The world is on the edge of Cyber War!! The mindset of judging cyber security problems only from technical dimensions has to be ended. In today’s much more complex scenario, cyber security needs to be viewed from a different perspective, which requires new ideas, new institutions, and new dimensions.
The world around us has become digital, where all kinds of services are available online. The Internet has historically made the sharing of information and the availability of all kinds of services easier. But due to today’s simplicity of digitization, many weaknesses and defects have also come to light, and, their ugly faces are becoming more and more monstrous. Cases of misuse of personal information and its sale in the dark world are at their extreme and may still increase. Such scenarios cannot be solved by just updating the software or using a different browser or by providing some technical solution.
In 2019, the infectious disease experts of the world warned that we, the whole world, are not ready for such an epidemic!!! But almost all countries ignored this warning and suffered losses due to COVID-19. WE ARE REPEATING THIS MISTAKE!!!
Today’s digital world is historically connected, thanks to the Internet. In such an unprecedented situation, from the cyber assets of national institutions to the cyber assets of the common man, everything is under threat of Cyberattack. A completely new dimension is needed to evaluate and defend this new cyber reality of today’s world.
In a little more detail, the world of cyber security is divided into two parts:
- Offense: All threat by cyber attackers,
- Defense: Defense mechanism against such attacks.
For common understanding, the use of any type of IT asset in the cyber world for criminal activities is called Offense, and, methodically, the work of building a wall using different tools to protect against such potential or occurring crimes is called Defense. There is a need for new thinking in both these dimensions. Cyber-offenses are born out of innumerable competitive gimmicks like using the latest technology, to connect all the continents of the world through submarine cables, launch networks like 5g, and so on. Cyber defenses have come into being because human behavior in general is to find protection against such attacks. Most naturally there is no earning and fame in the activity of defense!!
Conventional wars are limited to the borders of respective countries, but cyber warfare is a global phenomenon, so the perspective of its defense should also be global. Cyber warfare can take place simultaneously in more than one developed country, and knowingly or unknowingly other countries of the world would also suffer. Therefore, to guard against global cyberwarfare, countries should come together to create a global Cyber Warfare Defense Strategy that is rooted in the national values and interests of all participating countries but also forms a common global dimension that protects against such global attacks.
This global Cyber Warfare Defense Strategy has to create rules and laws that apply to every country so that the citizens of all countries get their benefits and it cannot be misused politically. Under this strategy, there should be an agreement between all countries to share information on Cybercrimes and to apprehend the perpetrators.
India must play a key role in creating and implementing such a Global Cyber Warfare Defense Strategy. When we are showing direction to the world in digital economic transactions, let us also create a dimension of a new direction to deal with the threats against it.
We have to accept the fact that today’s world is fully connected and available all the time. Billions of people are enjoying this latest world of click-clicking, unaware of the menace of cybercrimes and the threat of cyber warfare.
Some cybersecurity stalwarts like me are alarmed by this topic and are shouting warnings that cybersecurity has become a global problem and that it is time to wake up.
Be alert, be aware, and be safe.
About the author: Mr. Kaushik Pandya is a cyber security expert and information and communication technology veteran, running his ICT consultancy firm for the past 35 years. He is the immediate past President and Advisor of the Federation of All India IT Associations of India, popularly known as FAIITA. He is also the founder and trustee of the Techno Nationalism Foundation.