National Security Advisor Current Affairs - 2020

NTRO: Increase in Cyber Attacks due to work from home

On April 29, 2020, the National Technical Research Organization has reported that the number of cyber attacks in the country has increased due to the work from home scenario. According to the report, the critical sectors may fall prey to inimical forces to relax geofencing restrictions that are granted to employees.

Highlights

The report says that many sectors including public enterprises, government undertakings, banking, power, telecom, transport, energy are susceptible to attacks. This has occurred mainly because several companies had relaxed their geofencing restrictions in order to allow their employees to work from home.

What is the issue?

Several cyber criminals have gone to an extent of impersonating officials from health organizations and other government enterprises, seek donations through malicious e-mail attachments.

Government Actions

In order to reduce this, the Ministry of Home Affairs has instructed the firms in the country to track all CRUD (Create, Read, Update and Delete) activities in their IdAM (Identity and Access Management). Also, the ministry has asked the firms to stay resilient against ransomware attacks.

National Technical Research Organization

The NTRO was set up in 2004. It is a technical intelligence agency that acts under the National Security Advisor of India in the Prime Minister Office. There are controversies that the NTRO is not yet completely functional. It requires more than 98 million USD to make the organization completely equipped.

Ajit Doval reappointed as National Security Adviser

Ajit Doval is reappointed as National Security Advisor (NSA) of India for another five year tenure. In recognition of his earlier contribution in the national security domain, he has also been elevated to rank of Cabinet Minister for this term. During his first term 2014-2019 NSA was given rank of Minister of State (MoS).

About Ajit Doval

  • He is a 1968-batch IPS officer. For over 33 years he worked as an intelligence officer during which he served in North East, Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab.
  • The 74 year old Doval had also done several key diplomatic assignments in Pakistan and the United Kingdom (UK).
  • He headed the Intelligence Bureau’s (IB) operations wing for over a decade including serving as Director of Intelligence Bureau (IB) from July 2004 to January 2005.
  • Post retirement, he founded Vivekananda International Foundation, a public policy think tank headquartered in New Delhi.
  • In May 2014, he was appointed as India’s fifth NSA. Under his supervision, Surgical strike was conducted in September 2016 (aftermath of Uri terror attack) and Balakot airstrike was conducted in February 2019 (aftermath of suicide attack on CRPF convey).

About National Security Advisor (NSA)

  • NSA is the chief adviser to the prime minister of India on national and international security policy matters. He serves at the discretion of Prime Minister of India.
  • NSA is now seen as the most powerful bureaucrat in the Government of India.
  • This post was created in 1998 by then government of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Since then either an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) or the Indian Police Service (IPS) serves the post. Senior IFS officer Brajesh Mishra was India’s first NSA (in office from November 1998-May 2004).
  • NSA presides over the National Security Council (NSC). NSC was established in 1998. It is an executive government agency that oversees India’s political, economic, energy and security issues of strategic concern. It is a three-tiered organization comprising of Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC), Strategic Policy Group (SPG) and National Security Advisory Board (NSAB).