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Government bolsters cybersecurity amid rising attacks on ministries and departments | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

The government is set to hire more cybersecurity professionals including chief information security officers (CISO) for minsitries and departments

At a time when cyber security attacks are rampant on ministries and departments, the government has upped efforts to hire more chief information security officers (CISO) and other cyber security officials.

Norms stipulate that every ministry/department/organisation should have their own CISOs. However, meeting that target has been tough. Now, around 150 cybersecurity professionals, including CISOs, are set to be hired.

One of their major functions will be establishing Cyber Crisis Management Groups and Cyber Crisis Management Plans (CCMP).

“CCMP for Countering Cyber Attacks and Cyber Terrorism” was launched in 2019 to create a framework for ministries/departments/bodies to deal with cyber attacks. However, last year, as Moneycontrol reported, only around half of the total number of departments and ministries in the Indian government, have their own CCMPs.

Other than that, these cybersecurity professionals will also work on implementing information security policies specific to the government ministry or department they are assigned; conducting risk assessment and management; implementing a cyber incident response plan and so on.

Separately, the Department of Telecommunications under the Ministry of Communication, too, has floated requirements for around 25 cybersecurity professionals.

This requirement is mostly related to domain-related experts who will be appointed on a contractual basis valid for a year, subject to renewal.

Are advisories ineffective?

Apart from that government organisations including defence bodies, which have recently come under attacks from external cyber attackers, are also laying down rules that aim to hold each official more accountable for their actions while handling systems, circulars accessed by Moneycontrol showed.

“Despite repeated advisories regarding cyber hygiene and cyber safety practices it has been observed that the number of cyber incidents in the organisation have considerably increased,” said one such advisory issued by the defence body, urging officials to comply with their directions.

These advisories and appointments by the government comes at a time when there has been a slew of cyberattacks on sensitive government bodies, including defence organisations.

Also read: Government warns officials of phishing scams using fake NIC IDs, websites

Recently, a government body released a warning against a cyber-attack campaign, where officials have been receiving malware-laden emails disguised as recommendations on how to prevent honey trapping.

The government also aired a similar warning regarding a “new wave of cyber attack campaign” where China-based threat actors were allegedly targeting government bodies, such as the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) and the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).


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