At a glance.
- Undersea cable security.
- Notes on India's cybersecurity strategy.
Russia allegedly holds undersea cables at risk.
Amidst the rising tensions at the Russo-Ukrainian border and conflict between Moscow and NATO, reports indicate that Russia allegedly tampered with critical underwater fiber optic cables carrying digital data, including internet services, in an attempt to disable crucial world communication and information systems, Newsweek reports. (The Barent Observer confirms that the operator of the world’s northernmost subsea cable, Space Norway, reported an unexplained disruption on January 7.) Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, the UK's newly appointed head of the armed forces, says the cables are “where predominantly all the world's information and traffic travels," and that if the allegations are true, the move would be considered an act of war. Computing reports Radakin says that Russian submarine and underwater operations, which have ramped up in the last two decades, have given Russia the capability to threaten these critical underwater cables, which could "put at risk and potentially exploit the world's real information system." Recently released video evidence of a 2020 collision between British frigate the HMS Northumberland Russian submarine in 2020 have stirred further speculation of Russian maritime misconduct.
New Indian cybersecurity strategy focuses on institutional responsibility.
The Week examines India’s efforts to establish a centralized national cybersecurity strategy in order to improve institutional responsibility. Prior to 2013, the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-IN) was largely the only agency charged with issuing cybersecurity alerts and training talent. Since then, more than half a dozen institutions have become involved in the country’s cybersecurity efforts, leading to confusion regarding just who is in charge. The National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre oversees critical infrastructure, while the Defence Cyber Agency handles military cybersecurity, the ministry of home affairs heads up the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre, the ministry of electronics and communication leads the Cyber Swachhta Kendra for botnet and malware analysis, and the cyber diplomacy wing of the ministry of external affairs handles cross-border breaches. The decentralized approach has resulted in a lack of coherence and institutional responsibility.
Retired lieutenant general national security coordinator Rajesh Pant has been working with a task force to create a national cybersecurity strategy, now awaiting cabinet approval, that will bring the nation’s cybersecurity efforts under one umbrella. India is not the only country with these concerns, as cybersecurity officials across the world are seeking ways to centralize their national cyber activities. “When multiple organisations are handling cybersecurity, it becomes difficult to assign roles and responsibilities to them. There must be an umbrella organisation looking after cybersecurity in the country. This is what the UK has done after learning the lesson the hard way,” said Muktesh Chander, senior IPS officer and founder-director of NCIIPC. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been vocal about his goal of securing cyberspace, and this new national strategy could be an essential step.