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India, Morocco ink MoU on cybersecurity

The Cabinet appraised of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Morocco on cybersecurity cooperation, this week.  

According to a press statement, the MoU was signed in New Delhi on 25 September 2018.

The MoU aims to promote closer cooperation for the exchange of knowledge and experience in detection, resolution and the prevention of security-related incidents for both sides.

The statement said that the implementation of the MoU will result in significant mutual benefits in India’s cybersecurity sector, through institutional and capacity building with Morocco.

In September of last year, the Moroccan Defence Minister met India’s Defence Minister to discuss bilateral cooperation between both the countries.

During the meeting, both Ministers agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation in the field of defence and security. India’s defence minister identified the fields of hydrography, peacekeeping, telemedicine, information communication technology (ICT) as well as counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency as potential areas for bilateral engagement.

Cooperation on defence industries, including collaboration in ship manufacturing support was also discussed.

In 2015, the two countries decided to boost bilateral ties to a Strategic Partnership and have been working to include new areas of cooperation to the partnership including space and military cooperation. They will also collaborate in traditional economic areas such as fertiliser, chemicals, automobiles, renewable energy, and construction.

Strategic partnerships are long-term interactions between two countries based on political, economic, social and historical factors. India has signed “strategic partnerships” with more than 30 countries. They are generally related to defence and security-related issues, but also cover a wide range of bilateral relations including health, development, and economic relations such as trade, investment and banking.

The MoU for ‘Cooperation in the area of Cyber Security’ was inked between the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-IN), India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, and the Moroccan Computer Response Team (ma-CERT).

The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team is an office within the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. It is the nodal agency to deal with cybersecurity threats like hacking and phishing.

The Moroccan Computer Emergency Response Team is the centre of watch, detection and response to computer attacks. The management department of this centre, which is one of the four directorates of the DGSSI (Direction Generale de la Securite des Systemes d’Information), is in charge of implementing, systems for monitoring, detecting and alerting events likely to affect safety.

According to India’s Policy Commission, the National Institute for Transforming India, India ranks 3rd in terms of the highest number of internet users in the world after USA and China. The number has grown six-fold between 2012-2017, with a compound annual growth rate of 44%.

Furthermore, India secures a spot amongst the top 10 spam-sending countries in the world alongside the USA and was ranked among the top five countries to be affected by cybercrime.

Therefore, the Government is working to implement stricter policies and laws to reduce and prevent cyber-attacks in the country. The MoU between the two countries could potentially reduce these cyber-threats.

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