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Govt may hire US, Israel cyber security firms for terror intel

With increased threat of cyber terrorism, the govt is also planning to raise its vigil on internet

Karan Choudhury  |  New Delhi 

Govt may hire US, Israel cyber security firms for terror intel

In an effort to boost the country's cyber security mechanism after the Pathankot terror attack, the government is planning to tie-up with international cyber surveillance experts.

According to sources, major cyber security firms from the United States and Israel have already had several rounds of discussions with different ministries involved - Telecom and Information Technology Ministry and Ministry of Home Affairs. In the last week of December, Gulshan Rai, cyber security coordinator, met an Israel-based cyber security company to this effect.

"The government is keen to tie-up with Israel on cyber security as they are the leaders in the sector. The plan is to plug the holes in our cyber security apparatus," said a senior official from the IT Ministry.

With the increased threat of cyber terrorism, the government is also planning to raise its vigil on the internet and monitor any possible communication between terror modules. The government also wants to ensure that content meant for radicalising youths, from outfits like Islamic State, doesn't find circulation in India.

Sources also said cyber security would be one of the main topics of discussion during External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj's visit to Israel starting January 15. Prime Minister Narendra Modi would also visit Israel later this year.

The government is planning to recruit, on contractual basis, cyber security experts and partner with top international cyber security firms. In December 2014, an expert group constituted by the Ministry of Home Affairs had submitted its report on "Roadmap for Effectively Tackling Cyber Crimes in the Country" after examining the global best practices. The group comprised of Rai, N Balakrishnan from Indian Institute of Science, Rajat Moona, director general of Center for Development of Advanced Computing, B J Srinath, director general of Indian Computer Emergency Response Team, Manindra Aggarwal, computer science professor at IIT-Kanpur, D Das, professor at IIIT Bangalore, and joint secretary Kumar Alok.

  • Home ministry, IT ministry officials meet firms from US and Israel to plug the holes in cyber security apparatus
  • India to monitor communication between terror modules, block content meant for radicalising youths
  • Cyber security to be discussed during External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s visit to Israel starting January 15
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit Israel later this year
  • Indian cyber security market is about Rs 1,500 crore

Indian cyber security market is about Rs 1,500 crore. While the country has made enormous progress in sectors such as IT and e-commerce, cyber-security in India is at a nascent stage. Israel, which is the biggest player in the sector after the US, exported $6 billion worth of cyber-related products in 2014.

According to sources in information technology ministry, India and Israel are working on a mechanism to encourage start-ups from both countries to work on cyber security solutions. Discussions are also on to create a fund which could be used to roll out certain projects related to cyber security.

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First Published: Sat, January 09 2016. 23:14 IST