The Indian government has set up a joint working group to create a cyber security road-map with the help of private players. The group will have representatives of both government and private sector, the government said on Monday.

India will set up a pilot testing lab for domestic cyber security products and solutions, conduct a test audit, study vulnerabilities of critical information infrastructure and establish interdisciplinary center of excellence.

Cyber security has become a prime concern of the government in the last few months. More than 130 government websites were hacked in the first three months this year. The websites of India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), ruling Congress party and those of prominent business men have also been taken down by hackers in the recent past.

Cyber crime in India : $8Bn loss

Cyber crime in India : $8Bn loss (Norton report, Sept 2012)

The working group chaired by the deputy National Security Advisor Latha Reddy announced at a press conference on Monday that a permanent working group on cyber security will also be set up.

Some of the other key recommendations of the group  include creation of Information Sharing & Analysis Centres (ISACs) in various industry verticals by the private sector which  should coordinate  with sectoral Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) and provide training to law enforcement agencies in cybercrime investigation.

The trigger for this new approach on cybersecurity is a growing realisation within the government that major stakeholders such as telecom equipment vendors, telecom companies, information technology firms and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are an inseparable part of the country’s cyber security strategy.

Recently, the government also alleged that groups from Pakistan were involved in spreading malicious content on the internet to instigate communal violence.
The government’s decision to set up a this joint working group  on cyber security is in tune with its proposal of building consensus among multi-stakeholders on the overall issue of Internet governance through open public consultation.