Maharashtra’s home minister Anil Deshmukh has said that a power outage in Mumbai in October 2020 may have been an instance of cyber sabotage. His statement was based on the preliminary report of an expert committee which was set up to inquire into the cause of the outage.
While a definitive conclusion is awaited, it makes sense to consider the likelihood of increased cyber attacks. On 21st September 2020, the Centre informed the Lok Sabha that reported cyber security incidents have risen more than ten-fold in less than five years.
According to the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), the number of cyber security incidents increased from 49,455 in 2015 to 394,499 in 2019. In just the first eight months of 2020, 696,938 incidents were reported.
With the growth of digitisation, the vulnerability factor will only increase. No country is insulated from cyber sabotage and India needs to be prepared at all levels for not only an increase in cyber security incidents, but also the possibility that sophisticated state backed hackers will be looking for vulnerabilities.