Technology Innovation Hub paving the way towards India’s cybersecure future
A surveillance system installed at the National Highways Authority of India headquarters at Dwarka keeps track of the health of all the computers in its network, flagging attempts to hack into the system, malware in systems within the network, or malfunctioning programme being used.
Installed in 2021, the Security Operation Centre (SoC) titled C3iVazra has protected the computers that monitor the highways across the country and has alerted about potential dangers.
C3iVazra provides supervisory monitoring by gathering the real-time event, and log feeds from the endpoints, packet data from the network and the internet, and processes these feeds to generate threat intelligence and ensure network security of the organization. Major benefits of this solution are increased efficiency in incident response, reduced impact of security breaches, better reporting and notification, log analysis, and retention.
The SoC, the first one in the country based fully on open-source components and integration, was developed by the Cyberphysical systems Technology Innovation Hub (TIH) or C3iHub set up at IIT Kanpur — an R&D centre on cybersecurity in the country.
Over the past two years, the TIH, supported by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), under National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber Physical Systems (NM-ICPS) has focused on the security of critical infrastructure, security of mobile devices, blockchain-based or digital ledger-based solutions for integrity, and privacy of data. It has also supported startups in the cybersecurity domain, including some that take technology developed in C3iHub to the market.
A self-sovereign identity (SSI) system based on blockchain technology has also been developed by C3iHub. Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI) is a technology that allows the users to have complete control over where and how the data personal to the user is used. SSI uses a combination of technologies to give this control to the user through blockchain, zero-knowledge proofs, and digital signatures. It is useful for securely storing a wide variety of personal information, including degrees, certificates, and identity proofs.
An SSI-based system for awarding degrees was developed at C3iHub and is being deployed by an IIT incubated Startup CRUBN through the hub. The Prime Minister awarded degrees through this system to graduating students of IIT Kanpur. The system has also been used for awarding PM Bal Puraskar and degrees by IGNOU.
C3iHub, through CRUBN, has also deployed blockchain-based land records in six districts of Karnataka, which will be extended to the other districts.
The TIH is currently working with the Ministry of Communications to formulate recommendations on how to protect end-users from unwanted leakage of mobile phone data as well as develop tools for analysing the security of smartphones. It is also working with the Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Power, RBI, and Government of UP to address their cybersecurity requirements.