India, private sector cooperate for national cyberdefense

Government and private sector will work together for the first time to build up the country's defenses against online attacks and foster cybersecurity best practices.

The Indian government will set up a joint working group with representatives from the private sector to strengthen the country's defense against cyberattacks.

In a report by the Economic Times Tuesday, National Security Advisor (NSA) Shivshankar Menon said this marks the first time India has collaborated with the private sector on national security initiatives.

The unique nature of cyberspace and its potential to cause damage had propelled the government and private sector to work together , Menon said.

"We all have seen social media disseminating information to wreck communal harmony . This kind of phenomenon is something we need to learn to deal with," he said, noting the importance for strong cybersecurity best practices.

To grow its IT industry, India will need to maintain its reputation of being a safe and secure partner, he added. 

The cybersecurity working group will start off with four pilot projects, the Economic Times reported. These include setting up a test lab, conducting test security audits, studying vulnerabilities in a sample information, and establishing a multi-disciplinary center of excellence.

Another report by the Times of India today said the public-private partnership (PPP) will look at beefing up India's security capabilities as the country currently lacks some 500,000 cybersecurity experts.

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