India has a talented pool of IT professionals, but a recent report from a Russian security firm claims that India couldn’t handle a massive cyber attack. The firm claims that an attack on the same level of WannaCry or Petya, India does not have the infrastructure or support to defend against them.
Russian firm Kaspersky fears that India is now on the radar for several attackers who look to cripple organizations and cause chaos in an effort to steal data. Some attacks are political in nature, and India continues to grow as a dominant entity in global issues. This makes they the target for government-sponsored attacks.
As any country develops, their infrastructure becomes more digitized. The evolution of their internal systems makes it much more in demand for outsourcing and business, but it also makes them more open to cyber attacks.
The firm came to the conclusion after the Petya attack. Petya crippled several countries, but it also hit Gateway Terminal India, which is India’s biggest container port. Petya is a form of ransomware that encrypts boot files in Windows. The user is no longer able to boot the operating system, and it shows a message telling the user to pay a ransom or lose their data. Unfortunately, the system never boots even if the user pays the ransom.
The result of the Petya attack on Gateway Terminal India left the organization unable to load or unload terminal equipment. They also could no longer identify which shipment belonged to which customer.
India has only developed its digital infrastructure in recent years, and Kaspersky believes that it wasn’t a target until after 2010 when India made headway on its global Internet presence. This comes after a major breach on India’s SWIFT system, which is the main system that handles banking transactions. It was later found that some of the security standards and processes were poorly designed and opened to attacks. It was just a matter of time before SWIFT would be successfully attacked.
The announcement is just one of many that warns governments of cyber attacks. Whether politically motivated or for monetary gain, no government or organization should consider themselves safe. It’s common for small organizations to think that they aren’t a target for hackers due to their size. As a matter of fact, poorly secured systems are found more in underdeveloped countries and small businesses than they are in large enterprises. This leaves them perfect for cyber attackers.
Without proper monitoring, government agencies remain hugely susceptible to cyber attacks. While India’s talent pool is large, they are one of the many entities that need proper cyber security and monitoring in place. Implementing monitoring and alerts on your network greatly reduces risk and protects public and private organizations.