Fraud Management & Cybercrime , Governance & Risk Management , Incident & Breach Response

Election Cybersecurity Efforts: A Critique

Cyber Law Expert Pavan Duggal Says Government Not Doing Enough
Election Cybersecurity Efforts: A Critique
Pavan Duggal, advocate, Supreme Court of India

The Indian government is not doing enough to address cybersecurity issues for the upcoming national elections, says cyber law expert Pavan Duggal.

"India ought to have done far more on the cybersecurity ramifications for elections 2019 than what it has done," says Duggal, who is a practicing advocate at the Supreme Court of India.

Given that various hacking groups have threatened that they would try to interfere in the elections, Duggal says, "I would have expected India to have started working earnestly in the direction of protecting and preserving cybersecurity, which could have an impact upon elections 2019. But unfortunately I don't see much happening."

The key challenge, Duggal says in an interview with Information Security Media Group, is to protect the data collected during the election to protect the integrity of the results.

"The Election Commission of India had the option to come up with specific guidelines prior to declaring elections, so that the critical information infrastructure and big data concerning elections could have been protected," Duggal says. "Unfortunately, on the basis of information available in the public domain, we currently do not see much happening to protect critical information."

Duggal emphasizes the need for India to come up with a new national law on cybersecurity, independent of the Information Technology Act, to show India's thought leadership in protecting critical information.

In this interview (see audio link below photo), he also offers insights on:

  • The relevance of IT Act 2000 and cybersecurity policy in addressing election security challenges;
  • Social media challenges in the 2019 elections;
  • What constitutes a comprehensive cybersecurity framework.

Duggal, a practicing advocate at the Supreme Court of India, is an authority on cyber and ecommerce law. He has written many books, articles, blogs and columns on cyber law and cybersecurity.

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