India needs National cybersecurity strategy: Leaders at Microsoft ExpertSpeak

As part of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, Microsoft organized the third edition of ExpertSpeak, a curated dialogue series with industry experts, on India’s evolving threat landscape and securing cyberspace at scale. Against this backdrop, Keshav Dhakad, General Counsel, Microsoft India, was in conversation with Lt Gen Rajesh Pant, National Cybersecurity Coordinator, PMO, Government of India, on the evolution of the cybersecurity landscape in the country and the need for stronger collaboration between the public and private sectors to secure India at scale.
Gen Pant called for greater sharing of threat intelligence between enterprises and the government, stating that cybersecurity is an essential service today with India being one of the most cyber attacked nations in the world.
He said that what is required now is a National Cybersecurity Strategy, which has been in the works for over the last two years and is in the cabinet for the final stamp. Then the first thing is that we need a governance structure, because there is no central apex organization which is responsible for cybersecurity of the nation,
Talking about the increase in cyberthreats, Gen Pant said that there are about 4 million malware detected every day and India is one of the most cyber attacked nations in the world. He attributed this primarily to the fact that the country has a large attack surface with 1.15 billion phones and more than 700 million internet users.
Gen Pant said that the pandemic has made the cyber security situation grave. National Security Agency saw a 500% increase in cyberattacks, citing that the telecom, financial, transportation and energy sectors were the most targeted. He said that the government managed to avert any major cyber-attacks or threats, resulting in India’s jump from the 47th to 10th spot in the new rankings of the Global Cybersecurity Index.
Microsoft’s Keshav stressed on the need for skilling for cyber security. Reports estimate that there will be about 1.5 million job vacancies in cybersecurity by 2025 in India. There’s a strong industry need to build programs that bridge this skills gap in cybersecurity. Closing the gender gap in cybersecurity and enabling more diversity in the field is another critical priority.

By William Regal

Used to think I was a tad indecisive, but now I’m not quite sure.

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