South Asia and Beyond

‘Technology Is Aiding Data Breaches, India Must Keep Its Guard Up’

NEW DELHI: Reports about the breach of the COWIN app has renewed fears about the vulnerability of India’s digital stack. Are our systems secure and regularly updated? Who or what agencies are involved in these attempts to break in and steal data? In this chat on The Gist, Bharat Panchal, specialist on cyber security and data sovereignty, argues that it is not easy to break into such highly secure platforms although he acknowledges that technology advances mean that nothing is guaranteed. He believes there are many persons there including intelligence agencies of various countries and criminal organisations that would love to get their hands on India’s vast data. Countries that wish India ill would use such data to disrupt normal functioning of say electricity and railway grids, or even bring down the internet. Criminals may use the Dark Web, which is like the criminal underground in any big city. It is opaque, criminals work on trust, and just about anything is up for sale. At the same time, one can never be 100% sure what one is contracting to buy and what one gets.

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