Digital India needs a cybersecurity reboot

Only important points from the mains point of view;

  • The Indian government has embarked on a programme to turn the country into a digital economy.
  • It has unveiled a series of initiatives—from introducing Digital Locker, which eliminates the need for people to carry hard copies of documents issued by the government, to demonetization, which has spurred the use of digital payments across the country.
  • The move towards a digital economy is likely to help trigger a fresh wave of economic growth, attract more investment, and create new jobs, across multiple sectors.

A big challenge, that of cybersecurity

  • With the move towards a digital economy, increasing amount of consumer and citizen data will be stored digitally and a large number of transactions will be carried out online, by companies, individuals as well as government departments.
  • That makes India a bigger target for cyber-criminals and hackers.
  • Various stakeholders, especially Indian companies, need to be better prepared to handle this threat.

Growing threat

  • there are many cyberattacks that go undetected and unreported
  • The losses emanate from operational disruptions, loss of sensitive information and designs, customer churn and impact on brand image, as well as increase in legal claims and insurance premium. 
  • As such, there is limited awareness of the need for specialized and customized industry-specific cybersecurity measures which are significantly different from IT security and need to be adapted by the industry.
  • There is low existing capability, or lack of skill sets, to drive cyber security agendas.

Time to reboot

Misconceptions about cyber security is that cyber attacks are restricted to the financial services and banking sector. It is important to note that industrial companies are equally vulnerable.

  • India need to be proactive to ensure they foster efficiency and efficacy in cyber security management. 
  • The vision for this has to come from the very top.
  • It is important that the chief executive officers make this a high priority on the management agenda and build clearly defined security road maps to have a more structured implementation in line with their security strategy.

There is a need to change the perception of cyber security from being a passive agent, to an active business enabler. Finally, the regulators need to ensure they are covering all aspects at their end. This includes regulations that set minimum standards on cyber security for companies across the country.

India is sitting on the cusp of digital evolution. The government has overcome its detractors with an eagle-eyed focus to achieve this goal for the country. It is now up to companies to ensure they are ready and prepared to harness and exploit the opportunities this evolution will bring. The only way to do that is to ensure that cybersecurity finds its way into the boardroom agenda.


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