India to Set up New Defence Agency to Tackle Emerging Cyber Threats

The agency will be established in order to protect the Indian defence establishment from becoming vulnerable to cyber attacks.

India’s federal Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said the government has approved forming a Defence Cyber Agency to mitigate any possible online threats.

He told the Indian Parliament on Wednesday that all the three Services have established their respective Cyber Emergency Response Teams.

“Adequate safeguards have been instituted in the form of Cyber Audits, Physical Checks and Policy Guidelines to ensure a robust cyber posture of armed forces. Sufficient budgetary allocation is being provided for Cyber operations and capability development,” Rajnath Singh told Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Indian Parliament.

On the civilian front, India tracked over 300,000 cyber security breaches in the year to October, according to the Electronics and Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

Prasad said that cyber attacks, like phishing, network scanning and probing, virus/malicious code and website hacking, have been increasing – from over 50,000 in 2016 to 313,649 so far in 2019.

“In tune with the dynamic nature of Information Technology and emerging cyber threats, continuous efforts are required to be made by owners to protect networks by way of hardening and deploying appropriate security controls,” said Prasad.

Recently, there were reports that hackers had breached several critical establishments like the Tamil Nadu Kudankulam Nuclear Power facility and India’s national space agency, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

“There have been attempts from time-to-time to launch cyber attacks on Indian cyber space. It has been observed that attackers are compromising computer systems located in different parts of the world and use masquerading techniques and hidden servers to hide the identity of actual systems from which the attacks are being launched,” Prasad told the Indian Parliament.