The Union government is set to come up with National Cyber Security Strategy 2020 for ensuring a safe, secured, trusted and resilient cyber space, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval has said.
He was delivering the keynote address at c0c0n, the two-day virtual international conference on hacking and cybersecurity, being organised jointly by the Kerala Police, the Society for the Policing of Cyber Space and the Information Security and Research Association.
Mr. Doval said that the proposed strategy aimed at bringing together all cybersecurity agencies for securing, strengthening and synergising the cybersecurity ecosystem by closely associating with businesses, citizens and beyond.
Exploiting the crisis
He said that attempts were being made by adversaries to exploit the crisis in the wake of the pandemic through various misinformation, fake news and social media campaigns. “For our adversaries, the huge data floating around in the cyber space is a goldmine for extracting information to undermine the privacy of our citizens and add to the vulnerability of protecting data of our critical information infrastructure,” Mr. Doval said.
He said that phishing campaigns using the COVID-19 theme targeted banks, defence and critical infrastructure during this period.
500% increase in cybercrime
“Malicious domains and websites to the tune of around 5,000 were registered in a short span of time. We have also witnessed an increase of 500% in cybercrime owing to people’s limited awareness and poor cyber hygiene. Financial frauds have also increased tremendously owing to the increased reliance on digital payment platforms,” said Mr. Doval who also drew attention to how a number of prominent UPI IDs and web portals were forged while fake Arogya Setu apps propped up to exploit people’s data just hours after the Prime Minister declared the launch of the PM Cares fund.
He lamented that lack of indigenous digital solutions like data-sharing facilities and social media platforms had adversely affected the nation’s self-reliance and cybersecurity. He urged start-ups to come up with solutions in tune with the country’s requirements and build capacity to ensure that the nation’s critical cyber assets were being manned by skilful native professionals in resonance with the Prime Minister’s call for Atmanirbhar.
Mr. Doval exhorted IT players in the country to focus on research and development that led to creation of intellectual properties and development of Indian products capable of competing globally.