India faced cyber attacks from foreign countries during lockdown: Govt tells House panel

 NEW DELHI: India faced increased attempts at cyber-attacks from foreign countries, especially China and Pakistan, during the coronavirus-induced lockdown period, the ministry of information technology and electronics has told the parliamentary standing committee on Information Technology.

The 24th report of the standing committee on IT, tabled in Lok Sabha by panel chairman Shashi Tharoor on Wednesday, said the ministry apprised the House panel that robust cyber security mechanism are imperative for the effective implementation of the Digital India programme.

It also said that while they responded to the increased risks by deploying additional security controls to monitor and block attack attempts from these countries, government would need to “significantly augment” its total budgetary support for research and development in the area of cyber security in order to address the challenges of emerging areas of cyber security.
“Additional resources were deployed in shifts to meet these requirements round the clock. Security Audit initiated and completed using trusted networks (VPN) and restricted required port access was opened for Audit. Required Audit resources from NICHQ and CoEAppSec centres were used for provisioning Code review and black box testing audit activity,” the ministry told the panel.

It also pointed to funding constraints, saying most of the existing research and development funds get consumed in sustaining ongoing projects “leaving thereby no funds for taking up projects to address the new Cyber Security challenges.”
The ministry also listed out challenges it faced during the pandemic, including providing endpoint security during Work-from-Home.
“An increase was seen in Application layer attacks during pandemic period. NIC and its employees had to continue to work in the peak and post pandemic days. Another challenge for NIC was to ensure that this was made possible in Safest way while omitting the possibilities of any spread,” the government said. 



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