Fact Box: India far behind in cyber security compared to US and China

Despite being world-known as an Information Technology superpower, India, lags far behind when it comes to official cyber security workforce which comprises a mere 556 experts deployed in various government agencies. If we compare the figures with China, the US and Russia, China has 1.25 lakh experts, the U.S. 91,080 and Russia 7,300.

As per National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS), the current strength of cyber experts in India is grossly inadequate to handle cyber security activities in a meaningful and effective manner. To strengthen the sector the government has decided to recruit 4,446 experts to be deployed in six organisations that would take care of India’s cyber security infrastructure.

What are the major organizations which constitute India’ cyber security infrastructure?

These are the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DEITy), which includes Indian-Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) and the National Informatics Centre (NIC); the Department of Telecom (DoT); the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO); the Ministry of Defence; the Intelligence Bureau (IB); and the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

What is the status of cyber security in China and the US?

China:

China has “Information Support and Safeguarding Base” to serve as People’s Liberation Army cyber command to address potential cyber threats and safeguard national security. China also has hackers who work for the government. Its cyber workforce is composed of various components of military, national security, public security, propaganda militia and academia. It now has an estimated strength of 1.25-lakh personnel which includes regular troops (30,000), specialists from various universities, research institutes and states enterprises (60,000), and militia (35,000).

The U.S.:

It has 91,080 experts in its cyber security workforce, of whom 88,169 are in the Department of Defense alone. The recent revelations has shown that how the US has been carrying out its clandestine electronic surveillance world over including, India, through its PRISM programme being run by the National Security Agency (NSA) of the US.

The U.S. has also established a 24×7 National Cyber Security and Communications Integration Centre (NCCIC)that is responsible for generating a common operating picture for cyber and communications across the federal, state and local governments, intelligence and law enforcement communities and the private sector. In the event of a cyber or communications incident, the NCCIC functions as the national response centre able to bring to bear the full capabilities of the federal government in a coordinated manner.

What is India doing to address its cyber security concerns?

As per a study conducted by NSCS, all major countries have set up mechanism and organizations dedicated to cyber security, a field where India has performed poorly. To address this concern, India has decided to establish its own ‘cyber security architecture’ that will comprise the National Cyber Coordination Centre (NCCC) for threat assessment and information sharing among stakeholders, the Cyber Operation Centre that will be jointly run by the NTRO and the armed forces for threat management and mitigation for identified critical sectors and defence, and the National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC) under the NTRO for providing cover to ‘critical information infrastructure’. The government is also coming up with a legal framework to deal with cyber security.

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Categories: Science and Technology Current Affairs - 2018

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