Personnel from nearly 1,000 police stations in Karnataka will be trained to handle cybercrime as the state plans one cybercrime station per district by 2019.
“We are starting from zero,” Praveen Sood, director-general of police (CID), who has begun an intensive two-stage training programme on how to deal with hacking, online harassment, credit/debit card fraud, data theft etc, for ranks till the level of constable. He maintains that training personnel remains the challenge when it comes to dealing with digital crime.
Karnataka was the first to establish a dedicated police station to handle digital crime 15 years ago. Other states, including Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, have stepped up police training, including seeking out experts from industry.
“We are now setting up a predictive unit, which will analyse data points from across the web and try to predict the areas that need more vigilance and crimes that are more common,” said Balsing Rajput, superintendent of police, cyber, Maharashtra. The ministry of electronics and information technology (MeitY) has collaborated with the Data Security Council of India (DSCI) to set up cyber forensic labs in all metro cities for training and building awareness of cybercrime investigation.
The National Information Security Education & Awareness (ISEA) programme expects to train over one lakh people — not just police personnel — by 2020. “These sessions have been happening for some time now,” says Dr Triveni Singh, additional superintendent of police, Uttar Pradesh Police, who trains law enforcement departments across the country. “We are invited by the CBI and many such agencies to hold training sessions in cyber forensics and internet investigation for one or two weeks.”
Dr Anup Girdhar, chief executive, Sedulity Solutions & Technologies, an online security services firm, says training in identifying vulnerabilities and mitigating attacks is elaborate — often taking couple of months. “Until an officer clears the first session, he’s not taken to the next level,” said Girdhar, who expects more participation from the police as digital training is being mandated across states.
Kunal Kumar, chief technology officer at Digital Task Force, a cyber-security company, said, “Policemen are regularly upskilled and updated about emerging technologies. States such as Maharashtra and Delhi have good infrastructure, but it still falls short when compared to the technology industry.” The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) reported 27,482 cases of cybercrime during January-June 2017, according to its last update.