China’s cyber warfare a serious threat Global meet advocates India to unite

By A O News Service

ITANAGAR, Aug 07: Indian armed forces posted along the LAC are facing problem in radio communication after China rolled out 5G networks along the border areas on its side posing security threat to India. This has left the authorities concerned in India scrambling to find a solution to deal with the pressing problem and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) started work to find a permanent solution to the emerging problem.

However, the need of the hour is what an international conference on ‘Dynamics & Paradigms of Cyber World-2022’, advocated Indians to unite against China. It was conducted by Forum for National Awareness and Security (FANS) at Ambedkar International Centre, New Delhi to create awareness about cyberspace and increasing threat of cyber warfare in its myriad forms from ‘Ground Zero’, its Arunachal Pradesh president Virendra Pandey told this daily on Sunday

It apprised participants from different fields about sophisticated nature of virtual world, cyber-attacks on individual and mass levels, weaponisation of information, dark web, psychological manipulation of state machinery and need for well-trained professionals to ensure Bharat becomes a cyber-secure nation.

Highlighting importance of data protection law, MoS Arjun Ram Meghwal, in his inaugural address as chief guest, called for evolving a mechanism to regulate information spread to threaten cyber-security and create social problems in the country.

Efforts are on to create a national cyberspace for India’s vast cyberspace domain to secure it, Lt. Gen Rajesh Pant said and hinted about concept of ‘Sovereign Cyberspace’ to offer a nation its own jurisdiction. The rising dependence on cyberspace was due to COVID-19 pandemic, he said while highlighting various strategies developed by the GoI to tackle cyber- attacks and cyber-warfare.

The national initiatives to demarcate seven critical sectors (Govt, BFSI, public & strategic enterprise, healthcare, transportation, telecom, power & energy), cyber threat landscape (CTL), difference between global and national cyberspace and the way ahead is the matter of concern, he said, adding India has jumped to 10th position from 47th in Global Cyber Security Index by UN (ITU).

Lt. Gen Pant stressed to focus on: policy & strategy, capacity building, training, awareness & skill development, Indian cyber crime coordinating centers, testing & certification and cyber diplomacy & cooperation to secure our nation.

Though cyberspace is an excellent vehicle of development, but poses serious challenges, said Golok Behari Rai, adding it not only influences lives of common people but also a nation’s governance.

FANS patron Indresh Kumar, in his keynote address, hinted at different aspects of cyberspace and lauded efforts made by Indians to tackle the problems.

People of late have developed the tendency to look at everything from a consumerist perspective, which blurs our vision and blunts the intention to solve a problem. Cyber-warriors can be developed on mission-mode approach not consumerism-mode, he added.

As Indians, we should recognise that the core of bond of our unity lies in quintessential sense of Bharat-Bhartiya, Hindustan-Hindustani, India-Indian, pivot of our identity. Taking a dig at fundamentalist mindset, he said Indians accepted the Bible along with Christianity and the churches, the Quran with Islamm and the mosques, but 103 Christian countries and 24 Muslim countries never accepted Bhagavadagita and the Guru Granth Sahib with Hindus and their mandirs, and Sikhs and their gurudwaras respectively.

He expressed shock “for labeling us as communal and their approach as secular”. On ‘One China-Policy’ and aggressive land grabbing in neighboring nations, he said “we must change our perspective to fight with increasing threat of cyber-war and work for the nation.

The workshop, conducted by Israeli security experts Oded Awaskar, Amir Shimon Groman and Itzhak Levy was highly informative and enriching. They spoke on cyber security breaches & vulnerabilities. Their nuanced explanation drove home the gravity of present situation, i.e. the many threats to national security looming large. Their captivating visual presentation on defensive-offensive mechanism, cyber-attack incidents (on individual and companies), Google-timeline, phishing, password leaks, SOCs, cyber-security in the corporate world, 1-day vulnerabilities and 0-day concepts was thought-provoking. They stressed on the need of skilled people to handle ever-changing world of cyberspace.

A panel discussion on “women in cyber security”, Dr. Karnika Seth, Shweta A. Chawla and Maj (Rtd) Neha Patel, moderated by Dr. Pooja Bhatt, discussed role of women; cyberspace as gender neutral, non-discriminatory, level-playing field for everyone;  how to increase participation of women & their  training, while

.Dr. Karnika suggested that cyber-moots & cyber-startups projects should be promoted in law schools.

There are numerous opportunities for women who should be trained to fill the work-gaps and skill-gaps to ensure equal participation, Maj Patel said while Shweta called for concentrating on skills to deal with cyberspace evils though human-oriented aspect of cyberspace.

Speaking on “social media, fake news and information spinning”, IPS officer Brijesh Singh cited Mumbai incident which was due to misinformation. Information warfare now has sophisticated and lethal, he said, adding called for nipping such activities in the bud.

The cyberspace is founded on binary numbers 0 and 1, thus the idea of ‘Ground-Zero’ reflecting inimitable contribution of India to cyberspace, coordinator Alok Vijayant said earlier. Cyberspace has become a threat because of its rising reliance globally but focus shoul ne given to cyber-security aspects to secure our nation on all fronts, he added.

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Around 600 people, including dignitaries from USA, Israel, Indian MPs, academicians, researchers, think tanks, cyber professionals and journalists took part in the conference whose co-partners were Telecommunications Consultants India Limited and Jamia Millia Islamia University.

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