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India - Cybersecurity overview

Country profile

  • ITU’s Global Cybersecurity Index 2020 ranks India at 10th in the world and places it in the category of countries showing ‘high commitment’ to cybersecurity. 

  • Acronis’ Cyber Readiness Report 2020 places India as the country facing most cyberattacks in the world, more than double compared to any other country. 

  • The Digital Security Council of India’s (DSCI) Cyber Security Task Force (CSTF) Report represents the industry consensus on the policy environment required for Indian cyberspace.   

Policies and initiatives

Governance structure

India’s cybersecurity is governed by a range of laws, most notably the Information Technology Act, 2000. India has a dedicated National Cybersecurity Coordinator (NCC) at the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS), which coordinates between different agencies. The prime agencies in the field are CERT-InNational Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC), and the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C). Apart from the government, there exists a not-for-profit industry body known as the Data Security Council of India which maintains liaison with the government and regulators.  

Cybersecurity is becoming a stronger focal point of governments around the world as digital economies and infrastructure grow, India and Australia no exception.

Australia - Cybersecurity overview

Country profile

  • ITU’s Global Cybersecurity Index 2020 ranks Australia at 12th in the world and places it in the category of countries showing ‘high commitment’ to cybersecurity.
  • Acronis’ Cyber Readiness Report 2020 pointed out Australia as facing a general ‘lack of IT support’, even though it did not receive more than average instances of cyberattacks compared to the rest of the world.
  • The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation’s (CSIRO) Cyber Security Roadmap forms the basis for industrial guidance and a scientific evaluation of prospects.

Policies and initiatives

  • Australia’s Cyber Security Strategy, 2020, envisions “A more secure online world for Australians, their businesses and the essential services” towards which an investment of $1.67 billion is allocated over 2020-30.
  • The 2020 Defence Strategic Update recognises cyber warfare as a key enabler of ‘grey zone activities’, and calls for strengthened cyber capabilities. 
  • The Australian Cyber Security Centre is a centralised centre bringing together all government cybersecurity assets and serves as an interface for collaboration and information-sharing.
  • The Australian Cyber Security Growth Network (AustCyber) has produced a Sector Competitiveness Plan, which is updated annually, catering to needs and opportunities of different sectors of the economy.
  • Australia has a dedicated Ambassador for Cyber Affairs and Critical Technology since 2017, leading Australia’s international engagements in cyberspace and critical technology.
  • The Academic Centres of Cyber Security Excellence (ACCSE) program launched in 2016 established Centres of Cyber Security Excellence at the University of Melbourne and Edith Cowan University, respectively. 
  • Australia also has the Cybercrimes Act, 2001, which serves as the primary legislation governing cybercrime. Apart from this, the Security of Critical Infrastructure Act, 2018, focuses on sabotage, espionage, and coercion posed by foreign involvement in Australia’s critical infrastructure.

Governance structure

The Australian Cyber Security Centre serves as the lead agency for cybersecurity issues and is a part of the Australian Signals Directorate, a member of the Australian Intelligence Community. Australia also has established the Australian Cyber Security Growth Network (AustCyber), which is an industry facilitation and cooperation organisation aiding the growth of an Australian cybersecurity ecosystem.

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Bilateral frameworks for cooperation between India and Australia

Trade and investment opportunity

  • The India Economic Strategy to 2035 states cybersecurity as an attractive opportunity for Australian firms to provide commercial services and training in cybersecurity.
  • AustCyber’s Cyber Security Sector Competitiveness Plan, 2019, considers cybersecurity as one of Australia’s most promising growth sectors. 
  • DSCI’s 2020 report India Cybersecurity Services Landscape - A Global Hub in the Making estimates that the Indian cybersecurity sector would register a high growth rate (~21% CAGR) by 2025 and stresses the role of strategic partnerships with global corporations for developing the entire ecosystem.
  • DSCI’s 2019 report Cyber Security India Market estimates that the market for cybersecurity products in India will grow at one and a half times the global rate of growth.
  • AustCyber aims at growing a robust Australian cybersecurity ecosystem, exporting Australian cyber solutions, and make Australia a leading centre for cyber education.
  • NASSCOM (National Association of Software and Service Companies) is focused on building the architecture integral to the development of the IT-BPM sector through policy advocacy and helps in setting up the strategic direction for the sector. It has set up the Data Security Council of India (DSCI) which is committed to making cyberspace safe, secure, and trusted by establishing best practices, standards, and initiatives in cyber security and privacy. 

Cooperation and collaborations

  • The Indian State of Karnataka declared Australia as one of its Key Global Innovation Alliance Partners, in the presence of the Australian Prime Minister who was leading a 150 strong virtual delegation to the Bengaluru Tech Summit 2020. Both governments mentioned cybersecurity as one of the areas of cooperation.
  • Indian IT company Wipro launched its NextGen Cyber Defence Centre (CDC) in Melbourne, Australia in 2019. Wipro also plans to launch similar CDCs in other cities in Australia and offer cyber resilience and provide digital protection to large government organisations.
  • Deakin University, in partnership with CyRise, runs a Venture Accelerator Program focussed on developing Indian cybersecurity talent.

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