Urgent Need to Address Risks from Cyberspace -: National Security Advisor
India’s National Security Advisor Sh Shivshankar Menon released a report on the “Recommendations of Joint Working Group on Engagement with Private Sector on Cyber Security”, in New Delhi today. Making public the report, Sh Menon said facing the challenges from cyber space requires both the government and industry to work together; the government cannot do this alone nor can the private sector do it on its own. He said it is a delicate act, how to balance social media responsibility with democratic freedom. Sh Menon pointed out that the Report has been readied in a record time; work started on it only in July this year. He hoped that India would set new benchmarks for the world in cyber security. The JWG was set up under the chairpersonship of Ms Latha Reddy, Deputy National Security Advisor to work out the roadmap for engaging the private sector in a Public Private Partnership (PPP) for strengthening the cyber security architecture in the country. It included representatives of both government and private sector. Ms Reddy said, the recommendations are the outcome of extensive and in-depth discussions with the industry. She hoped that India could emerge as a global hub for developing cyber security products. India’s current economic, social & infrastructure development process is making greater use of ICT for bringing transformation. However, this dependence on ICT makes the country vulnerable to cyber attacks that can have serious implications for both, the nation and economy. Given that the private sector leads the development & adoption of ICT, a need was felt that the government and private sector collaborate and work together to overcome the challenges of cyber security. The JWG had constituted Sub-Groups with representatives of government and private sector, to flesh out the details of such engagement. Based on the inputs from these Sub-Groups, the recommendations were finalised. The JWG has identified the principles and objectives that would underpin the overall framework and roadmap for PPP on cyber security. It has recommended a “Roadmap” for PPP on Cyber Security which includes setting up of an institutional framework, Capacity-Building in the area of cyber security, development of cyber security standards and assurance mechanisms, augmentation of testing & certification facilities for IT products. Institutional framework would include setting of a permanent JWG, with representatives of government and private sector, to coordinate and oversee the implementation of PPP on cyber security. A Joint Committee on International Cooperation and Advocacy (JCICA) will advise JWG in promoting India’s national interests at various international fora on cyber security issues. To take the collaboration efforts ahead, the report identifies four pilot projects- setting up of a pilot testing lab, conducting a test audit, study of a sample Critical Information Infrastructure and establishment of a multi-disciplinary Centre of Excellence (COE). The newly constituted JWG would work out the Action-Plan for implementation of the recommendations. Some of the other key recommendations of the JWG include: • Creation of Information Sharing & Analysis Centres (ISACs) in various industry verticals by the private sector which should coordinate with sectoral CERTs and CERT-In. • Provide training to law enforcement agencies (LEAs) in cyber crime investigation and cyber forensics by establishing training facilities and developing training materials & investigation manuals. • Promotion and dissemination of cyber security awareness among general public through mutual collaboration. • Establishment of an ‘Institute of Cyber Security Professionals of India’ for capacity building in security testing and auditing. Sh J Satyanarayana, Secretary, Dept of Electronics & IT, Sh Asoke Mukerji, Special Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs, Sh Kiran Karnik, Chairman , National Committee on Telecom & Broadband, CII, Sh Rajendra Pawar Ex-Chairman NASSCOM & Chairman NIIT, and Sh Virat Bhatia, Chairman, Communication & Digital Economy Committee, FICCI also spoke on the occasion.