October 27, 2020

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Compendium on Digital India: Cybersecurity

In a press statement, India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has announced the release of a “Digital India Compendium”, titled Digital Bharat, Saksham Bharat.

The objective of the document is to disseminate and outline the success of the Digital India initiative. It is divided into two sections, the digital profile of India and the digital profiles of states and union territories in India.

The digital profile of India consists of an in-depth analysis, a comparative study of the implementation of Digital India, and the impact it has had on Indian citizens.

Along with the state-wise digital profiles, the second part of the document discusses several initiatives launched under Digital India.

One of the areas the document outlines is how India aims to create secure cyberspace. It said that millions of people in the country rely on the services and information available in cyberspace.

It noted that as the quantity and value of electronic information has increased, so have business models and efforts of criminals, that use cyberspace as a convenient and profitable way of carrying out their activities anonymously. Hence, the security of the country’s cyberspace has become an important part of the national agenda.

The National Cyber Security Policy, 2013 is aimed at building a secure and resilient cyberspace for citizens, businesses and the government. By protecting information infrastructures, building capabilities to prevent and respond to cyber threats, reducing vulnerabilities, and minimising damage from cyber incidents.

Some of the initiatives India has launched for cybersecurity are:

The National Cyber Coordination Centre (NCCC)

The government set up the NCCC to generate macroscopic views of cybersecurity breaches and cybersecurity threats in the country. The centre scans the cyberspace in the country at a metadata level and generates near real-time situational awareness.

The NCCC is a multi-stakeholder body and implemented by Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) at MeitY. The first phase of NCCC was operationalised in 2017 and plans for the final version of the project is in progress.

Cyber Swachhta Kendra (CSK)

The Cyber Swachhta Kendra is operated by the CERT-In team. By providing free tools and security best practices for citizens, CSK helps users to securely carry out digital payments, secure their personal computers, broadband routers, and mobile phones.

The centre operates in collaboration with Internet service providers (ISPs), antivirus companies, and academia to facilitate productive interactions in terms of guidance and communication between the government and the public.

It also provides free bot removal tool, various security tools, security best practices, and information to users to secure their systems and devices, while spreading cybersecurity awareness.

Indigenous Cybersecurity Solutions

  • Social Media Analytics Tool

The tool collects data from social media platforms and analyses data to generate statistical information. It has been deployed in various locations at several Law Enforcing Agencies (LEAs).

  • Early Warning Framework (EWF) Tool

The EWF was developed for big data security analytics on DNS (Domain Name System), BGP (Border Gateway Protocol), and security events. It detects botnets, APT, ransomware, and other malware threats using machine learning and threat intelligence. It also detects prefix and route hijacking.

  • m-Kavach – Mobile Device Security Solution

This mobile application addresses various threats related to mobile phones, such as the misuse of resources like WiFi, Bluetooth, and mobile data by preventing unauthorised access to these resources and protects against JavaScript Malware.

Users can restrict access to critical applications like mobile wallets and social media apps, and can also block unwanted calls and SMS.