Tarmak007 -- A bold blog on Indian defence: Cyber security need of the hour: Menon

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Cyber security need of the hour: Menon

By M A Athul

NSA Shiv Shankar Menon said that India needs to create a climate in which security is built into our cyber and communications working methods. He was releasing the IDSA report on India's Cyber Security Challenges.
Menon specified that India was not in favor of curbing virtual freedom but reiterated that a line had to be drawn between privacy and collective security. He emphasized on the need to harden critical networks and develop metrics to safeguard the nation’s cyber infrastructure.
The NSA also emphasized on generating indigenous manpower and technology required for cyber security. He spoke about the ICT on warfare and said that the revolution in IT industry has redistributed power to non state actors including terrorists. He also notified on the effects of ICT on warfare and how the weaker states can use cyber war to neutralize or raise the cost and deter the use of its military strength by a stronger state. The NSA concluded that India must be ready to face threats to cyber space and risks arising through cyber space, and also emphasized on the need of public-private partnership to preserve the functionality in cyber space. 
He also added that while NTRO (National Technical Research Organization) is tasked with the protection of cyber space, the institutions like CERT-IN have proved their worth during events like Common Wealth Games in defending our open civil systems.
Later the Director General of IDSA Dr Arvind Gupta said that the report is aimed at raising awareness about the dynamic nature of cyberspace and cyber security challenges that India is facing. He further added that India must foresee and plan for various challenges arising out of the growth of internet and digitalization of governance. He also pointed out that India is vulnerable to cyber crimes and espionages.
Later there was a panel discussion on the subject “Indian Cyber Security- Way forward." Deputy national Security Advisor Ms. Vijay Latha Reddy said that the government is putting together an architecture involving various agencies and departments to deal with cyber security. Also present was the Chief Information Security Officer, Airtel, Felix Mohan who gave an example of a successful public private partnership between CERT–IN and Airtel during the Common Wealth Games where over 8000 cyber attacks in two weeks.
The IDSA had set up a Task Force in 2011 to explore the diverse dimensions of cyber security challenge that India is facing. The Task Force was headed by Shri Nitin Desai, former Member of the NSAB, and comprised Director General, IDSA, Dr Arvind Gupta. The report argues that Government and the private sector give cyber security some priority in their security and risk management plans, and do this jointly. Being a report that is addressed to the security community in the widest sense and intended to stimulate public discussion, it relied on publicly available information. (Edited from an IDSA release)

If you find any errors in the article, email them to: athulmenath55@yahoo.com

(The writer is a first year PG student of Defence and Strategic Studies with Madras University currently on a 2-months’ internship with Tarmak007. His write-ups need not be news-breaks and in-depth in nature; hence should be seen as an ab initio effort by a budding defence journalist. The views expressed by Athul need not be that of Tarmak007.)

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