New Delhi: The news of journalists and human rights activists being targeted for surveillance, using Israeli spyware Pegasus via WhatsApp, shocked the nation on Thursday. Despite the policy formulated in 2013 towards cyber security, India's ranking in security arrangements is continuously trailing.
In 2017, India stood at 23 and Britain was placed ahead at 12.
While Britain adjusted its mechanisms with ever-increasing cyber security risks and potential threats, India is believed to have ignored these red flags. Due to measures taken by Britain, it leapt to Rank 1 in 2018 and India descended to 47.
In the contemporary scenario, stringent models need to be adopted by the government. Data showing various cyber security arrangements adopted by other countries were synthesised by the news agency IANS, using inputs released from the global index released by the International Telecommunication Union.
The globe is rapidly implementing numerous measures to avoid any threat posed by the cyber world. Experts, however, believe that no such promptness or seriousness was shown by India.
Well-known cyber security specialist Pavan Duggal told IANS: "To deal with this issue, there should be a concrete policy as well as strategy. To solidify cyber security, a significant amount of monetary allocation is also required. In my view, compared to other countries, India has lots of gaps and shortcomings in this area."
"India needs to work on cyber security with more seriousness. If we compare the budgetary allocation towards cyber security in Britain with India, we shall realise that our country stands nowhere closer to the UK. They took the matter quite seriously after an attack on their heath-medical online service. Therefore, they are one of the leading nations today," Duggal said.
Britain, which stood first for its security arrangements, is no less vulnerable to cyber attacks. According to a report, on an average, a cyber attack takes place in Britain every 50 seconds. To counter such threats, Britain had alotted 1.9 billion pounds (approx. Rs 174 billion) for five years in its budgetary allocation.
Another expert, on the condition of anonymity, said: "We need to pull up our socks and get serious on cyber security soon. The attackers are looking for an opportunity to breach into India's so-called weak cyber security walls."
The Indian government on Thursday asked the Facebook-owned messaging platform Whatsapp to explain the recent breach and list out measures that have been taken to safeguard the privacy of millions of Indians.
Information and Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had tweeted that the government was committed to protecting the privacy of Indian citizens.