Govt. to Embrace Private Sector to Bolster Cyber Security


In the past couple of years, hacking groups across the globe have been making headlines on a regular basis. They brought down the CIA website and attacked corporations like Sony, Nintendo and a few companies with links to FBI and the US Senate.

Closer home, the websites of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), National Information Centre (NIC) and the Indian army were also attacked. Hackers had also targeted the Delhi airport, which resulted in check-in counters of all airlines becoming non-operational for many hours. Websites of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation,BSNL and telecom regulator TRAI also faced the brunt of the hackers.

The rise in the number of such incidents seems to have finally woken up Indian authorities to engage the private sector in the war against cyber attacks. 

Our National Security Advisor, Shivshankar Menon made it clear that the country now wants the private and government bodies to synergize their efforts to prevent cyber attacks.

The Indian government said that it will now set up a joint working group on cyber security. This will be the first time the government will allow participation of the private sector in national security matters. The setting up of the group comes a few days after India announced that it will bolster its cyber security capabilities by training around 500,000 cyber warriors in the next five years.

"Although as a country we are late, it may well be a blessing in disguise as we would not have to reinvent the wheel and simply learn from mistakes and successful strategies deployed by other countries," says Manish Dave, CISO, Essar Group.

Despite being a major player in the global economy, India had faired low down the order in terms of cyber-readiness and defense as compared to other countries around the globe as per a cyber security report released last year by McAfee and a survey conducted by Security and Defense Agenda (SDA), an independent defense and security think tank based in Brussels.

As per reports, the initial steps of implementation for the group will involve the launch of four pilot programs viz. a testing lab, multi-disciplinary centres of excellence, study of vulnerabilities in sample information infrastructure and regular test audits.

Without doubt, this initiative from the government is a welcome move. However, the larger concern is lack of transparency in information sharing. 

Security leaders opine that most of the breaches are not made public, as the government and private agencies fear damage to brand. Due to this, most of the times no forensics takes place, and financial impact is just written off. Instead, if the breaches are shared with a larger audience, they can help learn and protect the infrastructure accordingly. 

Do you want to share your thoughts to improve the situation, or would you prefer to keep quiet?

Categories: Technology

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Ashwani Mishra

Ashwani Mishra is a former Executive Editor at DynamicCIO....

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