Cyber India: A Country Full of Contradictions

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Pierluigi Paganini

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(Translated from the original Italian)

The Economy of India is the ninth largest in the world by nominal GDP and the fourth largest by purchasing power parity (PPP).

The country is a part of the G-20 major economies, Goldman Sachs predicts that "from 2007 to 2020, India’s GDP per capita in US$ terms will quadruple", and that the Indian economy will surpass the United States (in US$) by 2043, this are only forecast but give us an idea of the “India Power”.

In a scenario characterized by good auspices some shadows stain the incredible growth that has:

  • Corruption, it has been one of the pervasive problems affecting India.
  • Social disparities limit homogeneous growth of the entire class. This is a critical problem facing India's economy is the sharp and growing regional variations among India's different states and territories in terms of poverty, availability of infrastructure and socio-economic development

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Obviously we in the West have a completely different perception of the India nation and particularly in regards to aspects of cyberwarfare, as we consider India an advanced country that can influence the balance of cyber power.

But what is the state of the Cyber Warfare Defense And Security Of India? I’m trying to answer based on my experience and comparing it with the reality described by some by some illustrious colleagues, such as Priyanka Sharma, Owner of Cyber Laws In India Portal.

India is increasingly targeted for cyber espionage, cyber warfare, cyber terrorism, but its response to the same is not so energetic. Consider that India still has not formulated a cyber warfare policy and, as usual, the word cyber security, in the country has no meaning. This is same problem shared with a lot countries, awareness and threats perception are at low levels. 

There is no cyberspace crisis management plan for a Nation that has been involved in the main criminal cyber attacks of the last months, from Stuxnet to Duqu.  The scenario is so critical that NATO has requested stronger cooperation with India to counter growing cyber threats,  due the growing attacks are addressing Indian critical infrastructure. Even the cyber law of India needs many suitable amendments as it has become outdated.

India, like my dear Italy, needs a strong political commitment to approach this critical topic.  The government has too big of a battle to fight with many objective responsibilities. This results in tghe sidelining of cyber law and cyber security issues and this is not acceptable for a country like India in whom cyberspace is actually vulnerable to any kind of attack.

The Nation isn't ready to respond to cyber attacks, Indian defense and security against cyber warfare is missing. What puzzles me is that if a major player in the global economy is so far behind on the cyberwafare front, which are the dangers that threaten the economies of objectively lame and at default risk such as Greece, Portugal and Italy? Too high, I reply!

The good new is that India is that today India has one of the most populated workforces of a young generation in the world that must be trained, providing them ethical hacking skills development that government must encourage and subsidize. The same goes for law enforcement agencies that must be formed on cyber law issues. Presently cyber law and cyber crimes cases are not taken up by Indian police.

In this direction some firms are moving, like Perry4Law that is the First and Exclusive Techno-Legal ICT Law Firm of India and one of the few in the World. It has already open the exclusive techno legal e-learning platform/virtual campus for courses like cyber law, cyber forensics, cyber security, etc for various stakeholders. Other similar initiatives may also be in pipeline.

Conclusion

The importance of India is such that it must develope a comprehensive policy to address the cyber threat in cooperation with major countries who have devoted more attention to the problem.

Obviously it is impossible to push on this front before being able to stem the problems listed at the beginning of this article, corruption and social inequality.

To pass this difficulties I think is critical to leverage the combination of:

  • awareness through training and dissemination
  • strong political commitment

I close my post with a bitter consideration... industrialized countries such as Italy, unfortunately, are now back again on the front of cyber security and cyber warfare, and efforts requested by countries like India should be an example... but I doubt it will happen.

Special thanks to Priyanka Sharma (Owner, Cyber Laws In India Portal)

References

Cross-posted from Security Affairs

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