Lauding the Prime Minister Narendra Modi government’s Budget 2018 for emphasizing on the use of emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and blockchain for governance, the top cybersecurity firms such as Symantec, Sophos and Forcepoint have asked the government to adequately focus on cybersecurity to secure country’s digital assets.
In his Budget 2018 speech, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has announced various measures such as doubling the outlay for promoting digital economy for the next year and plans to speed-up digitisation with initiatives such as implementing five lakh Wi-Fi hotspots to provide the internet to rural citizens, connecting one lakh gram panchayats via internet cables, announcing a national program to direct efforts in Artificial Intelligence and increased digital intensity in the education sector.
According to Surendra Singh, Country Director, Forcepoint, as more technology usage grows amongst people so would be the need to become aware of cyber threats. “Cyber security will now be more important than ever for securing digital assets as more and more people connect and conduct business using technology,” said Singh.
Agreeing with Singh, Gaurav Agarwal, Managing Director, India & SAARC, Symantec said, “In the accelerated hyper connectedness which also includes critical infrastructure sectors like banking, energy and telecom coupled with government’s keen interest to explore technologies such as AI and blockchain, it is essential to ensure adequate investments are made towards cybersecurity and data protection.”
Citing some of the recent cyberattack cases, he said, “Recent large-scale, sophisticated attacks have underscored the importance of cyber security tremendously, and therefore government departments and agencies should consider allocating at least 8% of their respective technology budgets for strengthening their cyber defense.”
On the other hand, Sunil Sharma, Managing Director Sales for Sophos India & SAARC appreciates the government move to ban crcyptocurrenty, he said, “Cryptocurrency is popular with cybercrooks and usually cryptocurrency is the end, rather than the means of the crime, for example, when crooks infect your computer with coinmining software to hijack your CPU to earn money, or scramble your data with ransomware and demand that you pay them in cryptocoins to get it back.”
On how government can best address the cybersecurity challenge, Singh of Forcepoint is of the view that holistic strategy that provides cybersecurity frameworks for both public and private sectors is the way forward. “There is a requirement of holistic strategy that provides cybersecurity frameworks for both public and private sectors with the government educating and ensuring compliance. The strategy should be all encompassing including small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as they don’t have expertise to deal with emerging cyber security attacks. A lot more focus needs to be put on educating the public and it is not just the government but also a corporate responsibility,” said Singh.