Fearing breach, Election Commission moves to secure cyber walls for 2019

Fearing breach, Election Commission moves to secure cyber walls for 2019

News:

  1. Cyber Security to be a part of Election Planning for the first time.

Important News:

  1. 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.
  2. 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
  1. Drive will protect its voter registration database and office networks from unauthorized influence and access during the Lok Sabha polls next year.
  2. 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.
  1. 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.
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