National Cyber Security Policy -2013 A Report

National Cyber Security Policy -2013 A Report

Round Table Discussion At USI


 National Cyber Security Policy -2013

A Report

The much awaited Cyber Security Policy – 2013 of India was released on 02 July, 2013 by Shri Kapil Sibal, the Minister for Communications and IT. The first draft of the Policy was circulated in March 2011. It took about two years to be finalized and had taken inputs from all stakeholders, user entities and public.

The policy document outlines a road-map to create a framework for comprehensive and collective response to deal with the issue of cyber security at all levels within the country. While at the same time, it recognizes the need for strategies that to be adopted both at the national level as well as international level.

 To create awareness as also to examine the methods of operationalising this Policy, USI had a Round Table discussion on the subject on 18 July, 2013. The session was chaired by Maj Gen(Retd)  Y K Gera and a detailed presentation was made by Lt Gen (Retd) Davinder Kumar which was followed by an hour of Q/As and discussion.

The development of the policy was prompted by a variety of factors, including the growth of India’s information technology industry, explosive growth and rapid penetration of mobile/smart phones and internet, an increasing number of cyber attacks, the emerging and rapidly growing threat to the nation’s critical information infrastructure and the country’s ambitious plans for rapid social transformation through e-governance. .

 The policy aims at creating a secure cyber eco-system; through implementation of fourteen objectives and eight different strategies. In order to create a secure cyber ecosystem, the policy plans to

  • Set up a national nodal agency to co-ordinate all matters related to cyber security in the country with clearly defined roles and responsibilities.
  • Strengthen the regulatory framework.
  • Create mechanisms for early warning, vulnerability management and response to security threats.
  •  Establish a mechanism for sharing information, identifying and responding to cyber security incidents and for cooperation in restoration effort.
  • Facilitate creation of secure computing environment and enabling adequate trust and confidence in electronic transactions and also guiding stakeholders’ actions for protection of cyber space.
  • Articulate our concerns, understanding and priorities for action as well as directed efforts.
  •  Adopt a suitable posturing that can signal our resolve to make determined efforts to effectively monitor, deter & deal with cyber crime and cyber attacks.
  •  Create a framework for comprehensive, collaborative and collective response to deal with the issue of cyber security at all levels within the country.

 Salient Features of the Policy

In brief, the National Cyber Security Policy covers the following aspects:

  1.  A vision and mission statement aimed at building a secure and resilience cyber space for citizens, businesses and Government.
  2.  To enhance the protection and resilience of Nation’s critical information infrastructure by operating a 24X7 National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC).
  3. To develop suitable indigenous security technologies leading to widespread deployment of secure ICT products. 
  4. To improve visibility of ICT products and services by establishing infrastructure for testing and validation of security of such products.
  5. To create a workforce of 5,00,000 professionals skilled in cyber security in the next five years through capacity building, skill development and training.
  6. To provide fiscal benefits to businesses for adoption of standard security practices and processes.
  7. To enable protection of information while in process, handling, storage and transit so as to safeguard privacy of citizens data and for reducing economic losses due to cyber crime or data theft.
  8. To enable effective prevention, investigation and prosecution of cyber crime and enhancement of law enforcement capabilities through appropriate legislative intervention.
  9. To create a culture of cyber security and privacy enabling responsible user behavior and actions through an effective communication and promotion strategy.
  10. To develop effective public private partnerships and collaborative engagements through technical and operational cooperation and contribution for enhancing the security of cyberspace.
  11. To enhance global cooperation by promoting shared understanding and leveraging relationships for furthering the cause of security of cyberspace.
  12.  To create a culture of cyber security and privacy enabling responsible user behavior and actions through an effective communication and promotion strategy.
  13. To enhance global cooperation by promoting shared understanding and leveraging relationships for furthering the cause of security of cyberspace.
  14. To operate a 24X7 National Level Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) to function as nodal agency for coordination of all efforts for cyber security emergency response and crisis management.
  15. To operationalize 24X7 sectoral CERTs for all coordination and communication actions within the respective sectors for effective incidence response and resolution and cyber crisis management.
  16. To implement Cyber Crisis Management Plan for dealing with cyber related incidents impacting critical national processes or endangering public safety and security of the National, Sectoral as well as entity levels.
  17.  Securing e-governance services
  18. Protection and Resilience of Critical Information Infrastructure. To develop a plan for protection of Critical Information Infrastructure and its integration with business plan at the entity level and implement such plan.
  19.  Promotion of Research & Development in cyber security.
  20.  Reducing supply chain risks
  21. Creating Cyber Security Awareness.

The questions and subsequent discussions related to Internet Governance, PRISM programme of the USA, proposed Indian Cyber Command, US Cyber Command’s declared capabilities; Organisations dealing with cyber security in India with their brief roles , National Cyber Coordinating Centre; need for developing Offensive Cyber capabilities, inescapable requirement of critical strategic capabilities like the chip design and manufacturing, indigenous operating system, home grown Global Positioning System; social web sites, privacy and profiling of users, China’s cyber capabilities and so on.

At the end the Chairman made his final remarks wherein he emphasized the need for creating awareness of cyber security and that the National Cyber Security Policy – 2013 was comprehensive . There was an urgent need, however, to draw out a time bound implementation plan with responsibilities and accountability clearly stated. As the technologies develop, new vulnerabilities will emerge and those will have to be neutralized. Hence, complete cyber security is an utopia. It will always remain a “Work In Progress”.


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