Tuesday, July 5, 2011

International Cyber Security Policy Framework, India And International Cooperation

Cyber Security is no more the requirement for IT Companies but it has become an indispensable need for Nationals at large. This is because Internet has connected the entire World and a Cyber Criminal in one Jurisdiction can launch Cyber Attacks in another Jurisdiction.

Regional Cyber Security Initiatives have gained speed to meet these challenges. For instance, the US Cyber Space Policy Review and Cyber Security Initiative intend to boost Cyber Security for America. Similarly, Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is organising a Cyber Security Cooperation Talk. The Cyber Security Cooperation Talk of OSCE involves 56 participating Nations of the OSCE, including the United States, which will vote next week in Serbia on a resolution to improve Cyber Security Cooperation.

This shows that while International Cyber Security Organisations are not taking much interest in the field of Cyber Security and prevention of Cyber Crimes yet at the National level countries like US and Organisations like OSCE have laid down their International Strategy for Cyberspace.

The Government Departments in US have also shown an increased Cooperation in the field of Cyber Security. Now US Department of Defense (DOD) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would share their respective Cyber Security Expertise.

Further, US has also started strengthening its Cyber Security ties with other Nations and India US Homeland Security Dialogue was a part of the same. In fact, India and US have also signed a Cyber Security Cooperation Agreement. Meanwhile International Organisations have also shown their seriousness towards Cyber Crimes and they have started working in this direction.

However, Cyber Security in India is not upto the mark. We have no Cyber Security Strategy in India. Despite the importance of this issue, we have no “Effective and Implementable” Cyber Security Policy in India.

Further, we have no Cyber Warfare Policy of India, Critical ICT Infrastructure protection Policy in India, Data Protection Laws in India, Cloud Computing Policy in India, Cyber Security Laws in India, etc. Important issues like Cyber Crisis Management Plan of India, Cyber Forensics Laws in India, Legal Enablement of ICT Systems in India, etc are still not part of National Policies and Strategies of India.

At the International level we have no International Cyber Law Treaty and International Cyber Security Treaty that are “Universally Acceptable”. Further, the United Nations and other countries have still to Protect Human Rights in Cyberspace that are blatantly violated World over.

Cyber Security is essentially an International Issue and regional efforts are not conducive for the long term security of Cyberspace. For instance, EU has set up a Cyber Crimes Fighter Team, Seoul has formulated its Cyber Security Plan, Scotland Yard established its own Cyber Flying Squad, EU formed CERT Group to fight Cyber Attacks, etc. While these initiatives are timely and praiseworthy yet they are “Regional” in nature and Cyberspace and Cyber Security are International in nature.

Recent Cyber Attacks on Multinational Firms and Institutions ranging from Google and Citigroup to the International Monetary Fund, have raised fears that Governments and the Private Sector are not well equipped to deal with Cyber Attacks. It is high time that we must ensure not only an “International Harmonised Legal Framework” but also a Robust and Effective International Cyber Security Cooperation that is presently missing. India must also prepare itself for the bigger and unforeseen challenges that are waiting for it.

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