At the Public Affairs Forum of India (PAFI) Dialogue which was themed— ‘Cyber Security in the New Normal’, held on 2 July, National Cybersecurity Coordinator, Prime Minister’s Office, Government of India Lt. Gen. (Dr) Rajesh Pant, expressed the government’s intention to release a new cybersecurity strategy this year. He added that the strategy would ‘holistically cover the entire ecosystem of cyber space in India’.
“The vision of this strategy is to ensure safe, secure, resilient, vibrant, and trusted cyber space,” he said. The new strategy would serve as a guideline to tackle every aspect, whether it is governance or data as a national resource, or building indigenous capabilities or cyber audit, to name a few. “There are about 80 odd deliverables coming out of this new strategy,” he added.
Lt. Gen. Pant said, “Pandemic has shot up the cyber-crimes in India by 500 percent and India is one of the top 3 attacked countries in the world as far as cyber-attacks are concerned.” There are emerging threats from the proliferation of new technologies like drones and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. To ensure a safe, secure and trusted cyberspace, the government has taken a series of initiatives.
“Cybercrimes are increasing. Attribution is the difficult part and now (cyber criminals) they have started taking advantage of dark web. Pandemic gave the perfect storm to the cyber criminals,” he added.
Highlighting the Prime Minister’s focus on the importance of cyber security, Lt. Gen. said that, “the Government has a good framework in place. From 2013 to 2021, the threat surface has changed… Pandemic and work-from-home has exponentially expanded the threat surface. Cyber security, from the Government of India perspective, has become an essential service… Government is also looking at revising the IT Act, besides the new cyber strategy that is being worked upon.”
On the national security narrative of the Telecom sector, Pant said, “While other nations have created a black-list of companies that cannot operate in the country, India is the only nation to create a white-list of telecom companies that are allowed to operate in India. The companies allowed must be a trusted source. We were able to create and launch the trusted telecom portal during the pandemic and within six months.”
President, PAFI & President, IAMAI, Dr. Subho Ray presented opening remarks and Secretary of PAFI & Group Government Affairs Officer, Tata Sons Pvt. Ltd., Tanmoy Chakrabarty gave a vote of thanks at the PAFI Dialogue.