Shalini Kesar, Ph.D.
The main motivation for this paper comes from previous presentation at ETHCOMP2010 where key challenges in the area of cybercrime and Electronic Government (EGov) in India were highlighted. It was seen that one of the main challenges faced by government officials at local level was their lack of awareness about management of cybercrime in general. It was also found that the general perception of officials was that the implementation of technical controls can minimize the risks associated with cybercrime. On the contrary to this mindset, recent research indicates that technical controls alone will not help in management of cybercrime. In additional to technical controls, equal importance to formal and social issues associated with Information, Communications and Technologies (ICT) have to be taken into account. With this in mind, this paper takes the support of Kritzinger and von Solms (2010) model to develop an E-Awareness Training Model for EGov context in India. It specifically aims to understand how including technical, formal and social issues within this model can help in facilitating changes in the perceptions of government officials about management of cybercrime.
Cybercrime and EGov in India continue to be two important topics. The “push” to use ICT towards high impact EGov projects in India still aims to “transform the corporation’s commitment to be citizen centric, provide cost-effective services and enhance governance through improved access to accurate information and transparent and responsive democratic institutions”. On the other hand, the dependency and use of ICT brings new and dangerous cybercrime related risks. The existing vulnerability when using ICT in context of EGov, if not protected, will indeed continue to be of a significant concern.
Against this backdrop, this paper particularly focuses on one particular EGov project initiated within the Municipal Corporation (MC) in the west part of India . Municipal Corporation is one of the largest and leading Urban Local Governance Body . While safeguarding information, most of the reports on EGov projects within MC discuss key component of technical architecture that mostly centers on technical controls. Hence, it is hoped that initial findings of this paper will not only exemplify the importance technical, formal and social issues of ICT but will also contribute towards Indian EGov agenda to reform the project rationale in context of management of cybercrime.
Current Situation in EGov and Cybercrime in India
Overall the government of India’s vision is to provide an “economically vibrant and sustainable city with diverse opportunities and rich culture; where all citizens enjoy a safe environment with good connectivity”. National eGoveranace Plan in general aims to provide, for example, services to reach the locality and ensure efficiency, transparency & reliability of Services . Some of the MC’s agenda include promoting people centric administration and reducing delays and ensure promptness in delivery of services. Existing EGov MC projects in west part of India have always been on the forefront of ICT enablement of services and departments to render faster and more efficient services to the citizens .
On the other hand, statistics indicate that cybercrime in India in on a continual rise. For example, under the Information Technology Act, a total of 420 cases such as hacking computer systems or forging digital signatures were reported in 2009 (Indian Gazette, 2011 ). This has increased from only 142 reported cases in 2006. Other global reports such Crime Online reflect that growth of cybercrime in countries in India are of particular concern
E-Awareness Model proposed by Kritzinger and von Solms (2010) suggests two key components: E-Awareness Portal and Regulating Services. The main function of the portal is to provide up to date contents regarding cybercrime risks within the EGov local level environment (see table below). This addresses and enhances awareness of government officials who are responsible for implementing EGov services. Recent work of Naavi in India strengthens the argument presented in this paper.
E-Awareness Training Model
Issues such as social, organizational and technological factors and problems pertain to Indian EGov are beginning to be recognized. Yet specific studies on management of cybercrime in this context still remain largely neglected.
Kesar, S. “Has the Indian Government really thought about management of information systems security?”, ETHICOMP2010, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona, Spain (2010).
Kritzinger, E. and von Solms, S. H. “Cyber security for home users: A new way of protection through awareness enforcement”. Computers & Security, 29 (8): 840-847 (2010).