Include cyber crimes in charter of Committee on Phone Frauds: FICCI-EY report

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Minister of State for Electronics and IT, S S Ahluwalia has cautioned against indiscreet use of the internet as it was fraught with grave threats of cyber attacks, thereby depriving the user of precious data and loss of privacy. Inaugurating FICCI’s conference on Homeland Security-2018 on the theme ‘Cyber Crime Management’, in association with Vivekananda International Foundation, Ahluwalia advised self-regulation and exercise of utmost care in uploading and downloading information from the internet as any indiscretion would lead to involuntarily aiding the cyber criminals in their malicious intent. In this context, he called for training people and creating professionals trained in ethical hacking to counter the designs of the cyber criminals.

On the occasion, Ahluwalia released the FICCI-EY report on ‘Confronting the New-Age Cybercriminal: Disrupting the web of crime’.

National Cyber Security Coordinator, National Security Council Secretariat, Gulsan Rai, called upon industry professionals to put their heads together to design a framework and systems to test whether the processes were resulting in doing the job efficiently.

He underlined the need for government, industry and other stakeholders to come together to evolve standards and guidelines on the use of systems to ward off cyber attacks and create internal security systems to suit the country’s needs.

Director Vivekananda International Foundation& former Deputy National Security Adviser, Dr Arvind Gupta, suggested that India would do well to protect itself from the growing menace of cyber crimes through a series of measures. These include review of the criminal justice system, greater investment in cyber crime management, creation of indigenous security products, laying down extensive testing infrastructure, greater contribution in setting security standards at international fora, legally empowering the national coordinator to deal with security issues and higher spending by industry on R&D.

FICCI President Rashesh Shah, while lauding the work being done by the government to create digital infrastructure in the country, stressed the need for a robust mechanism to tackle the menace of cyber-crime. He suggested proactive cyber patrolling and monitoring of everything digital.

Rahul Rishi, Partner, Advisory Services, EY, said that to confront to new age cyber criminals, a well thought and effective cyber crime management strategy needs to be devised. If the law enforcement agencies have to win this battle, there is a need for a paradigm shift in the approach to policing. The focus needs to shift from conventional to contemporary methods with the right blend of upskilling and upgrading the three pillars, people, processes and technology. Predictive policing is needed to disrupt the expanding web of crime.

Rahul Chaudhry, Chair, FICCI Committee on Homeland Security and CEO, Tata Power SED, also shared his perspective on the subject.

The FICCI-EY report on ‘Confronting the New-Age Cybercriminal: Disrupting the web of crime’, notes that an Inter-Ministerial Committee on Phone Frauds (IMCPF18) has been constituted in the Ministry of Home Affairs, comprising of MHA, MeitY, Department of Financial Services, Department of Telecommunication (DoT), Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and other law enforcement agencies. This committee needs to be mandated to include cybercrimes also as part of its charter because the distinction between phones and computers has virtually disappeared with the proliferation of smart phones.

The report calls for strong bilateral agreements (national and international) on cyber crime investigations, information sharing, intelligence, the applicability of international and territorial laws, capacity building, research and development; modular restructuring of cybercrime cells with high tech tools, refining practices and investigation techniques along with human skill enhancement in the areas of digital forensics, dark web monitoring and tackling crime against women and children; strengthening the national core networks and systems with establishment and enhancement of Cybersecurity Incidence Response Team (CSIRT), Security Operations Centre (SOC), etc; developing and refining cybercrime reporting methodologies along with the adoption of emerging technologies like Robotics Processing and Automation (RPA), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and analytics for smart policing and investigations and sponsoring nation-wide cyber awareness programmes for citizens and central, state government employees.