Information – Processing, Storage, Security

Material Science: Processing of Metals
August 8, 2017
Material Science: Mechanical Properties of Materials
August 18, 2017
  1. Data and Information
  2. Information Processing
    1. Computing
      1. Different types of Computing
    2. Super Computers
      1. Applications of Super Computers
    3. Cloud Computing
      1. Advantages
      2. Applications of Cloud Computing
      3. Deployment Models
      4. Types of Cloud Services
      5. Emerging Cloud Technologies and Services
  3. New Developments
    1. Bigdata
      1. Characteristics
      2. Big data Applications
    2. Artificial Intelligence
      1. Examples of AI Technology
      2. AI Applications
    3. Machine Learning
  4. Data Storage
  5. Cyber Security
    1. Threats
    2. Protection
    3. Government Actions
      1. Data Protection
      2. Cyber Security Systems
  6. Associated Terms
    1. Digital Divide
    2. Net Neutrality
    3. Data Privacy
    4. Augmented Reality

1.Data and Information

Data is raw, unorganized facts that need to be processed. When data is processed, organized, structured or presented so as to make it useful, it is called information.

Why data is very important?

  • The technological revolution in information and communication technologies has made collection and storage of data very easy. So now everybody has huge data. 
  • Data is the new weapon for many applications including governance, planning , education and business management

There is a saying that,

The next war will not be physical, it will be in cyberspace, and data will be key weapons.

Let us examine the processing, storage and applications of data in this article.

2.Information Processing

The term information processing is now a days used for ‘the manipulation of digitized information by computers and other digital electronic equipment’. It is mainly done through a process called computing.

2.1 Computing

  • Is the process of using computer technology  for a broad range of purposes – structuring, processing and managing any kind of information.
  • It can
    • aid scientific studies
    • create artificial intelligent systems 
    • create different media content for entertainment purposes

2.1.1 Different types of computing

Types Characteristics Purpose
Cluster Computing Group of linked computers, working together closely in many respects, so that, they work like a single computer. Improve performance over that provided by a single computer
Distributed

Computing

Different parts of a program are run simultaneously on two or more computers that are communicating with each other over a network Is a type of segmented or parallel computing(Large problems are divided into smaller ones, which can be solved at the same time)
Utility Computing The system with the capability to quickly arrange for the rental of individual servers, in case of need.

Multiple servers are used on the “back end” to make this possible.

Conventional Internet hosting services
Grid Computing Multiple independent computing clusters which act like a “grid” offering online computation or storage The creation of a “virtual supercomputer” by using spare computing resources
Cloud computing Is a method of distributed computing done through pooling all computer resources together and being managed by software rather than a human.

The applications access the infrastructure through different ‘cloud services’

A cloud would usually use a grid. A grid is not necessarily a cloud 

Can be used for different web applications and IT management tasks
Super Computing Is a computer that performs at very high operational rates

Are really multiple computers that perform parallel processing

 

Scientific and engineering applications that must handle very large databases or do a great amount of computation
Quantum computing Quantum computing uses the quantum phenomena to process information in a novel and way

The phenomena used are – superposition and entanglement.

Superposition means that each qubit can represent both 1 and 0 at the same time.

Entanglement means that qubits in a superposition can be correlated with each other irrespective of the distance or medium separating them.

Is futuristic technology, under development 

2.2 Super Computers

The top 10 most powerful supercomputers in the world as of 2017 are,

Sunway TaihuLight

  1. Sunway TaihuLight — China
    • 40,960 64-bit, RISC processors with 260 cores each.
    • Peak performance of 125 petaflops (quadrillion floating point operations per second).
    • 32GB DDR3 memory per compute node,  1.3 PB memory in total.
    • Linux-based Sunway Raise operating system (OS).
  2. Tianhe-2 (MilkyWay-2) — China
  3. Piz Daint — Switzerland
  4. Titan — United States
  5. Sequoia — United States
  6. Cori — United States
  7. Oakforest-PACS — Japan
  8. K Computer — Japan
  9. Mira — United States
  10. Trinity — United States

Indian Supercomputers

India has 11 of the top 500 supercomputer in the worldas of date. Below are first three computers in the list.

  1. SahasraT (Cray XC40)
  • SahasraT supercomputer is located at Supercomputer Education and Research Centre (SERC) facility at Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore.
  • SERC is India’s state-of-the-art research facility for high-performance computing in the field of science and engineering.
  1. Aaditya (IBM/Lenovo System)

Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology Pune, is the India’s finest meteorological department which uses IBM X system supercomputer for research and development. System is called as Aaditya which is manufactured by IBM

  1. TIFR Colour Boson
  • This supercomputer is located at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research facility.
  • This machine is also a Cray product, model name is Cray XC-30.
  • This supercomputer is deployed at Hyderabad and the system is ranked at 145th position

2.2.1 Applications of Super Computers

Due to high speed processing ability of Super computers, there are several applications of such computers which are used in scientific and research woks

  1. quantum mechanics
  2. weather forecasting and climate research
  3. oil and gas exploration
  4. molecular modeling
  5. graphics animation
  6. nuclear research
  7. crypt analysis
  8. modelling of physical phenomena such as climate change, energy, environment
  9. analysis of data such as national security intelligence
  10. genome sequencing 
  11. simulations like missile trajectory simulation etc

2.3 Cloud Computing

It is the practice of using a network of remote servers hosted on the Internet to store, manage, and process data, rather than a local server or a personal computer.

We usually use online service to send email, edit documents, watch movies or TV, listen to music, play games or store pictures and other files. It is likely that cloud computing is making it all possible behind the scenes.

Cloud computing is a recent advancement, yet its adoption is very fast. Variety of organisations—from tiny startups to global corporations and  government agencies —are increasing embracing this technology for all many reasons, which are discussed below.

2.3.1 Advantages

1. Cost effectiveness

Cloud computing eliminates the capital expense of buying hardware and software and setting up and running on-site data centers which need servers, the round-the-clock electricity for power and cooling, the IT experts for managing the infrastructure. 

2. Speed

Most cloud computing services can provide vast amounts of computing resources in minutes, typically with just a few mouse clicks

3. Global scale

Has ability to scale elastically, means delivering the right amount of IT resources—for example, more or less computing power, storage, bandwidth etc—right when it is needed and from the right geographic location.

4. Productivity

Cloud computing removes the need for many of the on-site datacenters tasks, so IT teams can spend time on achieving more important business goals.

5. Performance

The biggest cloud computing services normally are regularly upgraded to the latest generation of fast and efficient computing hardware. This offers several benefits over a single corporate datacenter.

6. Reliability

Cloud computing makes data backup, disaster recovery and business continuity easier and less expensive, because data can be mirrored at multiple redundant sites on the cloud provider’s network.

7. Security

  • Security remains a primary concern for businesses contemplating cloud adoption , especially public cloud adoption as Public cloud service providers share their underlying hardware infrastructure between numerous customers
  • The addition of data encryption and various identity and access management tools has improved security within the public cloud.

2.3.2 Applications of cloud computing

The common people use cloud to,

  • Create new apps and services
  • Store, back up and recover data
  • Host websites and blogs
  • Stream audio and video
  • Deliver software on demand
  • Analyse data for patterns and make predictions

Business Applications include,

  • Test and development
  • Big data analytics 
    • Using the ability of algorithms to tap into vast quantities of both structured and unstructured data, to extract data having business value
    • Example – Retailers and suppliers extract information derived from consumers’ buying patterns to target their advertising and marketing campaigns 
  • File storage
  • Disaster recovery – cloud provides for a faster recovery at a much lower cost that the traditional recovery solutions
  • Backup

2.3.3 Deployment Models

Cloud computing services can be private, public or hybrid.

Image source: http://consultech.us/

Public Private Hybrid
Owned and operated by a third-party cloud service provider

All hardware, software and other supporting infrastructure is owned and managed by the cloud provider

The services and infrastructure are maintained on a private network Combine public and private clouds
The service providers deliver their computing resources like servers and storage over the Internet, and users access using accounts. Used exclusively by a single business or organisation Technology allows data and applications to be shared between private and public clouds
Ex:Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), IBM’s Blue Cloud, Sun Cloud, Google AppEngine and Windows Azure Services Platform  Ex:Cloud based Disaster Recovery (DR)/Business Continuity (BC) services

2.3.4 Types of Cloud Services

Most cloud computing services fall into three broad categories:

  1. Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)
  2. Platform as a service (PaaS) and
  3. Software as a service (SaaS)

These are sometimes called the cloud computing stack.

Image source: azure.microsoft.com

 

IaaS PaaS SaaS
The most basic category of cloud computing services Supply an on-demand environment for developing, testing, delivering and managing software applications Is a method for delivering software applications over the Internet
Rent IT infrastructure—servers and virtual machines (VMs), storage, networks, operating systems Is designed to support the complete web application lifecycle: building, testing, deploying, managing and updating SaaS provides a complete software solution which users purchase on a pay-as-you-go basis
The  service provider manages the infrastructure, while the user purchase, install, configure and manage their own software—operating systems, middleware and applications Users manage the applications and services they develop and the cloud service provider typically manages everything else  

Cloud providers host and manage the software application and underlying infrastructure and handle any maintenance, like software upgrades and security patching

Common Applications are – Test and development,Website hosting, Storage, backup and recovery, Web apps, High-performance computing and Big data analysis  PaaS lets developers create applications using built-in software components.

Ex: Windows Azure, Google App Engine

Web-based email service such as Outlook, Hotmail or Yahoo! Mail, is a form of SaaS

2.3.5 Emerging cloud technologies and services

Serverless Computing

  • Also called as Runtime as a service (RaaS), is an advancement over SaaS
  • It allows users to avoid paying for idle compute time, instead they pay for cloud resources when their function, or runtime, is invoked
  • Users only pay for the number of transactions that the function executes. 
  • Developers simply create code, and the cloud provider loads and executes that code in response to real-world events, so users don’t have to worry about the server or instance aspect of the cloud deployment.
  • AWS Lambda, Google Cloud Functions and Azure Functions are examples of server  less computing services

Big data processing

  • For large-scale data warehousing and for processing huge data sets. Google big data analytics products like BigQuery, Cloud Dataflow etc are examples of such services
  • Services relates to artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning – Amazon Machine Learning, Amazon Lex, Amazon Polly, Google Cloud Machine Learning Engine and Google Cloud Speech API are examples of these services.

Mobile Cloud Computing

  • Mobile Cloud Computing (MCC) is the combination of cloud computing, mobile computing and wireless networks 
  • Mobile devices are constrained by their processing power, battery life and storage. Cloud computing provides to data processing and data storage happen outside of mobile devices

3. New Devlopments

Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and Bigdata are the latest buzz words.While artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) concepts have been around since the 1940s and 1950s , the availability of huge amounts of data is making the difference now. The cloud is bringing computing power to it and ML is creating actionable intelligence.

3.1 Big Data

  • Big data is an evolving term that describes any voluminous amount of structured, semistructured and unstructured data that has the potential to be mined for information.
  • The present day communication systems handle volumes of data generated by embedded devices, mobile users, network protocols, location information etc. It is a vast amount of information. Processing and analyzing this “big data” and presenting insights in a timely fashion are becoming a reality with advanced analytics. 
  • Big data analytics is the process of examining large and varied data sets  to uncover hidden patterns, unknown correlations, market trends, customer preferences and other useful information. Data analytics technologies and techniques provide a means of analyzing data sets and drawing conclusions about them. 

3.1.1 Characteristics

Big data is often characterized by 3Vs:

  1. The extreme volume of data,
  2. The wide variety of data types and
  3. The velocity at which the data must be processed

Image source: http://whatis.techtarget.com/

 

3.1.2 Big Data Applications

The big data analytics is an emerging technology, which is rapidly changing the way in which business are done and policies are made

Business

Big data analytics can be helpful in business in many ways including,

  • finding new revenue opportunities
  • more effective marketing
  • better customer service
  • improved operational efficiency
  • competitive advantages over rivals

Policy making

Some potential applications are

  • Geospatial analysis for response- from data sources like incident reports, Twitter feeds, data on police movements and mobile data. Can decide on how and when to respond to an incident.
  • Census Data – Linkage, Search and Analysis 
  • Real-world data policy landscape for healthcare, education and other interventions
  • Asserting public perception

Urban planning

  • Collection and analysis of background information and understand how existing mechanisms perform
  • Traffic analysis to understand the pattern of urban expansion
  • Tracing people’s movement to understand migration patterns
  • Geospatial analysis of infrastructure and amenities
  • Managing the smart city

There can be many more applications in various fields including research applications

3.2 Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines, especially computer systems.Today, it is an umbrella term that encompasses everything from robotic process automation to actual robotics.

AI processes include

  • learning – the acquisition of information and rules for using the information
  • reasoning – using the rules to reach approximate or definite conclusions and
  • self-correction

AI can perform tasks such as identifying patterns in the data more efficiently than humans.

AI systems can be either weak AI or strong AI. 

  • Weak AI(narrow AI) is an AI system that is designed and trained for a particular task. Example – virtual personal assistants, such as Apple’s Siri
  • Strong AI(artificial general intelligence) is an AI system with generalized human cognitive abilities so that when presented with an unfamiliar task, it has enough intelligence to find a solution

3.2.1 Examples of AI technology

  • Automation is the process of making a system or process function automatically. Robots can be programmed to perform high-volume, repeatable tasks normally performed by humans. 
  • Machine learning is the science of getting a computer to act without explicit programming. 
  • Deep learning is a type of machine learning , that can be used to make predictions about unknown future events.
  • Machine vision is the science of making computers see. It is used in a range of applications from signature identification to medical image analysis. 
  • Natural language processing (NLP) is the processing of human language by a computer program. One of the best known examples of NLP is spam detection, which looks at the subject line and the text of an email and decides if it’s junk. NLP tasks include text translation, sentiment analysis and speech recognition.
  • Pattern recognition is a branch of machine learning that focuses on identifying patterns in data. 
  • Robotics is a field of engineering focused on the design and manufacturing of robots. Robots are often used to perform tasks that are difficult for humans to perform or perform consistently. They are used in assembly lines in factories. Using machine learning, robots can interact in social settings.

3.2.2 AI applications

AI in healthcare

  • Better and faster diagnoses. 
  • Processing data. Ex- IBM Watson. The system mines patient data and other available data sources to form a hypothesis
  • ML is helping doctors sift through huge amounts of cases and suggesting preferred treatment
  • Chatbots, is used to answer questions and assist customers, to help schedule follow-up appointments or aiding patients through the billing process etc
  • Virtual health assistants 

AI in business

  • Robotic process automation can be applied to highly repetitive tasks
  • Machine learning algorithms are being integrated into analytics to uncover information on how to better serve customers.
  • Can recognise patterns of customer behaviour and preferences, especially useful for fashion industries
  • Chatbots have been incorporated into websites to provide immediate service to customers.

AI in education

  • AI can automate some tasks, giving educators more time
  • AI can assess students and adapt to their needs, helping them work at their own pace
  • AI could change where and how students learn, perhaps even replacing some teachers
  • It can predict patterns such as students who might drop out of school

AI in finance

  • AI can applied to personal finance applications to collect personal data and provide financial advice
  • Software performs much of the trading on Wall Street

AI in law

  • The discovery process, sifting through of documents, can be done by AI
  • Database management

AI in research

  • Pattern recognition to decrypt historical languages
  • For identification and classification of samples

3.3 Machine learning

ML is a type of artificial intelligence that allows software applications to become more accurate in predicting outcomes without being explicitly programmed.

  • It feeds huge amount of data into the algorithm and allows it to process and learn
  • It uses iterative approach called deep learning to review data and arrive at conclusions
  • Thus ML creates actionable intelligence on the ‘big data’ available

Deep Learning 

  • Tries to mimic the structure of human brain
  • Layers are created within the algorithm, to pick specific parts of subject to learn

There are three types of machine learning algorithms:

  1. Supervised learning – Data sets are labeled so that patterns can be detected and used to label new data sets
  2. Unsupervised learning- Data sets aren’t labeled and are sorted according to similarities or differences
  3. Reinforcement learning- Data sets aren’t labeled but, after performing an action or several actions, the AI system is given feedback

Potential ML applications in near future in India are,

 

  • Banks
    • loan processing
    • customer service
  • Business Process Management
    • to automate the processes
  • Health care
    • diagnosis services
  • Ecommerce
    • product search
    • product recommendations
    • forecasting demand and trends

4. Data Storage

Data storage is the place where data is held in different forms and accessible by a computer system. The classification of various data storage are as follows.

 

Hard disk drives (HDDs)

HDDs are the most commonly used storage in personal computers, servers and enterprise storage systems, but are rapidly giving way to faster solid-state drives

Solid-state Drives(SDDs)

  • Stores data on solid-state semiconductor devices.
  • There are no moving parts involved.
  • Has an array of semiconductor memory organized as a disk drive, using integrated circuits (ICs)

There are two types of solid-state systems: 

  • Flash memory-based systems
    • It is non-volatile, which means the data on the storage media remains in memory after the power is turned off. 
    • Data is arranged in units called blocks.
    • There are two types of flash memory: NAND flash and NOR flash.
    • NAND flash has higher capacities and faster erase and write times, mainly used for digital video, music or data storage
    • NOR offers faster read speed and random access capabilities, making it suitable for code storage in devices such as cell phones
    • USB drives, Secure Digital cards, CompactFlash cards, memory sticks and MultiMediaCards are examples
  • RAM-based systems. 
    • Is volatile.
    • Is relatively insensitive to the number of times data is written to them.
    • Disk drives and adapter cards can be RAM- or flash-based

Optical Storage systems

Blu-ray disc

  • Is  designed to display high definition video and store large amounts of data.
  • Blu-ray is the successor to DVD. 
  • Use shorter wavelength laser as opposed the larger red laser  in DVDs
  • Blu-ray uses phase change technology to enable repeated writing to the disc.
  • Blu-ray also features data streams at 36 megabits per second (Mbps), fast enough for high quality video recording

Holographic storage

  • Uses laser beams to store computer-generated data in three dimensions as ‘holographic image’.
  • Information is stored at high density inside crystals or photopolymers
  • The goal is to store a lot of data in a little bit of space.
  • The technology is expected to yield storage capacities up to a terabyte in drives the same physical size as current ones.

Note: A hologram is a truly three-dimensional and free-standing image that does not simulate spatial depth nor require a special viewing device.

5. Cyber Security

The security risks in cyber space are quickly and constantly evolving. Cybersecurity is more than just a technical problem, but  incorporating aspects of economics and human psychology.

Cyber security or information technology security are the techniques of protecting computers, networks, programs and data from unauthorized access or attacks that are aimed for exploitation.

 Major areas covered in cyber security are
1) Application Security – from threats that can come through flaws in the application design, development, deployment, upgrade or maintenance
2) Information Security – protects information from unauthorized access to avoid identity theft and to protect privacy
3) Disaster recovery – performing risk assessment, establishing priorities, developing recovery strategies in case of a disaster.
4) Network Security – to protect the usability, reliability, integrity and safety of the network

5.1 Threats

The cyber threats can be in different forms as follows

  • Cyber Crime – is crime that involves a computer and a network.The computer may have been used in the commission of a crime, or it may be the target. Examples are cyber attacks, espionage, blackmailing etc
  • Cyber Attack – intended to inflict damage or expropriate information from an individual, organisation or public entity. The purpose can be of theft , unauthorised access to networks, compromise of official records or financial and reputation damage.
  • Cyber warfare – Cyber attacks targeting nations. Usually targets the critical Infrastructures like banking systems, Power grids. For ex, On 23 December 2015, what is believed to be a first known successful cyber attack on a power grid took place in Ukraine leading to temporary blackouts

The tools commonly used by cyber criminals are

Malwares

Malware is a mallicious software designed to allow criminals to achieve their objectives, which can be

  • Ransomware
    • The program that demands payment after launching a cyber attack on a computer system.
    • This type of malware has become increasingly popular among criminals and costs organisations millions each year. Recent example is “Wannacry”
  • Viruses
    • Is a small piece of code that can replicate itself and spread from one computer to another
    • It attaches itself to a computer file
  • Worms
    • Are self-replicating
    • Do not require a program to attach themselves to.
    • Worms continually look for vulnerabilities and report back to the worm author when weaknesses are discovered
  • Spyware
    • Is a software that enables a user to obtain covert information about another’s computer activities by transmitting data covertly from their hard drive
  • Trojans
    • Is a program that appears to perform one function (for example, virus removal) but actually performs malicious activity when executed
  • Botnets
    • Is a collection of software robots, or ‘bots’, that creates an army of infected computers (known as ‘zombies’)
    • They are remotely controlled by the originator
    • They can send spam emails with viruses attached
    • Spread all types of malware.
    • Can use the infected computer as part of a denial of service attack against other system

Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack

  • The malicious user tells all the zombie computers to contact a specific website or server over and over again. And increase in the volume of traffic created, overloads the website or server, sometimes to the point that the website or server shuts down completely.
  • The attacks are “distributed” because the attacker is using multiple computers, to launch the denial-of-service attacks.

Hacking

  • Are the actions taken by someone to gain unauthorized access to a computer.
  • The availability of information online on the tools, techniques, and malware makes hacking easier 
  • Find weaknesses (or pre-existing bugs) in your security settings and exploit them 
  • Install a Trojan horse, providing a back door for hackers to enter and search for information.

Social engineering 

Is exploitation of an individual’s weakness. Phishing and pharming are examples of social engineering

  • Phishing – An attempt to acquire users’ information by masquerading as a legitimate entity.
  • Pharming – An attack to redirect a website’s traffic to a different, fake website, where the individual’s information is then compromised.

Is mainly used for Identity theft – the fraudulent practice of using another person’s name and personal information in order to obtain credit, loans, etc

5.2 Protection

Some basic techniques used for Application security are: 

  1. Input parameter validation
  2. User/Role Authentication & Authorization
  3. Session management, parameter manipulation & exception management
  4. Auditing and logging

Major techniques used for Information security  are: 

  1. Identification, authentication & authorization of user
  2. Cryptography – Ex- Digital signature to authenticate the digital messages

The Network security components include: 

  1. Anti-virus and anti-spyware
  2. Firewall, to block unauthorized access to your network
  3. Intrusion prevention systems (IPS), to identify fast-spreading threats, such as zero-day or zero-hour attacks
  4. Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), to provide secure remote access

Digital signature

  • Digital signatures are based on public key cryptography( asymmetric cryptography)
  • Using a public key algorithm  two  mathematically linked keys are generated – private & public
  • The private key is used to encrypt the hash of electronic data. This encrypted hash is the digital signature
  • Others can validate the integrity of the data by using the signer’s public key to decrypt the hash
  • If the two hashes don’t match, the data has either been tampered with in some way
  • A digital certificate binds together a public key with an identity, and can be used to verify a public key belongs to a particular person or entity

Intrusion prevention systems (IPS)

  • Monitors network traffic
  • Firewalls and anti-virus software are examples of IPS

Firewalls

  • Designed to prevent unauthorized access to or from a private network
  • All messages entering or leaving the intranet pass through the firewall, which examines each message and blocks those that do not meet the specified security criteria
  • Can be implemented as both hardware and software, or a combination of both
  • A hardware firewall uses a PC-like appliance to run software that blocks unwanted outside traffic
  • Software firewalls are installed on the computer like any software
  • A firewall is also useful for allowing remote access to a private network through secure authentication certificates and logins

Anti-virus software

  • Is a program that will prevent, detect and remediate malware infections on individual computing devices and IT systems
  • They scan  files and directories for any malware or known malicious patterns
  • Remove any malicious code detected
  • Also check programs for types of bad behaviour that may indicate a new, unknown virus
  • The anti-virus companies update their detection tools constantly to deal with new malwares created daily

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

  • Uses the Internet as a connection medium, but provide the functionality and security of private WAN connections.
  • VPN connections use either Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) or Layer Two Tunneling Protocol/Internet Protocol security (L2TP/IPSec)
  • VPN saves the cost of long-distance phone service and hardware costs associated with using dial-up or leased line connections.
  • A VPN solution includes advanced security technologies such as data encryption, authentication, authorization, and Network Access Quarantine Control.

5.3 Government Actions

The Indian government has embarked on a programme to turn the country into a digital economy. With the move towards a digital economy, increasing amount of consumer and citizen data will be stored digitally and a large number of transactions will be carried out online, by companies, individuals as well as government departments.That makes India a bigger target for cyber-criminals and hackers. 

National Cyber Security Policy, 2013 by Department of Electronics and Information Technology aims at protecting the public and private infrastructure from cyber attacks.

  •  A National and sectoral 24X7 mechanism has been envisaged to deal with cyber threats through National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC)
  • Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) has been designated to act as a nodal agency for coordination of crisis management efforts
  • Policy calls for effective public and private partnership and collaborative engagements
  • Aims promotion of research and development in cyber security
  • Creating a workforce of 500,000 professionals trained in cyber security in the next 5 years is also envisaged in the policy through skill development and training
  • Provisions of fiscal schemes and incentives have been incorporated in the policy to encourage entities to install trustworthy ICT products and continuously upgrade information infrastructure with respect to cyber security.

5.3.1 Data Protection

The legislations available for data and privacy protection are

  • Indian telegraph act
  • IT act, 2000
    • provide legal recognition for transactions carried out by means of electronic data interchange and other means of electronic communication
    • critical systems can be declared as ‘protected systems’ 
    • enables setting up of a nodal agency for critical infrastructure protection and strengthens the role of CERT-In
    • includes provisions for digital signatures, e-governance, e-commerce, data protection etc
  • Copyrights protection act
    • Computer programs have copyright protection
  • Aadhaar Act

Currently, Indian agencies are at the mercy of foreign agencies to get data of its own citizens, since almost all servers and data storage locations are situated outside India. We need a data residency regulation for regulating the data based on our country. 

5.3.2 Cyber Security Systems

  • CERT-In(Indian Computer Emergency Response Team)
    • A nodal agency for responding to cyber security incidents
    • It monitors and investigates threats that affect computer systems and forecasts and generates alerts
    • To help law enforcing agencies solve cyber crimes, CERT-In has developed standard operating procedures for cyber crime investigations
    • Organizes regular trainings and funds research and other projects in security to academic institutes and industry
  • National Cyber Security Coordinator
    • Created in 2014, under Prime Minister’s Office
  • The “ Cyber Swachhta Kendra ” (Botnet Cleaning and Malware Analysis Centre)
    • Is a part of the Government of India’s Digital India initiative
    • For detecting botnet infections in India and to notify, enable cleaning and securing systems of end users so as to prevent further infections.
    • Provides information and tools to users to secure their systems/devices.
    • This centre is being operated by the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In)
  • National Cyber Coordination Centre (NCCC)
    • Is a multi-stakeholder cyber-security and and e-surveillance agency
    • Will be scanning the country’s web traffic to detect cyber security threats.
    • It comes under the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In)
    • The first phase of the NCCC become operational in 2017
  • The Information Security Education Awareness (ISEA) program
    • aims at capacity building by introducing information security courses at graduate, post-graduate and doctoral levels
    • establishing education exchange programs
    • training system administrators and government officers
  • Digital forensics software project Digital forensics software project
    • For cyber crimes investigation support
  • The ‘Netra’ Internet spy system
    • To monitor activities of dubious people and organizations which use Internet to carry out nefarious designs
  • National Technical Research Organisation
    • The organisation does hi-tech surveillance jobs, including satellite monitoring, terrestrial monitoring, internet monitoring, considered vital for the national security apparatus

6. Associated terms

6.1 Digital divide

Denotes the gulf between those who have ready access to computers and the Internet, and those who do not. There also are persistent digital divides across gender, geography, age, and income dimensions within each country.

6.2 Net neutrality

  • It means that Internet Service Providers(ISPs) should provide open networks that would not block or discriminate against any applications or content that ride over those networks. ie ISP shouldn’t interfere with the content people view or post online.
  • A.K. Bhargava Committee on Net Neutrality was setup by DoT in 2015  
  • The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has barred telecom service providers from charging differential rates for data services, effectively prohibiting Facebook’s Free Basics and Airtel Zero platform by Airtel as they violate net neutrality principles
  • In 2016, TRAI released a pre-consultation paper on Net neutrality. This is a step towards framing the net neutrality legislation in India

6.3 Data Privacy

  • Data privacy( information privacy) deals with the ability an organization or individual to determine what data in a computer system can be shared with third parties.
  •  Aadhaar, India’s biometric identification system that is the largest such project in the world, is focal point of the debate in India
  • The Supreme Court of India on July 19 stated that the right to privacy cannot be an absolute right and that the state may have some power to put reasonable restrictions

6.4 Augmented reality

  • Augmented reality is the integration of digital information with the user’s environment in real time. 
  • Google glass, recent Pokeman Go game uses AR technology
  • AR is used in many industries including healthcare, public safety, gas and oil, tourism and marketing

How it is different form Virtual Reality?

Virtual reality creates a totally artificial environment, but augmented reality uses the existing environment and overlays new information on top of it.

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