Time to strengthen on ground cyber security – Myth vs Reality

During the two days meet the Group discussed how members of the QUAD could prevent cyber incidents and talked about preparing national and international capabilities for protection as well as response to such cyber incidents.

cyber security
To enhance cyber security the Senior Cyber Group expressed their commitment to leveraging machine learning and related advanced technologies.

QUAD member countries have reaffirmed the Senior Cyber group’s commitment to advancing a free and open Indo-Pacific that is inclusive and resilient. At a two days meeting in New Delhi on January 30-31, 2023, the Quad partners have expressed their commitment to working together to better secure cyberspace and foster an international digital economy that works for everyone.

During the two days meet the Group discussed how members of the QUAD could prevent cyber incidents and talked about preparing national and international capabilities for protection as well as response to such cyber incidents.

To enhance cyber security the Senior Cyber Group expressed their commitment to leveraging machine learning and related advanced technologies. They also agreed to establish secure channels for Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERT); private sector threat information sharing;  further enhance cyber security; creating a methodology and framework for ensuring Supply Chain Security, along with Resilience for ICT and IT systems of critical sectors.

According to Cyber Security experts these objectives have been stated in different statements issued by India, and Australia form an important part of the Group’s future-looking, leading-edge work plan.

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Things, however, according to Dr (Prof) Nishakant Ojha, Advisor- Cyber & Aerospace Securities, “are not as well flavored in India as in all the other QUAD partners.  India is the only QUAD partner in the list of top 10 countries for cybercrime rate and the government here has to move strategically to make it more secure. So if the suggestions of the QUAD cyber group were to even work the Indian government needs to start working from the ground up and first secure the cyberspace of our country.”

The government needs to act on all the illegal call centers operating in the country as they are being used to target illiterate and lesser aware citizens and are also being used to make scams or fake calls to residents of other countries and convince them to provide their payment details or provide the scammer access to their device to fix some issue.

As part of our shared commitment to promote safe, resilient networks and technologies the government should start to use trusted vendors in telecommunications infrastructure.

Suggested Cyber Strategies for  Quad

“To address this evolving cyber challenge, there is a need for the Joint International Cyber Investigative Task Force (JICITF) which is required to get established beyond the New Quad Formation in the Cyber Area.  The (JICITF) should be composed of partnering agencies from across law enforcement, the intelligence community, and the Ministry of Defence, with representatives who are co-located and work jointly to accomplish the organization’s mission from a whole-of-government perspective. It has to move forward from the overall conceptual layout of the Quad–An initiative framework to a different level of gambit,” Dr Ojha emphasized.

In his opinion this is the inner shell that needs to be strong enough to handle the outer shell of the Cyber Domains of the country.

Dr Ojha says: “As a unique center, the joint consortium should be provided with the primary responsibility to coordinate, integrate, and share information to support cyber threat investigations, supply and support intelligence analysis for community decision-makers, and provide value to other ongoing efforts in the fight against the cyber threat to the nation.”

Some of the areas where the Quad partners had to work are Policies, Hardware & Software Standardisation Processes, and Capacity Development among all of them.

The Task force will also be in a position to synchronize joint efforts that focus on identifying, pursuing, and defeating the actual terrorists, spies, and criminals who seek to exploit our nation’s systems. To accomplish this, the Joint International Task Force will leverage its members’ collective authorities and capabilities and collaborate with international and private sector partners to bring all available resources to bear against domestic cyber threats and their perpetrators.

Through the better coordination, collaboration, and sharing that occurs at the JICITF, members across the Indian Government work toward placing cyber criminals behind bars and removing them from International networks. “The JICITF should follow both the letter and the spirit of the law to ensure that the privacy rights of all India & other Quad Partner countries are protected throughout the investigations and efforts that it coordinates and supports,” he suggests.

As suggested & Quad Senior Cyber Group Joint Cyber security group the mission of the International Cyber Investigative  Task Force (JICITF)  should be able to suggest a Centre which can serve as a national focal point. And also a resource center for multidisciplinary research and analytic exchanges on the national goals and strategic posture of India.

Given the above scenario, a major thrust is required to create and examine the need for a robust eco-system for India which can vertically support the LEAs, Defence & other strategic organisations Electronic & Cyber warfare from China & other countries.

There should be more incentives and programmes from the government to pursue the youth of the county to learn about cyber security and build a skilled and well-aware force that is skilled in the cyber security field and can protect them and help others to prevent any cybercrimes. Using machine learning to collect, analyze and prepare data and this not at the local level but internationally or beginning with Quad Countries.

The JICITF among these countries should act strategically in support role that entails centralizing technical intelligence collection and management, providing strategic intelligence support to theater commands, enabling PLA power projection, supporting strategic defense in the space and nuclear domains, and enabling joint operations.

The Joint International Cyber Investigative Task Force (JICITF) should encompass  with strategic role involves the coordinated employment of space, cyber, and electronic warfare to “paralyze the enemy’s operational system-of-systems” and “sabotage the enemy’s war command system-of-systems” in the initial stages of the conflict between these countries.

The Joint International Cyber Investigative Joint Task Force (JICITF) will help in improving India ability to conduct information operations by integrating multiple disciplines of information warfare into a unified force, integrating cyber espionage and offense, unifying information warfare campaign planning and force development, and unifying responsibilities for command and control of information operations.

Despite a lack of efforts and the fact that India is still in transition concerning Cyber Security and by the country’s partnership in the area of Cyber, a coherent picture has emerged. “There is a need to design a framework of how the components in the area of Cyber Securities fit together and the strategic roles and missions they are intended to fulfil with the Quad Partners,” opines Dr Ojha.

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First published on: 06-02-2023 at 12:07 IST