Daily Post 1526
INDIAN POLICE – AN IMPERATIVE NEED
With CCTNS becoming the main IT tool of Police functioning, it is imperative that the practitioners learned cyber security essentials pertaining to hardware, software, networking and data center. Given the present precarious levels of Cyber insecurity, keeping oneself and data safe is keeping the Police safe and only then the data enabled police functioning can happen. Besides, this internal prerequisite, police are legally mandated for prevention and detection of crime and that extends to cyber crime as well. The prevention side is mainly taken care by Cyber Security and the investigation part is primarily covered by Cyber Forensics. Social media is a multi-headed hydra that can be left unattended only at our own risk.
From intelligence to surveillance, we need Cyber Security in policing all the way. We have managed this far, it cannot go further. With 98% of the documented human interaction on the digital mode, where will all the evidence come from? Navigating the digital world is certainly more complex than the physical world. In the same manner as the Investigative Officer does not leave his judgement to the forensic expert, the capability to take that approach in Cyber Security and Cyber Forensics needs to be created. A comfortable knowledge of nuances has to be inculcated to even work with experts. How do you select the experts without understanding the subject itself.
If one profession needs to take to Cyber Security as fish takes to water, it is the Police. Criminals of all types are the first and the best adopters of technology. It’s because of Police’s disinclination, the private enterprises and many unconnected government agencies have moved into the fray. We have to own what legally belongs to the law enforcers and investigators, otherwise the police, citizens and the nation would be the losers. Digital Beat we still have not heard of. How many of the Police officers even read cyber security news in detail, leave aside having any hands on expertise. *COVID-19 has left nothing to doubt, ransomware contributing to 80% of the cyber attacks. If this is a rampant crime, what is this Police’s expertise on it?
Criminal intelligence from social media and the net can propel us to a different level. That connect has to be deciphered on a regular basis and it should become as commonplace as the beats. On the intelligence and surveillance side, things have to graduate way beyond the CDRs to SIGINT (signal intelligence) and ELINT (electronic intelligence), which should become our mainstay as in other countries. Cyber-physical is our existence and therein lies our future too. Confidence would come out of learning. The tech world believes in hands on, the passage from theory to practice should happen now. The confidence level of people to take on the ongoing cyber onslaught is directly proportional to the technical competence of the Police.
CYBER SECURITY IS A BULL WHICH HAS TO BE TAKEN BY ITS HORNS.