The use of electronic systems to store important personal and organizational files increased considerably after privatization in the 1990s.
This has proved to be a boon for the industrial sector making the flow of work easier, faster, and efficient. However, it has made businesses vulnerable to cybercrime that has been on the rise nationally and internationally. The victims of cybercriminals range from individual users to large corporations and governments as well.
The rapid growth of e-banking and e-commerce requires one to disseminate personal financial information repeatedly in the virtual space. The virtual IT sector has been one of the most important contributors to India’s economic growth. Keeping this in mind, the Indian government came up with the Cyber Security Policy in 2013.
What is the aim of the policy?
This policy is still evolving and aims to become a comprehensive platform to cover individuals, organisations and non-governmental entities. It is aimed at creating a uniform national-level system that can issue early warnings, respond to and counter cyber threats and manage any vulnerability.
The policy also aims at improving cyber awareness, do away with supply chain links and set up a National Nodal Agency to protect and coordinate crucial information among all organizations and individuals.
It also wants to provide different organisations with the opportunity to customise their cybersecurity policies to suit their type of business. Such policies must include the security of information flow and the crisis management plan.
It requires organizations to set up a specific budget so that a security plan can be put in place for emergency situations. Technology has proliferated in almost every area of our lives and businesses are finding it difficult to cope with the current business environment without the aid of modern equipment.
Therefore, having knowledge of the current cyber laws is important for any modern business. This is crucial for conducting its business safely and within the boundaries of the law.
Scope of India’s cyber laws
India’s cyber laws cover a range of cybercrimes that might affect individuals, organizations and the government. Let’s discuss some that may affect businesses and disrupt the economic growth of the country.
Unauthorized access and hacking
Hacking is the act of breaking into a computer network without the permission of its owner or the organisation’s management. Hackers usually try to access personal information of customers.
The information might be something as basic as credit card information. This could be used to illegally transfer money from the targeted user. Hacking and unauthorized access can put organizations like banks, hospitals and e-commerce firms at risk.
A computer virus is a common terminology in today’s world. A spreading virus in the form of multiple copies of programs can cause extensive damage and destroy crucial information on a large scale.
It can also damage an electronic device beyond repair. A virus can spread to devices and affect not only an individual or one organisation but a large network of companies or even the government.
Cyber vandalism means damaging data in the event of a disruption in a network. Such attacks may also include physically harming a person’s computer or defacing the public profile of the victim.
These acts may involve the theft of a computer, a part of the system or a peripheral device attached to the machine. So, an act of burglary in which computers have been stolen or damaged is counted as cybercrime.
Cyber terrorism is a potential threat to the sovereignty and integrity of the nation. This involves flooding a computer or server with more requests than it can handle. It ultimately leads to the crashing of the device thus denying authorised users access to services. Therefore, cyber terrorism is a danger to institutions especially government institutions.
In such an attack, a hacker accesses an organization’s official profile and publishes or distributes pornographic material on the public platform. This can prove dangerous for the organization’s reputation. The cyber law covers such crimes to protect the integrity of the victim organization.
Intellectual property crimes
These crimes have a wide scope. It includes an unlawful act in which the owner is deprived completely or partially of his rights. The basic law protects the organisation from illegal acts like software piracy, infringement of copyright, trademark, patents, designs and service mark violation, and theft of computer source code.
Thus, India’s cyber laws apply to all crimes prevalent in cyberspace. As an organization, you must have ample knowledge of such laws covering virtual crimes that may affect not just the company’s top management but all its users, vendors, customers, and related parties.
However, it is advisable to avail of a cyber insurance policy to cover the financial loss incurred due to such crimes. It is also necessary to compensate your customers in case they face financial losses due to such crimes.