ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, and NPCI are now “critical information infrastructure” declared Government. Official notifications were issued for each of the institutions on June 16, 2022. As per the notifications, they fall under Section 70 of the IT Act, 2000.. Here is what does it mean.
What is Critical Information Infrastructure?
CII or critical information infrastructure is a technical resource (real or virtual) protected for the well-being of the nation. It can be a computer system or network of systems within which vital information flows.
National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre, an organization under the GOI, will protect all these institutions. It serves directly under the Prime Minister’s Office and come under the National Technical Research Organization.
What Happens if CII is Damaged?
Any kind of damage to the IT resources ICICI, HDFC, and NCPI will affect national security. Any unauthorized users if tamper or access the resources will get severe punishment. As a result, they will get a jail term of up to 10 years.
What is Protected Under Critical Information Infrastructure?
The computer resources related to ICICI Bank’s flagship banking solution, Real-Time Gross Settlement (RTGS), National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) come under a ‘critical information framework’.
Computer resources of related institutions also come in this list. This is to protect the systems from cyber attacks as per the above law. The same goes for HDFC and NCPI. Only a few people can access these resources, these includes:
- Designated employees,
- Team members of tender-based service providers, t
- Third-party vendors who have been permitted,
- Consultants, if required,
- Government officials,
- Auditors and other stakeholders are permitted by the institution
Why ICICI, HDFC, and NCPI Are Made CII?
High rate of cyber attacks in India is worrisome for the Government and safety of national security. Banks and financial institutions are also very important for this purpose and thus needs highest level of protection.
Any damage to them will hurt national security, the economy, public health, and security. Those coming under oil company, railway, airport, metro, and other transport systems are also matter of national safety, as said by Cyber expert Triveni Singh.