Saturday 5 February 2011

Cyber Security Of Stock Exchanges In India

A very prominent feature of unauthorised intrusions and cracking activities of cyber criminals is that their primary target is financial institutions or institutions similar to that. This is logical as well because that is where the money is. Banks, financial institutions, stock exchanges, etc are all gold mines for crackers and cyber criminals.

Proving this point once more, cyber criminals have repeatedly penetrated the computer network of the company that runs the NASDAQ Stock Market during the past year. Cyber investigators have yet to establish the motive for such intrusion. They are considering a range of possible motives, including unlawful financial gain, theft of trade secrets and a national-security threat designed to damage the exchange.

Further, investigators are also worried about the present as well as future cyber threats to the exchanges as zero day vulnerability is difficult to predict. Even it is difficult to say that all security gaps have been plugged.

Indian stock exchanges are no different from NASDAQ and there is an urgent need to consider their cyber security on a priority basis. India has to preserve the stability and reliability of electronic stock trading on the one hand and has to ensure that investors have full faith in such system.

Both Indian cyber law as well as cyber security are not in good shape. This is not an ideal condition for stock exchanges in India as neither is there any deterrent law nor is there a well defined and robust cyber security mechanism that is followed by India in this regard.

Time has come to enact an effective and strong cyber law and strengthen the cyber security of India.