Underscoring that India was on the threshold of a digital age, former National Security Adviser M.K. Narayanan on Wednesday said the country needed to further strengthen its defensive and offensive capabilities to deal with the new wave of cyber warfare. Pointing out that India was among the top five nations affected by the complex cyber attacks, he warned that such attacks would multiply with the technological advancement.
"India is on the threshold of a digital age and the use of Aadhaar cards is becoming ubiquitous. The danger is that not only it is becoming easier to mask an identity online, but also once the malware codes come into the open market, it can be bought and repurposed by hackers anywhere in the world," Narayanan said.
He was speaking at a seminar on 'Cyber-terrorism and the economy' organised by CENERS-K (Centre for Eastern and North Eastern Regional Studies, a think tank focused on turbulence, peace and security in Eastern Hemisphere) and the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry. "Businesses in India are among the largest victims of targeted attacks. As we enter the Internet of Things period, our problems will further multiply. We need to marshal both defensive and offensive capabilities to counter this," he said.
Narayanan termed the rise of quantum computing as a demonic threat and said both the government and the industry need to upgrade the old crypto protocols to prevent any major security breach. He warned that with the increased usage of internet on all fronts the threats of cyber espionage will increase exponentially, surpassing the domains of business and commerce. "Growing interconnectivity has effectively demolished traditional security perimeters," he added.
(With inputs from agencies.)