The Union IT minister Ashwini Vaishnaw while exhorting start-ups, industry and academia to address rising complexities and challenges on a bigger scale to position India as a thought-leader and market leader in cyber safety said, “the magnitude of digitisation across sectors, including banking, has necessitated a sharper focus on cybersecurity.”
BharatNet Project is the world’s largest rural broadband connectivity programme using Optical fibre. It is implemented by Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL) – a special purpose vehicle under the Telecom Ministry and is the Government of India’s ambitious rural internet connectivity programme.
According to Vaishnav, the vulnerabilities have grown multifold in the new world of increasingly-connected systems, and require innovators and cybersecurity experts to be a step ahead of those who seek to compromise or hack digital systems.
“Start-ups, working in the area of cybersecurity, should come up with innovative ideas to address such complex challenges,” he said, assuring the industry of full support from the government.
Vaishnav was speaking at an event to felicitate winners of the Cyber Security Grand Challenge, a contest focused on strengthening the cybersecurity capabilities of the country, and the development of new solutions.
“I urge the youngsters, start-ups, academia, industry veterans to look at this from a much bigger scale,” Vaishnaw said.
While citing the ‘magnitude of digitalisation’ that has swept across the financial sector and other domains, the minister said that “in such a world, if we are not able to care for the security of every transaction, then the trust, which is the bedrock of the entire financial system, will be eroded”
Vaishnaw noted that India has to become a thought leader, product leader, and market leader in cybersecurity. The Union minister also noted that technology had ushered in a clear convergence of computing, communication and sensors, with a reduction in cost, and a phenomenal increase in capabilities and complexities.
“All three have combined together…we have a world where most of the systems, whether they are industrial systems, manufacturing systems, banking systems, practically every system that you name, are today controlled digitally. And, in such a world…these are the systems where vulnerabilities have grown multifold,” Vaishnaw said.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister of State for IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar asserted that the safety and trust of the internet are as important as connectivity and access. Cybersecurity is at the centre of delivering public policy objectives of safety and trust on the internet. Cybersecurity drives the expansion of the digital economy and creates investment opportunities, but is also key to addressing strategic capabilities, Chandrasekhar said.
“The issue of cybersecurity is not trivial, amid the rising intensity of the internet and the growing proliferation of technologies like 5G and the futuristic 6G. The nature, dimension and the character of the internet is also rapidly evolving. So, there is intelligence, sensing, traditional equipment and users and huge amounts of data that have been created, generated and consumed,” Chandrasekhar said.