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India and Japan sign MoC for Cybersecurity

Image credit: AP

A Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) in the field of Cybersecurity between India and Japan is set to be signed and come into effect. The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister, has given its approval for signing the MoC in the field of cybersecurity between India and Japan.

Both countries welcomed the finalisation of the text of the cybersecurity agreement that will promote cooperation in key areas such as 5G network and Artificial Intelligence. The announcement on the agreement followed the 13th India-Japan Foreign Ministers’ Strategic Dialogue between the representative ministers.

The MoC will enhance cooperation in areas of mutual interest in the entire cybersecurity gamut. This will include capacity building in the area of cyberspace and protection of critical infrastructure. It will promote cooperation in capacity building, research and development, security and resilience in the areas of Critical Information Infrastructure, 5G, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), among others.

The countries are committed to cooperation in emerging technologies, sharing information on cybersecurity threats, incidents and malicious cyber activities. The nations will develop and exchange best practices to counter cyber threats and bad actors along with developing joint mechanisms to mitigate cyber risk to critical ICT infrastructure.

India and Japan commit to an open, interoperable, free, fair, secure and reli­able cyberspace environment and to promote the Internet as an engine of innova­tion, economic growth, and trade and commerce that would be consistent with their respective domestic laws and international obligations, and with their wide-ranging strategic partnership.

Both sides, through the MoC, affirm cooperation in the international arena including in the United Nations; discussing and sharing strategies and best prac­tices to promote the integrity of the supply chain of ICT products; strengthening the security of ICT infrastructure through government-to-government and business-to-business cooperation; continuing dialogue and engagement in internet governance fora and to support active participation by all the stakeholders of the two countries in these fora.

The announcement is expected to draw the attention of the stakeholders in the Indian 5G sector as it gets ready to open up for international operators and especially since there is lack of clarity on possible participation of Chinese technology majors in the 5G arena.

India is taking cyber resilience seriously and has initiated measures to address it at all levels. The Home Ministry launched the ‘National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal’, where one can report cybercrime complaints online. It is a dedicated mechanism to resolve cybercrimes. At the national level, a Computer Emergency Response Team is the nodal agency to advise and respond to cybercrimes that are reported all over the country.

Recently, in its “Lockdown Lecture Series” on various issues of social importance, the Nehru Science Centre, organised an online Lecture on Cyber Security. The lecture titled “Understanding Cyber Security” was delivered by Col. Pradeep Bhat (Retd.), Consultant, National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC).

Like physical security, he opined,  cybersecurity, too, is based on simple principles and practices which we can understand and imbibe in our daily life. The key elements of any protection framework, be it physical valuables or digital valuables are the same: secure, observe and act.

Earlier this year, handbooks prepared by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on measures taken by the board to adopt value-based global standards of education, were released.

The handbook,  ‘Cyber safety – A Handbook for Students of Secondary & Senior Secondary Schools’, is designed to create awareness about cybersecurity among high school students. The booklet is a guide for teenagers who use the internet and other digital platforms frequently who may face a variety of security risks.

Another booklet, ’21st Century Skills: A Handbook’, aims to create wider awareness of 21st-century skills and motivate them to use them in their daily life. The minister releasing the booklets was confident that they would help in developing a better understanding of the cybersecurity, improving efficiency, gaining skills and leadership experience.

Image credit: AP

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