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In the wake of the growing attacks, the government is training 4,000 cyber security officers

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The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has practically trained over 4,000 government officials in cyber security in the last three months, following an increase in such attacks, well-known officials told the Hindustan Times.

The course, which started last December, offers two variants a one-day basic training to avoid cases of cyberbullying and digital sanitation, and a five-day deep dive into the technical aspects of the same. The Center for the Development of Advanced Informatization (CDAC), Hyderabad is the implementing agency for both training programs. More and more government officials are applying for the course, said an official on condition of anonymity. We aim to test and train all government employees over six months.

HT, last month, reported several cases in which government domain email addresses were used to launch cyber attacks. Detecting critical vulnerabilities on some government servers, which could have given attackers access to sensitive networks, underscores the need to make the country’s digital infrastructure more secure.

The training includes information security at the organizational level, cyber ethics and details of cybercrime, data, passwords and email security, mobile security, mobile application security and social engineering attacks. The initial six to eight hours, which constitute the basic training, also cover social media security and secured financial transactions. One thousand participants can be trained during the webinar, in accordance with the course document achieved by HT.

Read also | The center plans tougher security measures for government officials 300 thousand

The advanced session, officials said, had fewer holders. Over 500 people registered and completed the program that addresses the cyber security basics for the IT / ICT environment, information security policies, procedures and guidelines, and system and network security concepts. The program includes information security audits and assessments, including various cyber security threats and incident response. This session is more focused and has 10 participants during a course.

The country has seen a sharp increase in the number of cyber incidents in various sectors. According to information reported and tracked by the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), 17,560, 24,768 and 26,121 Indian websites were hacked during 2018, 2019 and 2020, respectively, the ministry told Rajya Sabha on 18 Mars in response to a starless question.

According to the records analyzed and made available to CERT-In, the Internet Protocol (IP) addresses of the computers from which the attacks appear to have originated belong to various countries including Algeria, Brazil, China, France, Indonesia, the Netherlands. , North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Serbia, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, USA, Vietnam, etc., the ministry had said.

Union Minister for MeitY Sanjay Dhotre also told Parliament that in the last six months, during the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been an increase in malware scans and infections across sectors.

A total of 110, 54 and 59 websites of state ministries, departments and governments were hacked in 2018, 2019 and 2020, respectively, the minister said in a written response to Rajya Sabha.

HT, on March 5, reported that cyber operations by state actors and social media abuse for narrative warfare are some of the specific threats that the government may recognize in the National Cyber ​​Security Strategy, 2021 (NCSS 2021), a policy document that also can make it mandatory for any business or government department with an important IT interface to create a cyber security cell.

This will be part of a long-awaited review of how India views and approaches risks in the digital realm. India’s current stance stems from the 2013 National Cyber ​​Security Policy, which officials and experts say is obsolete in the face of a landscape of threats affecting national security, governance and critical infrastructure, communications and business deeper than ever.

Over the past two years, India has also faced several high-profile cyber attacks, including those allegedly originating in North Korea targeting the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant and the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) in 2019. Early this week, security consultants announced the finding of a China-backed operation to target India’s electricity grid.

Subimal Bhattacharjee, an independent consultant on defense and cyber affairs, said online cyber security training for government employees is desirable and should be pursued more vigorously. This is a good step by the government to sensitize the bases for all employees and also to have a special course for the technical staff of each ministry / department, he said. At the same time, employees should also be trained that they should keep their official and government online platforms separate and have well-defined access to official networks. A greater number of employees should be motivated to undertake these courses and continue to update after courses periodically.

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