The West Bengal government is planning to introduce the blockchain technology to protect its documents from cyber attacks. The state government’s proposed Cyber Security Centre of Excellence would be entrusted to execute the new ‘blockchain’ mechanism at various departments, a senior official of the Information Technology Department told PTI. Blockchain is an online ledger of digitally recorded transactions which is encrypted in the form of blocks, each of which is connected by a network of computers. “These days, we are storing files and records online. We have thousands of documents in the cloud, too. And in the coming days, our dependence on the Internet will increase and threats from cyber criminals will aggravate. So we have to be very cautious and apply safeguards,” the official said. “The cyber security centre will bring the best in academic, law enforcement and other sections under one roof for the best practices to counter cyber crimes,” he said. The centre will also conduct research and development on cyber crimes for which the state government will partner with private firms.
The official said the Mamata Banerjee-led government is also planning to raise the awareness level about threats of cyber crimes and precautions that need to be exercised. Officers of Kolkata Police had recently participated in a cyber security workshop conducted by the IT department at the Centre. Earlier this year, computers at some offices of the West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Limited were crippled by ‘WannaCry’ virus, a global ransomware. Ransomware is a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid. “We do not want such things to be repeated. We are trying to build foolproof security against these threats,” the official added.