India's cybersecurity challenge

India’s sluggish cybersecurity policy needs timely intervention to preserve its market leadership in global information technology services.

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On 1 July 2015, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the national ‘Digital India’ programme, giving Indian citizens and businesses the ‘power to empower’ themselves and the country in the new global knowledge economy. This would build on the National e-Governance Plan (2006) to promote growth in the digital sector and deliver connectivity benefits across Indian society and government. In his inaugural remarks, Modi identified the need to secure India from the ‘bloodless war’ of cyberwarfare and cybercrime threatening the integrity of online commerce and social exchange. The appeal to cybersecurity rang slightly hollow to some experienced ears. Melissa Hathaway, the former director of the US Joint Interagency Cyber Task Force and a sitting Commissioner for the Global Commission on Internet Governance, suggested that the rhetoric accompanying the Digital India initiative did not reflect the reality of Indian cybersecurity efforts. It is a conclusion that aligns with persistent criticisms of India’s undercooked approach to cybersecurity.

Sovereign Data explores Indian national cybersecurity and reports on the challenges and prospects of providing cybersecurity to 1.3 billion citizens and the world’s seventh-largest economy.

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Citation: “India's cybersecurity challenge,” Sovereign Data Vol 2. No. 4 (April 2016).

Keywords:  CYBERSECURITY, DIGITAL INDIA, INDIA, NATIONAL CYBER SECURITY POLICY, NATIONAL E-GOVERNANCE PLAN