Cyberspace is the new and the fifth dimension of warfare as recognised by the UN. In recent times we have seen a significant rise in cyber attacks on nations’ strategic interests and critical infrastructure. The scope of cyberwarfare is increasing rapidly in contemporary times. Nations across the globe are struggling with this issue. The Ministry of Defence of the Government of India has been fundamental to take preventive measures towards all attacks on the Republic of India. The ministry is the junction for all three forces: Airforce, Navy and Army and creates coordination between the forces and deploys the force at strategic locations in terms of enemy threats.
The new OS
Governments across the world have developed various cyber security measures and mechanisms to keep data and information safe and secure. Similarly, the Indian Government has been very critical in deploying cybersecurity strategies, policies, measures, and bills to safeguard the Indian cyber-ecosystem. The Ministry of Defence has recently made a transition in terms of the Operating System used in the daily functions of the ministry. Earlier, the ministry was using an OS from Microsoft, which has now been replaced with the indigenous OS named “Maya” based on open-source Ubuntu. This is the first time the ministry will be deploying indigenous operating software. This step comes at a time of global rise in cyber attacks, and the aspect of indigenous OS will prevent malware and spyware attacks.
What is Maya?
Users will not notice many differences while switching to Maya because it has a similar interface and functionality to Windows. The first instruction is to install Maya on all South Block PCs with Internet access before August 15. In these systems, a Chakravyuh “endpoint detection and protection system” is also being installed. Maya isn’t yet installed on any computers connected to the networks of the three Services; instead, it is solely used in Defence Ministry systems. It had also been reviewed by the three Services and would shortly be adopted on service networks. The Army and Air Force were currently reviewing it after the Navy had already given its approval.
OS Maya was created by government development organisations in less than six months. An official from the ministry has informed that Maya would stop malware attacks and other cyberattacks, which have sharply increased. The nation has recently experienced a number of malware and extortion attacks, some of which targeted vital infrastructure. The Defence Ministry has made repeated attempts in the past to switch from Windows to an Indian operating system.
How will the new OS help?
The OS Maya is a critically developed OS and is expected to cater to the needs of all cybersecurity and safety issues of contemporary threats and vulnerabilities.
The following aspects need to be kept in mind in regard to safety and security issues:
- Better and improved security and safety
- Reduced chances of cyberattacks
- Promotion of Inidegenous talent and innovation
- Global standard OS
- Preventing and precautionary measures
- Safety by Design for overall resilience
- Improved Inter forces coordination
- Upskilling and capacity building for Serving personnel
Finally, the emergence of cyberspace as the fifth dimension of warfare has compelled countries all over the world to adopt a proactive stance, and India’s Ministry of Defence has made a significant move in this area. The significance of strengthened cybersecurity measures has been highlighted by the rising frequency and level of complexity of cyberattacks against key assets and vital infrastructure. The Ministry’s choice to use the local Maya operating system is a key step in protecting the country’s cyber-ecosystem. Maya’s debut represents a fundamental shift in the cybersecurity approach as well as a technology transition. This change not only improves the security and protection of confidential data but also demonstrates India’s dedication to supporting innovation and developing homegrown talent. Government development organisations have shown their commitment to solving the changing difficulties of the digital age by producing cutting-edge operating systems like Maya in a relatively short amount of time.
Author: Mr. Abhishek Singh, Lead – Policy and Advocacy, CyberPeace