Securing cyberspace : The Tribune India

Securing cyberspace

Safety audits, priority investment need of the hour

Securing cyberspace

Photo for representational purpose only. - File photo



THE cyberattack on the servers at New Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) is a serious jolt and a wake-up call. The same kind of frenzied intensity is required for cybersecurity preparedness as witnessed in the push to Digital India. One of the most high-profile cases of data breach targeting a government-backed entity has exposed the vulnerabilities. That the hack originated from another country and the possible involvement of a foreign state actor should lend urgency to developing robust safety locks. A review of processes, infrastructure and the responses to potential cyberattacks at the premier medical institute would follow. Scaling it up for mandatory safety audits of critical public data platforms should be the next step. Mass-scale restructuring is a costly proposition, but priority investment in security preparedness measures across organisations and systems is unavoidable.

Understanding the motive behind the AIIMS cyberattack is crucial. If the sophisticated ransomware attack is indeed an international conspiracy, as suspected, there are wider national security implications. For the government agencies tasked with cybersecurity, complex challenges springing up on a daily basis are a reality today. But then, a leading tech performer such as India should have no excuses for failing to develop top-notch guardrails. A simmering concern is the uptick in cyberattacks on medical institutions in the country post the Covid pandemic. Hackers and criminal syndicates have been targeting the large volumes of patient data.

There can be no shying away from capacity enhancement to address the sophisticated nature of cyberattacks and threats. A cyber hygiene ecosystem has to be given utmost importance. Considering the tightening nationwide hold of cybercrime, much higher budgets need to be allocated to strengthen cyber cells across all districts of the country. There is a vast army of trained professionals waiting to be put on the job. Utilise their services and train them for the emerging cyber challenges.

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