five deadly cyberattacks compromised the national security in five countries. Not only affecting the internal security of any country, but cyberattacks has proven perilous for the privacy of the citizens. As new technological innovations are permeating the industry, the incidence of security breaches, and possibility of cyberattacks has heightened. That’s why scaling up cybersecurity in nuclear institutes and models, become important.

A cybersecurity breach has several implications. Due to a cyber malware, the confidential documents associated with cyber security can be leaked. It can increase the vulnerabilities of nuclear systems. With a disrupted nuclear system, the adversaries can take advantage in corrupting the communication, and preventing the flow of information. Moreover, cyber attacks are a direct threat to the integrity of any nation.

 

Policies associated with Cybersecurity

In India, many measures are taken to improve cyber security in the nuclear system. For example, in 2013, the department of Electronics and Information Technology created National cyber security policy, to mitigate the incidences of cyber attack. The government has announced setting up of Defence Cyber Agency, for battling cyber warfare and cyber infiltration in India’s defense Network. The Country also has a National Technical Research Organization (NTRO) in collaboration with Cyber Intelligence and Cyber Counter Intelligence to prevent cyber attacks.

 

Cyber Attacks in India

Many incidences of cyber breaches have challenged the national security of India. According to a report by Symantec, India is amongst the top five countries facing cyber threats and targeted attacks.

In September 2019, the cyber attack at Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant only exposed the dearth of cyber-security management in India. The attack was caused by DTRACK Virus, which was developed by a group of hackers from North Korea. It was a direct attack to the administrative framework of India, and was confirmed by ISRO. The confidentiality of large amount of data was threatened due to this attack. Moreover, it also highlighted the lack of coordination in the administrative framework of the country.

Snowden Leaks was another cyberattack, after which the need to scale up cybersecurity was recognized in the country. It is reported that in Snowden Leaks, the US National Security agency (NSA), was spying the Indian citizens. Though no concrete proof was presented, but it made the government to take the cognizance of this incident and drafted the 2013 policy, which became the pillar for public and private infrastructure.

 

Framework for Improving the Cybersecurity in the National Security Policy

Undoutedly, many measures have been taken in the recent years for enhancing the cybersecurity of India. From drafting policies to taking protective measures, the authorities have bend backwards to thwart cyber attacks. But the reason behind failure of these national security policies is the lack of coordination in the administrative and local level. To rectify this, the government must deploy a system, where the coordination between employees in the administrative and local level is maintained. Creating clusters of people with different responsibilities will help in easing up the coordination and communication in administrative level.

Moreover, India can also collaborate with other countries like UK and USA, to scale up the cybersecurity system. With this, the scope of India developing its own cyber-security infrastructure will get heightened. Moreover, the government can observe and analyse the areas where it is lacking with cybersecurity.

There is a need to upgrade the National cybersecurity policy as well. Though the policies are coherent and comprehensive, and promises to thwart cyberattacks, but it lacks the pre-requisities of security for modern times. Modification of existing technology will help in countering the possible cyberattacks in the future.

Implementing the new technological advancements in existing cybersecurity system will mitigate the risk of malware and cyberattacks. With artificial intelligence and its subsidiaries, the identification of areas that are not scaled up with cybersecurity will become feasible.

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