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Cybercrime on the Rise: Legal Discrepancies and the Need for Regulations

The prevention of unauthorised or unintentional access to, modification of, or destruction of data stored on computers, as well as programmes, networks, and other digital assets, is the process that is referred to as "cyber security" and is referred to by the term "cyber security." Even though the concept of safety has been around since the beginning of time, the idea of safety as it pertains to what we understand it to be today has evolved quite a bit over the years.

Attacks that are carried out via the internet have the potential to, among other things, disrupt financial systems, steal or modify confidential information, limit or disable all essential services, and obstruct official websites and networks. The management of international relations in the twenty-first century has rapidly evolved to include consideration of cyber security, despite the fact that this field is still in its infancy. It has already started having an effect on the ways in which countries relate to one another.

For example, in recent years, the United States and China have had a difficult time reaching a consensus on the issue of cyber security. This is due to the fact that both countries view the problem from very different perspectives. There have been instances in which decision-makers in the Indian setting have not given the problem of cyber security the appropriate amount of consideration when they should have.

The various governments in India have been unable to satisfy the ever-increasing demand for cyber security measures that are both effective and comprehensive. India does not have the capabilities of hostile and guarded network protection that are expected to protect against cyber attacks.

To such an extent that the government is unable to meet the ever-increasing demand for an effective cyber security infrastructure. In addition, the scope of India's cyber security programmes and operations is significantly lower when compared to that of other industrialised nations' programmes and operations.

Perspectives On Cyber Security In India

The information technology industry in India has quickly become recognised as one of the most important contributors to the country's overall economic expansion. In addition, this industry has a beneficial effect on the lives of the people living in the surrounding area as a result of the contributions it makes, either directly or indirectly, to a wide variety of socioeconomic parameters. These aspects include, amongst others, diversity, employment rates, and general living standards.

In addition, the government sector has provided support for the growing acceptance of information technology in the sectors of the nation's economy that promote the use of information technology, as well as "National initiatives such as Unique Identification Development Authority of India" (UIDAI) and "National e-government Programmes" (NeGP).

The successful implementation of these programmes has made it possible to build a comprehensive information technology infrastructure, which in turn has led to an increase in the level of business engagement. Nevertheless, in spite of the growth of India's information technology companies, there has been an urgent need to safeguard the computer environment and to establish an adequate level of confidence and trust in this industry.

This is the case despite the fact that India has a large number of information technology companies. In light of the existence of such an environment, it is of the utmost importance for the country to establish a cyber security ecosystem as quickly as humanly possible.

Despite the many significant steps that have been taken, India's projects and efforts to improve its cyber security are still relatively limited in number when compared to those of other developed nations. It has been reported by the government of India that the number of cyberattacks carried out against businesses, such as those that are engaged in the provision of banking and financial services, has significantly increased.

The nation ranks number seven when it comes to the number of cyber attacks and number eighty-five when it comes to the number of Internet connections. In addition, India is still regarded as an attractive target by cybercriminals, with approximately 69 percent of targeted attacks concentrating their attention on significant businesses.

According to a study that was carried out by Symantec, a company that develops software for the purpose of providing security, nearly four out of ten attacks in India target non-traditional service categories like commercial, hotel, and personal services. As a consequence of this, India must immediately formulate a plan for effectively handling cyber crises in order to mount an effective defence against cyber attacks.

India's New Cyber Security Policy

We, as a nation, are dedicated to maintaining our fight against the intrusive and faceless adversaries who rule the arena of cyberspace. This is done with the goal of preventing infringements on our sovereignty, jurisdiction, and privacy.

Our digital defences are more vulnerable than they have ever been as a direct result of this. There were 1.16 million incidents of cyber security in 2020, which is a threefold increase from the previous year's total number of incidents. This information was gleaned from the statistics collected by the Indian government in 2020. Many government websites in India disclosed the COVID-19 lab test results of thousands of the country's residents at the beginning of the year 2021.

It is ironic that despite the widespread awareness of the potential threats that may be posed by activities in cyberspace, the state does not yet have a strategy that defines the necessary procedures to counteract these threats. However, in order to achieve stability and security with regard to the issues of cyber security, India needs to plan and implement a strategy that places an emphasis on working together.

The revised Cybersecurity Policy needs to include provisions for dealing with these three crucial areas:
  1. The Legal Constitutional Structure:
    Despite the fact that India does not have any specific laws pertaining to cyber security, the Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000 addresses both cyber security as well as the crimes that are associated with being online. "The Indian Penal Code, 1860 (which punishes offences, including those committed in cyberspace), as well as the Companies (Management and Administration) Rules 2014, which were formed under the Companies Act 2013, both have certain laws pertaining to cyber security,"
  2. Cyber Response Entity:
    Any organisation that is responsible for the management of cyberspace on a national level should have a distinct chain of command in order to make the best possible use of all of the resources that are currently available. Unfortunately, a structure of this kind does not yet exist. The Indian government is comprised of a number of institutions, each of which deals with a unique aspect of cyber security, and these institutions collaborate with one another.

    In the pursuit of a common goal, it is of the utmost importance to coordinate the efforts of specialists who are now employed by several different government ministries and departments. It is possible that the government will create an organisation that operates in a manner analogous to a National Cyber Command.
  3. The protection of data Data is a public resource, and the most amount of information that can be transmitted is done so with the help of the internet and other forms of electronic communication. The vast majority of nations, both their governments and their citizens, are dependent on the internet for a variety of everyday operations, and as a result, the majority of these nations have enacted some kind of data privacy regulation.

    The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was enacted in the European Union, while in the United States, the California Consumer Privacy Act was passed. Despite the fact that the personal information of a number of Indian citizens has been stolen or otherwise compromised on multiple occasions, there has been no rush to pass the Data Protection Bill since it was presented to the Indian Parliament in 2019. (a fact that has been widely reported in the media).
The fact that there is currently an issue with cyber security is not something that should be ignored; in fact, this cannot be done at this time. In spite of the fact that a society devoid of criminal activity is unachievable and can only exist in the realm of the imagination, there must be ongoing efforts made to reduce criminal activity to a minimum through the implementation of regulations. Lawmakers will need to go above and beyond to ensure that imposters are kept at bay in this society, as it is inevitable that this rate of criminal activity will rise.

Because of this, the entire landscape of terrorism will undergo significant change. It is essential to have a common goal or vision in order for international cooperation to be successful in ensuring cyber security, preventing cyber war, and reducing the number of cyber crimes. When it comes to India's strategy against terrorism, the time has come to put more emphasis on cyber security.

Written By:

  1. Madhur Khatri and
  2. Ridhi Rajani - Second-year law student at NMIMS Mumbai.

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