Cyber Security: Basics, Cyber Laws, Cyber Attacks, Cyber Security UPSC

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

Cyber Security is the practice of protecting networks, computers, data, and programs from unauthorized attacks that aim for exploitation. Cyber Security in India is becoming highly significant due to the increased reliance on the internet, wireless network, and computer system. Apart from that, the rapid increase in the usage of smartphones, televisions, and various devices that constitute the Internet of Things or IOT created the need for Cyber Security.

Cyber Security holds significant importance and comes under the General Science and Technology section of UPSC Syllabus. Aspirants need to grasp the fundamentals of Cyber Security, including concepts like network security, incident response, and cyber laws. Knowledge of Cyber Security not only prepares candidates to tackle cyber threats but also enables them to contribute to the formulation of robust policies and strategies to protect critical infrastructure and ensure a secure digital environment for individuals and society as a whole.

Cyber Security

Cyber Security is the practice of protecting computers, networks, and data from malicious attacks. The term ‘cyber’ is related to or involves computers and computer networks. This connection between the internet ecosystems forms cyberspace, leading to various issues that lead to needing Cyber Security. It involves implementing measures and technologies to prevent unauthorized access and data breaches. With the increasing reliance on technology and interconnected systems, Cyber Security is crucial to ensure the safety and integrity of digital assets.

Cyber Security, also known as information technology security, encompasses various domains and practices, including network security, data protection, and incident response. It plays a vital role in safeguarding sensitive information and maintaining trust in the digital ecosystem. By implementing robust security measures, such as firewalls, encryption, and user authentication protocols, Cyber Security helps mitigate risks and defends against cyber threats.

Basics of Cyber Security

Cyber attack cases have witnessed a substantial rise, prompting the need for individuals to be aware of the fundamentals of Cyber Security in India. Understanding the basics of Cyber Security is essential for personal protection against online threats and ensuring the safety of digital assets. By familiarizing themselves with concepts such as password security, safe browsing practices, and data protection measures, individuals can play an active role in defending against cyber threats and safeguarding their online presence. Everyone must know the Basics of Cyber Security in India to protect themselves.

  • In the 1990s, cyber security initiatives like Anti-virus and firewalls were developed to deal with the virus.
  • To deal with Worms in 2020, intrusion detection and prevention initiatives took place
  • To resolve Botnets (the 2000s – Present) issues, DLP, Application-aware Firewalls, and SIM were developed
  • For APT Insiders (Present), the Network Flow Analysis initiative is taken

Types of Cyber Security

Cybersecurity in India encompasses various types of security measures and initiatives aimed at protecting digital systems and information from cyber threats. Here are some key types of cybersecurity in India:

  • Network Security: Measures taken to secure computer networks from unauthorized access, intrusion, and other network-based attacks.
  • Application Security: Steps taken during application development to ensure that software and applications are protected from vulnerabilities and malicious activities.
  • Information Security: Protecting sensitive information from unauthorized access, disclosure, alteration, and destruction through encryption, access controls, and data protection mechanisms.
  • Endpoint Security: Security measures implemented on devices such as laptops, desktops, and mobile devices to safeguard them from malware, unauthorized access, and data breaches.
  • Cloud Security: Security measures to protect data stored in cloud platforms, including data encryption, access controls, and vulnerability management.
  • Incident Response: Procedures and protocols followed to handle and respond to cybersecurity incidents promptly, minimizing the impact and restoring normal operations.
  • Risk Assessment and Management: Evaluating and managing potential risks and vulnerabilities to identify and implement appropriate security controls.
  • Security Awareness and Training: Conducting educational programs and training sessions to raise awareness about cybersecurity best practices and promote a culture of security.

Cyber Security in India

The digital revolution arrived in India a long time ago. Still, it is now that the nation and its citizens have started truly utilizing the transformation through small changes like going cashless, shopping online, etc. However, as mentioned before, with increased technological conveniences, India also faced increased online fraud and cyber security threats. Hence, in 2013, India introduced the National Cyber Security Policy to build safe and robust cyberspace.

  • The policy is an umbrella framework guiding home users, business enterprises, and government and non-governmental entities on appropriate cyber security measures.
  • During COVID-19, policies like this have become increasingly important. According to the Data Security Council of India (DSCI), the cybersecurity industry doubled during the pandemic due to rapid digitalization.
  • The revenue of the cyber security service industry went from $4.3 billion in 2019 to $8.4 billion in 2021. Revenue in the Cybersecurity market is projected to reach US$2.37bn in 2023.

How Does Cyber Security Work?

It is recommended to use a top-down approach to cyber security. In this digital era, cyber incidents are truly inevitable. Hence, companies need to protect their holdings and reputation under such circumstances. The top-down strategy can be developed keeping in mind some important cybersecurity domains. Some of them are:

  • Information Security: It is a data protection measure to safeguard sensitive information from unauthorized access, theft, and abuse.
  • Cloud Security: A computing system that encrypts data in storage or moving within the cloud. It also protects the cloud data from unauthorized access.
  • Application Security: Each organization uses its own set of required applications; hence application security protects the application from off-premises and unauthorized access.

Challenges of Cyber Security

Cybersecurity faces various challenges in today’s digital landscape. These challenges arise from the complex nature of cyber threats and the evolving technology landscape. Some of the key challenges include:

  • Sophisticated Cyber Attacks: With the advancement of technology, cybercriminals are employing increasingly sophisticated techniques to breach security systems.
  • Rapidly Evolving Threat Landscape: The landscape of cyber threats is constantly evolving, making it challenging for cybersecurity measures to keep pace.
  • Insider Threats: Insider threats pose a significant challenge, as individuals with authorized access may misuse their privileges for malicious purposes.
  • Lack of Awareness and Education: Many individuals and organizations have limited knowledge about cybersecurity best practices, making them vulnerable to attacks.
  • Resource Constraints: Implementing effective cybersecurity measures requires substantial resources, including financial investments, skilled personnel, and advanced technologies.
  • Compliance and Regulatory Requirements: Organizations must adhere to various compliance and regulatory standards, which adds complexity to maintaining robust cybersecurity practices.

Cyber Security in India

Cyber Security in India has become a critical aspect in the digital age, given the rising number of cyber threats and attacks. The government and various organizations have taken proactive measures to strengthen Cyber Security in the country. Check the Government Initiatives and Motive behind it for Cyber Security in India in detail below.

  • Cyber Surakshit Bharat Initiative: It was Launched in 2018 to spread awareness about cybercrimes and build capacity for safety measures for CISOs (Chief Information Security Officers) and frontline IT staff across the govt departments.
  • National Cyber Security Coordination Centre (NCCC): It was Launched in 2019 to scan the internet traffic and communication metadata coming into the country to curb real-time cyber threats.
  • Cyber Swachhta Kendra: This platform was introduced in 2017 for internet users to clear their devices and computer to wipe out malware and viruses.
  • Information Security Education and Awareness Project (ISEA): Training of 1.14 Lakh people through 52 institutions under this project to raise awareness and provide education, research, and training in the field of Cyber Security.
  • International co-operation: India has joined with several countries like Japan, United States, Singapore to strengthen the cyber ecosystem. It would help India to become better at dealing with cyber threats.

Cyber Laws in India

Cyber Law and Security in India have become crucial in combating cybercrimes and ensuring the protection of digital assets. Here are some key points about Cyber Law and Security in India:

  • The Information Technology Act 2000 is a comprehensive legislation that regulates electronic transactions and addresses cyber offenses.
  • The National Cyber Policy 2013 focuses on creating a secure cyber ecosystem, protecting critical information infrastructure, and promoting human resource development in Cyber Security.
  • The National Cyber Security Strategy 2020 aims to strengthen the security of cyberspace in India through strategic initiatives.
  • The Cyber Surakshit Bharat Initiative, launched in collaboration with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), aims to establish a resilient IT setup and enhance cybersecurity awareness.
  • India has established the National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC) to safeguard critical information infrastructure.
  • Cybersecurity technologies, including encryption and public key infrastructure, are utilized to secure e-governance and protect sensitive information.

Cyber Attacks

A malicious act that aims to destroy data, steal data, or otherwise interfere with digital life is referred to as a cyber security threat. Additionally, it alludes to the potential for a successful cyber attack with the intent of stealing sensitive data, damaging a computer network, or gaining unauthorized access to a computer asset.

Financial systems, air traffic control, and telecommunications are among the industries classified as Critical Information Infrastructure (CII) particularly vulnerable to cyberattacks. It entails stealing intellectual property and money, manipulating and erasing data, etc. Several prevalent cyber threats include the following types of cyber attacks that have evolved over the years.

  • Malware: Refers to any kind of software designed only to cause damage to a computer network, computer, or server. Worms, viruses, spyware, and trojans are varieties of malware.
  • Phishing: This method of gathering personal information using deceptive e-mails and websites.
  • DOS, DDOS: the attackers make the network or machine unavailable by disrupting the services of the host network.
  • SQL Injection: Many services that store data of services and websites use SQL to manage their databases. SQL injection attack target such servers by using malicious code to get confidential information.
  • Cyber Espionage: An important organization’s or government’s privacy is at risk due to the illegal use of computer networks to capture confidential information.
  • Cyber Warfare: Attacking information systems using computer technology, especially for military purposes.
  • Social Engineering: It relies on human interaction to trick users into breaking security procedures to gain the vital information that is protected.

Cyber Security UPSC

Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting computer systems, networks, and data from digital threats and unauthorized access. It is an important topic for the UPSC exam as it pertains to national security, technological advancements, and the protection of personal and sensitive information. The topic of Cyber Security is covered under the Science and Technology section of the UPSC syllabus.

To gain a comprehensive understanding of Cyber Security, candidates should study the basics, components, challenges, cyber laws, and the current state of cyber security in India. By reviewing the provided information, candidates can develop a strong understanding of this topic. To prepare well candidates must refer to Science and Technology Books for UPSC that cover the Basics of Cyber Security in detail.

Cyber Security UPSC Questions

Cybersecurity is a highly relevant topic in both the UPSC Prelims and Mains exams. By practicing the provided questions on this subject, candidates can gain familiarity with the question types and develop a comprehensive understanding of the concepts and relevant aspects related to cybersecurity. This will enable them to approach the topic with a well-rounded perspective during the examination.

Question: Cyber Security provides security against: (A) Malware, (B) Cyber Terrorists, (C) Defends a device from threats, (D) All of them

Answer: (D) All of them

Question: Which of the below cyber security principles states that the security system should be as compact and straightforward as possible? (A) Open Design, (B) The Economy of the Mechanism, (C) Least Privilege, (D) Fail-safe Defaults

Answer: (B) The Economy of the Mechanism

Question for UPSC Mains: Discuss the emerging challenges in ensuring cybersecurity in the digital era and suggest measures to enhance cybersecurity infrastructure in India.

Question for UPSC Mains: Examine the role of international cooperation in addressing global cyber threats. Highlight the significance of cyber diplomacy in promoting cybersecurity at the international level

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