Budget 2019 India: Besides enactment of data protection, we need a comprehensive National Cyber Security Strategy, both enriched via public consultations; and aligned with global best practices.
By Deepak Maheshwari
Union Budget 2019 India: As a young and aspirational New India marches forward in its transformation to a Five Trillion-Dollar Economy, the role of the Trillion Dollar Digital Opportunity is paramount – as seen in broad and deep technology adoption at scale and speed; most visible in government services, education, healthcare, financial services, entertainment and information via smart mobile devices, extending beyond interpersonal communication. In addition, the role of technology will also be instrumental for inclusive growth and
With the ubiquitous hyper-connectivity and horizontal integration of technology across all walks of life, it is
not at all surprising that cybersecurity threats featured amongst the top four risks by the World Economic
Forum in its recent report. India is neither immune nor an outlier to this global phenomenon.
To foster trust in technology and bolster overall security, it is imperative that India enhances its cyber
security readiness and posture, especially in the critical infrastructures including governance, banking and financial services, energy, telecom and smart cities.
Here are the four areas that need to be prioritized for this initiative to gain traction:
1. The budget should mandate setting aside 10% of the respective technology budgets for every
government project exclusively for cyber security, as per the recommendations of the NASSCOM
Task Force set up in response to the Prime Minister’s behest.
2. Besides enactment of data protection, we need a comprehensive National Cyber Security Strategy,
both enriched via public consultations; and aligned with global best practices.
3. A cadre of certified IT security professionals with world-class skills to raise awareness around
cyber hygiene across all strata of society, given the increasing dependence of mobile apps
connectivity with the cloud computing infrastructure for banking, travel, social interactions and
4. Operationalizing a voluntary framework for public-private partnership.
These steps would go a long way in building a robust, safe and secure Indian cyberspace.
The author is the Director of Government Affairs, India, ASEAN & China at Symantec, the global leader in next-gen cybersecurity. A seasoned public policy professional, he has a keen interest in the interplay of technological innovation with socio-economic development.