National Cybersecurity Strategy in the Final Stage of Clearance: National Cybersecurity Coordinator

Image credit: Cybersecurity Hub

As India has faced increasing number of cyber-attacks and threats from nation states, the country is in the final stages of clearing its cyber security strategy.

Rajesh Pant, National Cybersecurity coordinator Lt. Gen (retired) has said that India is in the final stage of clearing a National Cybersecurity Strategy due to an increase in the number of cyber-attacks and threats from nation-state against India.

There are about 4 million malware that are detected every day and India is one of the most cyber attacked nations in the world.

“One of the reasons for this is that we have a large attack surface with 1.15 billion phones and more than 700 million internet users,” said Pant during the third edition of ‘ExpertSpeak’ which is a curated dialogue series by Microsoft with industry experts, an ET Government report added.

“What we require now is a national cybersecurity strategy, which we have been working on over the last two years and it is in the cabinet for the final stamp. The first thing that we need is a governance structure, because there is no central apex organisation which is responsible for cybersecurity of the nation,” added Pant.

He further said, “that is the first thing we have to tackle, because the difference between a policy and a strategy is that a strategy is an action-oriented plan with a timeline.”

The COVID19 pandemic has helped organisations realise that there is a strict need to take steps in order to improve their cybersecurity infrastructure and be prepared for the possible breaches.

“Fortunately, we’ve managed to avoid any major cyber-attacks or threats and that is one of the reasons why in June, we jumped from 47 to 10 in the new rankings of the Global Cybersecurity Index,” Pant said.

With the policy comes the challenge to address cyber skilling. Reports estimate that there will be about 1.5 million job vacancies in the cybersecurity area by 2025 in India.”There’s a strong industry need to build programmes that bridge this skills gap in cybersecurity. Closing the gender gap in cybersecurity and enabling more diversity in the field is another critical priority,” said Keshav Dhakad, General Counsel, Microsoft India.

The report further added that Microsoft has invested in the ‘CyberShikshaa’ programme along with the Data Security Council of India (DSCI) to create a skilled women security professionals in India.

Microsoft is also partnering closely with MeitY to skill security leaders in government entities across the nation in cybersecurity,” Dhakad said. The nation-state actors are targeting critical infrastructure like power.

“We are definitely seeing attacks coming and there are different motives behind why you will go and disrupt a critical infrastructure like the outage that happened in Mumbai Maharashtra. Protecting that infrastructure is very critical,” said Dhakad.

McAfee Enterprise and FireEye had recently released their 2022 Threat Predictions, examining the top cybersecurity threats they predict enterprises will face in 2022.

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