Budget 2019: Cybersecurity – a holy grail for government’s Digital India dream

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New Delhi | Updated: July 13, 2019 10:33 PM

Budget 2019-20: India needs a robust cybersecurity framework if Digital India has to expand

Budget 2019 India: Digital India could see roadblocks in the absence of strong cyber infrastructure

Union Budget 2019: Digital India is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream that is necessary for making India a $5 trillion economy. But the question of safeguarding the Internet properties has loomed over that dream, especially in the digital payments sector. Amid an urgent need to step up the firewall, the government has revealed the credit card/ net banking frauds in the financial year 2018-19 stood at 1,477.

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A substantial part of the Digital India initiative is the digital payments that have grown exponentially over the last few years, thanks to the dirt-cheap Internet. In December last year, digital transactions in India were recorded at 2,069 crores, which is now expected to cross 8,707 crores by December 2021, as per estimates shared by a top bank in India. However, the increase in the number of transactions being carried out electronically attracts cyber threats that have been known to have crippled payments infrastructure in several countries.

Aloof from major cyber-attacks nearly so far, India possesses a huge potential as the Internet proliferations expands. That comes across as an untapped treasury for the hackers who have advanced systems to bypass strong security walls. India will need a robust network of firewalls that has to be universally available to all payment firms operating in India.

The Reserve Bank of India has mandated the top-notch security measures for banks. Last year, RBI floated a recommendation to set up a board for a nation-wide Cyber Security Policy that will provide the necessary framework and the strategy to approach cyber threats. “The Cyber Security Policy should be distinct from the IT/IS policy of the UCB (Urban Cooperative Banks) so that it highlights the risks from cyber threats and the measures to address/reduce these risks” – RBI noted in a public circular.

The government’s plans to fast track Digital India need to be backed by a vigorous infrastructure that encompasses dealing with cyber threats on an advanced level.

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