Arun Shourie calls for fire-walling strategic establishments

Observing that conventional warfare has given way to cyber warfare, former union IT minister Arun Shourie lamented India`s "unpreparedness" and called for firewalling strategic establishments.

IANS| Last Updated: Jun 30, 2014, 00:36 AM IST

Kolkata: Observing that conventional warfare has given way to cyber warfare, former union IT minister Arun Shourie Sunday lamented India`s "unpreparedness" and called for firewalling strategic establishments.

Laying the foundation stone of the R.C. Bose Centre for Cryptology and Security at the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) here, Shourie called for more such centres to develop India`s indigenous capabilities in information security.

"With the click of a button, our enemies can paralyse our important and strategic establishments or even the country. Besides foreign countries, we also need to be on our guard against terrorist organisation who are known to be highly proficient in technology," said Shourie.

Citing the 2007 cyber attacks on Estonia as well as the hacking of personal computer of the Dalai Lama, Shourie called for immediate firewalling of all strategic and infrastructural establishments.
"China has been very explicit and has listed out 15-20 points where they want to strike and paralyze and disorient another country. While investigating the computer hacking of Dalai Lama, experts from the University of Toronto found that computers from 130 countries were being monitored including Indian embassies," he said.

"So when are we going to wake up? The sad part is, the government`s initiative to firewall important establishments is still lingering where it was 10 years ago," said Shourie.

Talking about the Rs.115 crore centre expected to be completed in the next two years, ISI director Bimal K Roy said it will play a significant role in augmenting indigenous capabilities in the critical fields of Cryptology and Information Security.

"It is an important element of the overall efforts and framework to enhance capabilities to ensure holistic security of Indian cyber space. With an eminent body of world class experts, it will act as a hub for all cryptographic requirements, cutting edge research and technology development within the country," said Roy.