Thiruvananthapuram, Chief of Defense Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat on Friday said the Data Protection Bill, tabled in 2019 in Parliament, needs to get cleared at the earliest as data theft has become a common crime in the virtual world. Rawat, while inaugurating the 14th edition of ‘c0c0n’, an annual Hacking and Cyber Security Briefing, organised by Kerala Police, said there was a need to synergise the efforts of cyber security experts of various government departments in order to “secure our digital assets”.
The CDS said India doesn’t have a dedicated cyber security law and there was a need for a framework for managing virtual space at national level.
“There is a need for a framework for managing virtual space at national level. Multiple government agencies deal with cyber security. Our defence services have cyber experts and state police have cyber cells. There is a need to synergise the efforts of these experts working with different government ministries and other private sector entities towards a common goal of effectively securing our digital assets,” Rawat said.
In his virtual address, Rawat said the rise of digital payments have significantly increased complex cyber crimes and the IT Act 2000, which was amended in 2008 needs to be updated further putting in place cyber security standards in line with the nature of information and assets.
“Data protection is yet another crucial issue that we need to look at. Most nations have data protection laws. The Data Protection Bill tabled in 2019 is yet to reach finality. We need to work together to get it cleared at the earliest as data theft has become a common crime in the virtual world,” he said.
Rawat noted that according to estimates, cyber crimes in India during the global pandemic have gone up by almost 500 per cent.
“Cyber criminals take advantage of security vulnerabilities to steal data, generate profits and cause disruption. Hence cyber security is now not just the purview of few IT professionals but of each and every individual of the team,” he said.
Rawat congratulated Kerala police “for taking the lead and battling the dark forces in the cyberspace”.
“The first step on the way to victory is to recognise the threat. Hence at the very outset, I must congratulate Kerala police for taking the initiative to recognise and acknowledge this all important non-contact domain of warfare. Identification, discussions and deliberations are preliminary phases to develop pragmatic solutions and initiate actions that can mitigate threats,” he said.
The conference, which is being conducted by Kerala Police in association with two non-profit organisations, Society for the Policing of Cyberspace( POLCYB ) and Information Security Research Association (ISRA), would be primarily discussing online scams and defenses during the lockdown period.
State police chief Anilkant said this year various challenges of crypto currencies, digital warfare and role of nation states among other issues will be discussed.
The conference is being held virtually so that people from across the globe can attend the event as the 13th edition of ‘c0c0n’ last year saw more than 6,000 attendees from around the world.
The conference aims to discuss at the international level the challenges facing the digital world during the COVID period and the solutions needed to overcome them.
The theme of this year’s ‘c0c0n’ is – Improvise, Adapt and Overcome.
National and international experts will speak on various issues during the conference, which will conclude tomorrow, including cyber attacks on critical infrastructures, quantum computing, automotive cyber security, drone attacks detections using deep learning, data security and privacy, cyber espionage and cyber warfare.
To encourage more women into cyber security and to offer them equal opportunity to rise to senior leadership roles, the Kerala police is inviting more women, who play prominent roles in cyber security, as speakers for the 14th edition of ‘c0c0n’.