Tablets, mobiles to come with cyber security brochures

Written by Kirtika Suneja | New Delhi | Updated: Apr 11 2013, 16:05pm hrs
Cyber securityDept of electronics and information technology is working on a proposal to mandate hardware vendors. (Reuters)
Electronic products like tablets, mobile phones and USB devices will very soon come bundled with cyber security brochures to make consumers aware of the possible cyber threats that come with the use of information technology. This is because the department of electronics and information technology (DeitY) is working on a proposal to mandate hardware vendors to provide cyber security awareness brochures along with the products they sell in India.

The department has identified five categories of products such as desktops, tablets and mobile phones, among others, and has written to hardware associations to ask their constituent companies to comply with the new advisory.

We have written to hardware associations and asked them to identify five categories of products where these security brochures would be required. This will increase consumer awareness on cyber threat related issues and will not be a major burden on the hardware firms, said a senior DeitY official.

However, industry associations have raised serious concerns regarding the advisory which though is voluntary at present maybe made mandatory going ahead. These concerns go beyond escalations of logistics and overhead costs as most of these companies source components from various countries.

We are still evaluating what can be done and collecting the feedback but the brochure to the products is not a solution, said Anwar Shipurwala, executive director, Manufacturers Association for Information Technology (MAIT).

According to an official from another hardware industry association: The communication has come from the department and it is a good way to increase the general awareness related to cyber crime. However, how many times do the consumers read these brochures Hence, adding a brochure is not sufficient. We are giving suggestions to the department as to how best can these concerns be communicated to the users.