‘Govt in final stages of protection against cyber attacks`

National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon said the government is "in final stages" of developing capabilities for protecting against cyber attacks.

New Delhi: Pointing out that information technology has given power to terrorists and non-state actors, National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon on Wednesday said the government is "in final stages" of developing capabilities for protecting against cyber attacks.

Releasing an IDSA report on cyber security, he said here that the same technology has enhanced the internal security capabilities through cyber penetration and a "democratic society must draw a line between the collective right to security and the individual’s right to privacy".

"The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) revolution has brought power to non-state actors and small groups such as terrorists. It has given small groups and individuals the means to threaten and act against much larger groups.

"Government is in the process of putting in place the capabilities and the systems to deal with this archaic new world of constant and undeclared cyber threat, attack, counter-attack and defence," Menon said.

He said the "government is in the final stages of preparing a whole-of-government cyber security architecture."

The NSA said 120 countries, including all the major powers, are developing offensive cyber capabilities as well as using cyber espionage and so are smaller powers who see ICT as an "equaliser".
"These technologies have also enabled individuals and small groups to use cyber space for their own ends. We in India are subject to unwelcome attention from many of them, state and non-state," he said.
Talking about the cyber security infrastructure in the country, the NSA said "while NTRO is tasked to deal with the protection of our critical security cyber infrastructure, institutions like CERT-IN have proved their worth during events like the Commonwealth Games."

Menon said the government was making a beginning in putting in place a system of certification and responsibility for telecommunication equipment and is working on procedures and protocols which will rationalise communication interception and monitoring.

"We will develop metrics to certify and assure that our critical cyber networks, equipment and infrastructure are secure. We also need to create a climate and an environment within which security is built into our cyber and communications working methods," he said.

Commenting on hacking of government websites, Menon said "websites are meant to be hit. Their success is measured by how many people access or hit them.

"So, when a website is defaced by hackers, as happened to the CBI website, it is not necessarily a security breach, though it might hurt one`s pride."