The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has ranked India 10th in the Global Cyber Security Index (GCI) 2020. India improved 37 places from 47th in 2018. In the Asia-Pacific region, India was ranked 4th, ahead of arch-rivals Pakistan and China, who were ranked 79 and 33, respectively.
The Index ranks countries on the basis of legal measures, technical measures, organizational measures, capacity development, and cooperation. It asks questions to countries, and in this year’s edition, it asked 82 questions to counties in an attempt to measure 20 indicators.
Announcing the achievement, the Permanent Mission of India to the UN, Geneva, tweeted:
The Global Cybersecurity Index
The ITU launched the initiatives in 2015. It assesses five pillars of the cybersecurity agenda.
According to ITU, “For each of the pillars – (i) legal, (ii) technical, (iii) organizational, (iv) capacity development, and (v) cooperation – country commitment was assessed through a question-based online survey, which further allowed for the collection of supporting evidence. Through consultation with a group of experts, these questions were weighted in order to arrive at an overall GCI score.”
Speaking to The Economic Times, Lt General Rajesh Pant, India’s National Cyber Security Co-Ordinator, gave credit to two major initiatives- the Trusted Telecom Directive and the National Cyber Security Strategy, 2021. The strategy is awaiting the Cabinet’s go-ahead.
Covid-19 and Recent Cyber Security Incidents in India
Security breaches have seen a massive surge since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. In 2021, Domino’s leaked 13 TB of personal and financial data. Facebook leaked data of 61 lakh Indian users, and CERT-In had even issued an advisory. A security researcher found a Telegram bot selling user data from a different Facebook database. LinkedIn also leaked data of 500 mn users, while Upstox leaked data of 25 lakh users. Mobikwik exposed 35 lakh Indians, Moneycontrol data breach impacted 7 lakh Indians, and Zee5’s leak stood at 90 lakh users.
But it’s not just limited to private entities, it was reported that the Chinese government sponsored the Mumbai blackout. Most recently, Air India disclosed a data breach affecting 45 lakh users from around the world. The Ministry of Home Affairs had informed the parliament that India faced 12 lakh cybersecurity incidents in 2020 alone.
As a result of massive cybersecurity incidents, premiums of cyber insurance have also increased.
You can read the GCI report here.