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Indian Ministry of Defence holds conference on cybersecurity

According to a press release, a conference on cybersecurity was set up by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in association with Cyber Peace Foundation and the Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute (VJTI) earlier this week.

More than 100 academia and 70 start-ups attended the conference.

The conference addressed the challenges and innovations of cybersecurity at the DRDO Organisation. It was inaugurated by a member of the Policy Commission, that is the National Institute for Transforming India (NITI Aayog), Dr V K Saraswat.

While addressing the gathering, Dr Saraswat emphasised to convert a challenge into an opportunity through innovation. He said that the country’s cyberspace is becoming more complex and India needs continuous innovation to keep the space secure and resilient to threats. Indigenous solutions need to be created, in-house expertise utilised, and a robust start-up ecosystem developed.

Dr Saraswat said India should work to reduce its dependency on foreign products and solutions for securing our critical infrastructure and defence installations.

According to a document released by the NITI Aayog, the cybersecurity challenges are that cyberspace has inherent vulnerabilities that cannot be removed. Furthermore, there are innumerable entry-points to the Internet. Internet technology makes it relatively easy to misdirect attribution to other parties and computer network defence techniques, tactics and practices largely protect individual systems and networks rather than critical operations (missions).

India ranks 3rd in terms of the highest number of internet users in the world after the USA and China, the number has grown 6-fold between 2012-2017 with a compound annual growth rate of 44%.

India is among the top 10 spam-sending countries in the world.

During the event, the National Cyber Security Coordinator, Dr Gulshan Rai talked about areas of strategic importance including AI, robotics, virtual reality and augmented reality, and IOT, which he said will set the foundation and be the backbone of the country in future.

Cybersecurity is one of the biggest challenges the country faces, the DRDO aims to work together with experts and professionals to create and innovative solutions through “home-grown technological research and innovation”.

The conference focused on the current trends, need and future requirements of innovation in the field of cybersecurity for a secured cyberspace. It discussed the challenges for the country’s cyberspace and their possible solutions.

The Indian Government has taken steps to curb cyber-attacks in the country, including approving a framework to enhance security in cyberspace, with the National Security Council Secretariat functioning as the nodal agency.

The National Cyber Security Policy, 2013 was developed to build a secure and resilient cyberspace for India’s citizens and businesses. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said that the policy aims to protect information and the information infrastructure in cyberspace, build capabilities to prevent and respond to cyber threats, reduce vulnerabilities and minimise damage from cyber incidents through a combination of institutional structures, people, processes, technology and cooperation.

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