On 23rd March, The Ministry of Home Affairs revealed that CERT-In had 11, 58,208 cyber security incidents reported in 2020. In 2019, India had faced 3,94,499 cyber incidents. This shows a surge of almost 3x in a year. According to the experts, crisis created by the COVID has acted as a catalyst for it. While responding to other question CERT-IN told that it received 26,121 reports of Indian websites being hacked in 2020. This included 59 websites of central and state governments.
While answering whether there are reports of cyberattack into systems of the power supply companies and companies supplying COVID-19 Vaccine, MHA did not disclose particular incidents. Rather, it told that CERT-IN is managing the threat intelligence and situational awareness systems.
Measures taken by the government to curb cyber security incidents
- Cybersecurity alerts: CERT issues alerts and advisories regarding cyber threats/vulnerabilities and countermeasures
- Guidelines for Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs): Govt. issued guidelines for CISOs defining their key roles and responsibilities for securing infrastructure.
- Cyber Security Audit: All government websites are audited before hosting and also after hosting on a regular basis.
- Security Auditors: The government has empanelled security auditing organisations to support and audit implementing of Information Security Best Practices.
- Cyber Crisis Management Plan (CCMP): Government has formulated CCMP for all ministries/departments of the central government, state government, and critical sector.
- Cyber Swachhta Kendra: Government has initiated Botnet Cleaning and Malware Analysis Centre, Cyber Swachhta Kendra. The Kendra provides free tools to detect and remove malware and botnets.
- National Cyber Coordination Centre (NCCC): Government has setup NCCC for generating situational awareness of existing and potential cyber security threats. Phase-I of NCCC is operational.
Last year, Dr. Rajesh Pant, National Cyber Security Coordinator, Government of India had said that India lost around Rs. 1.25 lakh crore (roughly around $17.27 Billion) owing to cybercrimes. He also predicted that the situation will only worsen with the advent of more smart cities, Industry 4.0, 5G, etc. In contrast, cyber attacks cost $4 billion to American victims and US businesses last year.