By Anubhuti Vishnoi
April 02, 2009
New Delhi: The Indian Government seems to have finally woken up to the
threat of cyber terrorism, and is putting together a full-fledged Crisis
Management Plan for countering cyber attacks like the recent one on
Having identified critical sectors that could be vulnerable to cyber
attacks, the Ministry of Communications & Information Technology has
issued security guidelines to all ministries and Government departments
asking them to set up 24x7 cyber control rooms, implement information
security best practices, deploy information security experts, formulate
their own information security policies and ensure background checks of
all personnel employed in IT divisions. Henceforth, the National Crisis
Management Committee (NCMC) headed by the Cabinet Secretary will also be
monitoring all national-level cyber crises.
The Armed Forces, defence production and research, power, Oil and gas,
stock exchanges, depositories, banks and financial institutions, space
research installations, Internet services, Telecom and data centers,
broadcasting services, railways, civil aviation, shipping and surface
transport, public utilities and law enforcement agencies have been
identified as critical sectors, with both public and private
installation marked as vulnerable.
The plan mandates that central administrative departments under each
critical sector will set up 24-hour control rooms which will get
activated immediately after a crisis situation is reported and also
prepare detailed contingency plans. Each organisation has also been
directed to screen and do background checks of all employees engaged in
implementing and monitoring cyber security and crisis management plans
including contractors and third party users. This screening entails that
each employee be checked for satisfactory character references, accuracy
of CVs, claimed academic and professional qualifications, credit checks,
criminal record checks and independent identity checks in the form of
passport or similar documents.
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