Cyber attacks more dangerous than terrorism

by Ashwani Mishra    Sep 28, 2011

According to government officials and industry experts, targeted hacking attacks in order to steal data and control networks, from an individual, terrorist or a nation state, will be on the rise in every industry and country.

A few days back, the Union Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Kapil Sibal said that adequate balance ought to be maintained between privacy needs and genuine cyber security concerns of state.

Sibal also stated that cyber attacks come from individuals and rival corporate houses and rogue states. “A single malicious malware can bring to halt not only big nuclear plants but also vital activities of financial institutions, which are globally interconnected,” he said.

He added that IT network expansion and linked developments have given rise to over dependency on the network platform, which is coming under attacks of a different nature which are far more dangerous than even terrorist attacks.

“Cyber attacks are getting more sophisticated by the day and frauds related to Internet banking and online payment transactions are on the rise across the world,” says Sameer J. Ratolikar, Chief Information Security Officer, Risk Management Department, Bank of India.

According to a report released by Symantec last month, Indian companies lost an average of Rs 58 lakh in revenue each year and Rs 85 lakh in productivity due to cyber attacks.

“The security landscape in India and across the world has changed from the physical to digital and a lot of threats will continue to pour in,” says Lt. General Kamal Davar (Retd.) who in his last appointment was the Chief of the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) and Deputy Chief of the Integrated Defence Staff.

He adds that there are some countries that have made hacking an instrument of state policy to disrupt critical parts of the infrastructure of a country like banking, aviation, and others.

“We should continue to cooperate with friendly countries and agencies to pool in resources and combat these cyber threats,” says Davar.

According to security experts, cyber threats in the future will be more diversified.