India needs a dedicated cyber army to tackle the increasing cybercrime in the country. Cybersecurity has become a critical element of national security.
A cyber-army is a group of soldiers highly skilled in information technology with cyber skills. Cyber-armies are the unseen military that provides cyber power to the country and should employ to maintain national cybersecurity.
A cyber-army can launch cyberattacks and collect information to gain a strategic military advantage.
The Indian Government needs to focus on the establishment of an Indian Cyber-Army to defend and protect cyber sovereignty.
The Indian government also needs to aware its citizen about cybersecurity awareness in conjunction with rapidly growing rates of cybercrime in the country.
A study has shown that India will have 1 billion smartphone users by 2026. The country was home to 1.2 billion mobile subscribers in 2021, of which about 750 million were smartphone users. As on January 2021, India had 448 million social media users.
According to the Computer Emergency Response Team data, India witnessed a three-fold increase in cybersecurity-related incidents in 2020 compared to 2019, recording 1.16 million breaches.
India’s Infrastructure is highly vulnerable like payments systems, power grids, dams, industries, nuclear facilities, and telecommunications infrastructure.
Recently, A state-operated container terminal at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) was crippled for a couple of days due to a suspected ransomware attack.
India needs a dedicated cyber army
India needs a dedicated cyber army to ensure the country’s national security in cyberspace.
India needs to review its cyber-defense policies. The country also needs to give equal attention to building a deterrent cyber-offensive capability.
The government is taking far too long in finalising a National Cyber Security Strategy.
Cyber capability ranks
India is positioned among third-tier countries on a spectrum of cyber warfare capabilities. Researchers from the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) ranked countries on a spectrum of cyber capabilities, from the strength of their digital economies and the maturity of their intelligence and security functions to how well cyber facilities were integrated with military operations.
Assessment of cyber power capabilities conducted in 15 countries. The ongoing study will cover 40 countries including Germany, Singapore, and Nigeria among others.
The study also found that only the US is ranked as a “top tier” cyber power whereas China, Russia, the UK, Australia, Canada, France, and Israel are in the second tier. The study also highlighted that China’s cyber power is at least a decade behind the US.
The assessment measures a country’s cyber abilities on seven parameters — strategy, governance, and control of cyber capabilities, core cyber-intelligence capability, cyber empowerment and dependence, cyber security and resilience, global leadership in cyberspace affairs, and offensive cyber capability.
The report also said, “India has made only ‘modest progress’ in developing” a cybersecurity policy, despite the “geo-strategic instability” in the region and a “keen awareness” of the cyber threat it faces.
Cyberspace extends limitless opportunities for digital subversion, exacerbating the problem greatly.
Using cyber technology and appealing in the name of radical Islam, even a non-state actor enemy can become a source of explosive damage and can do so while cloaking in deniability.
It’s time India begins to think doctrinally about and prepare for a new age of cyber terror and cyber warfare.
India must have to develop its cyber weapons to defend its information space.
In India’s case, one of the things we should be most careful about is the UPI infrastructure that’s powering a bulk of our payments today. If that gets attacked then your payments go down and everything could come to a halt.
Addressing the national conference on ‘Cyber Safety and National Security, Home Minister Amit Shah mentioned that the government is fully alert to all kinds of cyber threats and upgrading its system and for this purpose, the following agencies function under the umbrella of the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (14C).
14C consists of National Cyber Crime reporting Portal; National Cyber Threat Analytics Unit; National Cyber Crime Forensic Laboratory; Joint Cyber Crime Coordination Team; National Cyber Crime Training Centre; Cyber Crime Research and Innovation Centre and National Cyber Crime Eco-system and Management Unit.
The conclusion is that India needs a dedicated cyber army to tackle cybercrime.