The importance of cyber security is gradually being recognized by India, with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) now mandating all other ministries to earmark 10 percent of their IT budgets for security spending. The government wants to beef up its IT infrastructure in the the wake of recent security attacks such as Wannacry, Ransomware, and so on. The Ministry also plans to set up ten more Standardization Testing and Quality Certification (STQC) labs that provide quality assurance services in IT and electronics, ET reported.
“The ten new labs will be coming up in smaller cities like Vishakhapatnam or Amaravati, while two of the existing labs will be upgraded,” Ajay Kumar, additional secretary, MEITY, reportedly said. At present, there are 15 STQC labs across India, in centers including Delhi, Jaipur, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Pune, etc. provides quality assurance services in the area of Electronics and IT through countrywide network of laboratories and centres. Their services include Testing, Calibration, IT & e-Governance, Training and Certification to public and private organizations. ALSO READ: Indian companies become aware of security risks, spending to reach $1.5 billion in 2017
The government’s mandate comes at a time when instances of cyber attacks have shot up world over. Billions of dollars in business have been lost owing to these attacks. India, however, has no cyber breach disclosure laws. Hence, there is under-reporting of losses, according to research firm Gartner. There is no way to determine how much Indian companies have lost to Wannacry and Ransomware. As hackers get more skilled, mere protection software doesn’t suffice. And it is imperative for both the government and corporate India to spend significantly on their security programs. ALSO READ: India ranks 23rd among 165 nations in cyber security index
In the recently released Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI) by UN, India ranked 23rd among 165 countries in terms of its commitment to cyber security. The UN classifies India under the “maturing” category which implies that the country is in the process of developing a complex cyber security program. “Cyber security is an ecosystem where laws, organizations, skills, cooperation and technical implementation need to be in harmony to be most effective… It is becoming more and more relevant in the minds of countries’ decision-makers,” the GCI report stated.