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cyberattacks: cyberattacks have tripled in the past three years, but security tools are underused

The number of cyber-attacks in the country has tripled in the same number of years, but funds earmarked for cybersecurity have been underused, with only Rs 98.31 crore of the total sanctions amounting to Rs 213 crores.

According to government data, in 2019, the total number of cybersecurity incidents tracked by the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) was 3,94,499. This number rose to 11,58,208 in 2020 and further increased to 14,02,809 in 2021. This year, 6,74,021 cybersecurity incidents have been reported through June.

The cyberattack that brought down the servers of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi on November 23 has yet to be fully resolved.

Several agencies are investigating a cyber attack on the country’s critical installation. While the case is registered, CERT-IN, the Delhi Police and other investigating authorities are investigating the incident.

On December 1, a cyberattack briefly hacked the Jal Shakti Ministry’s Twitter account, the second major cyberattack on a government website.

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With limitless cyberspace combined with anonymity, along with the rapid growth of the Internet, the rise in cybersecurity incidents is a global phenomenon.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee noted in this year’s report that there has been a significant surge in cyber incidents and cybersecurity breaches, and it is imperative that the country’s capacity and resilience to deal with the imminent dangers in cyberspace be proportionately increased.

“Cybersecurity must remain at the top of the agenda/priority issues for the Ministry, and no financial constraints should interfere with the provision of a secure ecosystem as far as the cyber world is concerned. In fact, the Committee believes that the Ministry should align their efforts to create a safer cyber world, especially after the new challenges in this space.

“Therefore, the committee recommends an increase in funds for cybersecurity for the year ahead to prevent any disruption in this area due to a clear lack of funds,” the report says.

The report also mentions lower usage of funds in regards to CERT-in, the National Cyber ​​Security Coordination Center (NCCC), and data management.

“So, in terms of chapter underutilization, an amount of Rs 216 crore was allocated in the BE (Budget Estimate) phase during 2021-2022, which was reduced to Rs 213 crore in the RE (Revised Estimate) phase. and actual usage through January 2022 was only 98.31 crores,” the report said.

According to the Ministry of Information Technology, the government is using an automated cyberthreat sharing platform to proactively collect, analyze and share ad hoc alerts with organizations from different sectors for them to take proactive threat mitigation measures.

The Government has issued guidance to Information Security Executives (CISOs) regarding their key roles and responsibilities in application/infrastructure security and compliance.

In addition, all government websites and apps are cybersecurity tested prior to being posted.

Sites and applications are audited on a regular basis and after hosting. In addition, the government engaged 97 security audit organizations to support and audit the implementation of information security best practices.

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