Govt working to set up financial CERT to tackle cyber threats

by Admin — last modified Nov 25, 2017 02:28 AM
IT secretary Ajay Prakash Sawhney says the government is getting the framework in place for financial CERT, which will be followed by other sectoral CERTs later.

The article by Komal Gupta was published in Livemint on November 16, 2017


The government is working to set up a financial Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) to tackle a rise in cyber threats to India’s financial institutions.

This will be the first sectoral CERT to be introduced in India, said IT secretary Ajay Prakash Sawhney on Wednesday.

“Right now, the one which is directly being worked on is the financial CERT. We are getting the framework in place and once that is there, we will look at other sectors, said Sawhney, responding to a question on the progress of setting up of sectoral CERTs in the country. “It will oversee the entire financial sector including banks and financial institutions,” he added.

He was addressing the Asia Pacific Computer Emergency Response Team (APCERT) Open Conference in the capital on Wednesday.

In March, the power ministry had announced setting up of four sectoral CERTs for cyber security in power systems—CERT (Transmission), CERT (Thermal), CERT (Hydro) and CERT (Distribution).

According to Sawhney, as of now, there is a national CERT and no other sectoral CERTs. While addressing the conference, he said one of the themes to be discussed will be “How sectoral CERTs can function in conjunction with the national CERT.”

CERT-In is the national nodal agency under the ministry of electronics and IT (MeitY), which deals with cyber security threats such as hacking and phishing. The agency is tasked with the collection, analysis and dissemination of information on cyber incidents and even taking emergency measures for handling cyber security incidents.

“The biggest task of sectoral CERT is to share information with the others in the industry. For example, if a bank undergoes an attack; normally the bank will perform all the necessary actions to limit the attack and to prevent it from happening in the future. But the obligation of sharing how the attack happened with all the other banks in India to make sure that they can protect their respective systems from such an attack, can be carried out by a financial CERT,” said Udbhav Tiwari, programme manager at the Centre for Internet and Society, a Bengaluru-based think tank

“From April to October 2017, around 50,000 cyber security incidents have been handled by CERT-In; including phishing, malware attacks, attacks on digital payments and targeted attacks on some of the critical industries,” said cyber security chief Gulshan Rai, who was also present at the event.

A total of 50 incidents of cyber attacks affecting 19 financial organizations have been reported from 2016 till June 2017, PTI reported in August.

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