Country’s cybersecurity critical for its growth: NCCC chief

Jaipur, Mar 13 (PTI) The chief of India’s cybersecurity and e-surveillance agency Saturday cautioned that the other nations can slow down the country’s growth by interfering with its cyberspace.

The National Cyber Coordination Centre chief, Lt Gen (Retd) Rajesh Pant, sounded the alert while pegging the global economic loss due to cybercrime in 2020 to USD 6 trillion.

Accordingly, he advised strengthening the country’s cybersecurity saying it will be one of the factors which will be creating headwinds for the country’s economic growth.

“In 2020, the global loss due to cybercrime was USD 6 trillion,” said Lt Gen (Retd) Pant, adding “One of the ways for other nations to slow down our growth will be by interfering with our cyberspace”.

The NCCC chief said that the Covid-19 pandemic also triggered a digital transformation in the country, “It hit the cybersecurity community quite hard. The entire architecture of cybersecurity had to adapt quickly,” he further said.

“With automation and digitisation, all sectors have become critical sectors and this has made cybersecurity that much more relevant. Cybersecurity is going to be one of the factors that will create headwinds in the economic growth the country wants,” he added. Lt Gen (Retd) made these remarks while addressing a conference ‘[email protected] 2021’ on Information Warfare.

He also explained the prospect of an internet “split” due to division between the West and China and said it would make solving cybercrime cases all the more difficult.

The NCCC chief also apprised the audience of India’s ongoing efforts to tackle the new malady. He said at the national level, within the three services in the Ministry of Defence, cyber operations are being carried out today by nine agencies.

Talking about how a national map has been created for handling kits security, he further said in the last couple of years, along with the NCCC, an organisation has been created to look at the critical information infrastructure called ‘National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre’ (NCIIPC).

For threat prediction, there is an organisation called the ‘National Cyber Coordination Centre’ (NCCC). For cybercrime, the ‘Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre’ has been created. Apart from this, state and sectorial security operational centres have also been started, he said.

As per experts, the NCCC is mandated to screen communication metadata and co-ordinate the intelligence-gathering activities of other agencies.

The NCCC components include a cybercrime prevention strategy, cybercrime investigation training and review of outdated laws. Indian and US intelligence agencies are also working together to curb the misuse of social media platforms in the virtual world by terror groups.