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Indian security summit discusses strategies to protect cyberspace

Image credit: kishanreddybjp; Twitter

The 12th India Security Summit themed ‘Towards New National Cyber Security Strategy’, was held earlier this week.

During the conference, the protection of critical national infrastructure, emerging cyber-threats, incidents, challenges, and responses were discussed.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) released a press statement, which said that India has gone through rapid evolution as far as technology and special communication technology is concerned. Digital culture is being transferred from generation to generation.

Every technology has a utility and currently, cyber technology is on the rise. However, this technology has become one of the greatest threats to personal and national security.

A government official at the event said that the concept of security has changed in the last few decades. It has assumed proportions; external as well as internal. It is important to understand that terrorism is terrorism and there cannot be a distinction based on caste, creed, and religion.

The release said that India’s cyberspace is becoming a new battlefield. All over the world, successful attacks have caused significant financial loss and other problems. He said that cybersecurity is crucial for digital governance and its broad ecosystem.

The National Cyber Security Policy, 2013 was implemented to build a secure and resilient cyberspace for citizens, businesses, and the government. By protecting information infrastructures, building capabilities to prevent and respond to cyber threats, reducing vulnerabilities, and minimising damage from cyber incidents.

In addition to cybersecurity policies, the government has taken various measures to counter cyber-threats.

The government set up the National Cyber Coordination Centre (NCCC) to generate macroscopic views of cybersecurity breaches and cybersecurity threats in the country. The centre scans the cyberspace in the country at a metadata level and generates near real-time situational awareness.

The NCCC is a multi-stakeholder body and implemented by Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In). The first phase of NCCC was operationalised in 2017 and plans for the final version of the project is in progress.

Another initiative is the Cyber Swachhta Kendra. It is operated by the CERT-In team. By providing free tools and security best practices for citizens, CSK helps users to securely carry out digital payments, secure their personal computers, broadband routers, and mobile phones.

The centre operates in collaboration with Internet service providers (ISPs), antivirus companies, and academia to facilitate productive interactions in terms of guidance and communication between the government and the public.

It also provides a free bot removal tool, various security tools, security best practices, and information to users to secure their systems and devices, while spreading cybersecurity awareness.

A government official at the event called for more awareness through seminars and advisories. He said that cybersecurity is the collective responsibility of the country and invited suggestions from stakeholders.

India is working with other countries to secure develop strong cyberspace. As OpenGov reported earlier, India and France finalised an agreement that enables the countries to work more closely in the areas of digital and cyber security.

The two sides signed a pact on maritime surveillance. Both countries have planned the launch of 8-10 satellites as part of a “constellation” for maritime surveillance in the region. This is India’s largest space cooperation with any country so far.

The countries also explored new areas of cooperation such as artificial intelligence, supercomputing, and developing digital technology.

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