With increasing integration of the country’s major physical infrastructure like the Transport Systems, Power Grid, etc with the Internet, and with increasing cyber attacks on computer networks of national agencies, government departments and networks, it is becoming increasingly important to protect and secure the data, networks and up time of the country’s IT infrastructure. In this article I recommend a very fundamental, basic and the easiest change in our IT infrastructure which can thwart away MOST if not all of the cyber terrorism and sabotage attacks on our Computer Infrastructure, and also make any real attacks more difficult.
Please note that with numerous government websites and networks being hacked or attempted to be hacked every day, India is already in a state of Cyber War. So are most countries across the world. And any nation which takes its security seriously cannot ignore Cyber Attacks and consider only Geographical attacks based on Land, Sea or Air as a real attack. With the heavy dependency of nation’s functioning on Computer Networks, a national should give equal importance to any attack on its IT infrastructure as well.
The best move I can suggest to make Indian Cyber Space secure is to move all government and sensitive computer infrastructure to Linux based systems from the current Windows based systems. Even individuals who want to stop worrying about the security of their data should simply switch over to Ubuntu from Windows, and use browsers like Firefox or Chrome instead of IE.
Ubuntu should be the OS of choice, and this also cuts down on millions of dollars in licensing fee for Windows based systems, given that Linux based systems like Ubuntu are both FREE and Open Source.
Gone are the days of Linux being only for the geek. Linux based OS like Ubuntu are better evolved and more user friendly. I have been using Ubuntu for the past 6-7 years. Layers like Wine have ensured that most windows programs could be run in Ubuntu without any issues.
Also these days most people log in to their computers only to launch an Internet Browser, watch videos or play music, so for such people Ubuntu becomes a natural choice for a more secure access.
Hacking into windows is one thing, even attempting to hack into a Linux based system is something totally different. Its like the difference between entering into a house with all doors open, and attempting to enter a house with heavy security and closed doors. In Linux based systems, the doors are closed by default, there are no open ports lingering around unlike Windows based systems. Non IE Browsers like Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox are more secure. There are no real virus threats to Linux based systems, no program runs as an administrator by default, all the important file systems and information is locked up under the root account which is heavily protected.
Linux is the way to go, both from a security point of view as well as cost. It is Open Source, well built, well protected, has great features, is fast, well maintained and FREE!