Info-tech

National Security Advisor wants Govt networks to have limited access to Net

Thomas K Thomas New Delhi | Updated on November 22, 2017 Published on June 13, 2013

System developed by Department of Atomic Energy being put under trial

The Deputy National Security Advisor has proposed to develop a secure network, with limited exposure to the World Wide Web, for various Government ministries and departments in the wake of the recent media expose about US authorities accessing data from foreign countries, including India.

The proposed network would be on the lines of the Trusted Internet Connections developed by the US Home Security.

The current networks have numerous interface points to the Internet making them vulnerable to cyber threats and organised snooping by other countries. At a recently held meeting of the National Security Council, the Deputy NSA has suggested deploying a secured access system developed by the Department of Atomic Energy.

Such a network aims to optimise and standardise the security of individual external network connections currently in use by Government agencies, including connections to the Internet. The initiative will improve the Government’s response capability through the reduction of external connections. It will also provide enhanced monitoring and situational awareness of external network connections.

The quantum of cyber attacks on Indian Web sites and networks has increased multiple times over the last 2-3 years. Recently international media reported that the US security agencies were accessing user data from Internet companies such as Google and Facebook, including from Indian users. The problem is that a number of Indian Government officers use email services offered by the likes of Google and Microsoft.

During the recent meeting of the National Security Council, it was pointed out that the email services offered by the National Informatics Centre should be ramped up and protected against vulnerabilities. The email server of a defence public sector undertaking was recently compromised.

US-like network

With terrorists and unfriendly countries using the World Wide Web to mount attacks, India is also planning to set up a US-like information sharing network that would send out alerts of possible threats to cyber security.

Called Information Sharing & Analysis Centre (ISAC), would act like a watchdog against possible attacks on Indian cyber space. The idea was floated by the Data Security Council of India, an industry body set up by Nasscom.

Globally, anti-social elements have been attacking telecom, banking and power networks through spyware or virus that cripples the infrastructure in the entire country.

> thomas.thomas@thehindu.co.in

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Published on June 13, 2013
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