- Cyber Security to be a part of Election Planning for the first time.
- Election Commission has, for the first time, keeping a strong vigilance over the election process, has brought Cyber Security in focus to avoid any cyber threats which can influence election process.
- How Cyber Attack is a threat to election process:
- A cyber-attack, irrespective of the actual damage caused, spreads misinformation and can delegitimize a democratic process
- Drive will protect its voter registration database and office networks from unauthorized influence and access during the Lok Sabha polls next year.
- Key steps taken by Election Commission to secure Election from Cyber Threats:
- Launched Cyber Security Regulations– To avoid any unauthorized access, disclosure, duplication, modification, diversion, destruction, loss, misuse or theft of protection information
- Appointment of chief information security officer (CISO) and cyber security nodal officer (CSNO) – To implement the regulations and coordinate with electoral officers.
- Third-party security audit of all poll-related applications and websites – Provided secured socket layer or SSL, which is a standard security protocol for keeping an internet connection secure
- Workshops to train officers in cyber related crime – Three regional workshops (north, south and central India) for poll officers to train them in Cyber Hygiene.
- Proposal to recognize elections as ‘critical information’ under the IT Act, 2000 – Under this act Election Infrastructure will be recognized as “critical information infrastructure” (CII), which means infrastructure would be eligible for additional funding and resources.
- Action Against Ghost Application – EC has begun identifying ghost applications and started taking them down — applications that mimic EC’s logo.
- EC has also noticed that even though the VVPAT machine are not vulnerable to hacking, its increasing dependence on digital technology calls for strengthening of safeguards.