Joint Working Group calls for innovative recruitment procedures

With India becoming more vulnerable to cyber attacks, the Joint Working Group on Cyber Security has said shortage of professionals in the sector should be tackled in a mission mode, with innovative recruitment and placement procedures.

According to government figures, India was the 10th most intensely cyber-attacked country in 2010-11. However, today, it stands second only to the U.S. With Internet usage, including those of mobile phones, rising dramatically — from 202 million users in March 2010 to 412 million in March 2011 and 485 million in March 2012 — India is now second only to China in the number of devices connected to the Net.

Sources in the government said that in the recent past, malicious activities against Indian networks had originated from hosts in the U.S., Brazil, Nigeria, China, Iran, Russia, North and South Koreas, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, Ukraine, Romania, Israel, France, the U.K., The Netherlands, Germany, Poland and Pakistan.

Concerted effort

The JWG, working under the National Security Council Secretariat, which is headed by the National Security Adviser, has called for a concerted effort to increase the number of cyber security professionals and equip them to efficiently meet the challenges. The Communication and Information Technology and Human Resource Development Ministries and the private sector should jointly establish a cyber security capacity building framework.

The JWG was set up under the chairpersonship of the Deputy National Security Adviser to work out the road map for cyber security cooperation. It included representatives of both the public and private sectors.

Training facilities

It said the Home Ministry, along with the IT Ministry, could set up training facilities for law enforcement agencies in cyber crime investigation and cyber forensics. The private sector might be associated with establishment of training facilities and provide training.

Given the role of security standards and audit in enhancing the level of preparedness in cyber security, the private sector could be an active partner in undertaking several activities.

These include laying down security standards and guidelines for acquisition of IT products and services and defining baseline security standards and practices for critical-sector organisations.

Centre of excellence

The JWG has recommended that a multi-disciplinary centre of excellence be established on cyber security. It has identified guiding principles that would underpin the public-private partnership (PPP) in cyber security.

These include the setting up of institutional mechanisms to promote convergence of efforts and a permanent mechanism for PPP, identifying areas where both the private and public sectors could build capacities for cyber security and putting in place legal frameworks to ensure compliance with cyber security efforts.

The JWG has said India should be established as a global hub of development of cyber security products, service and manpower.

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