Indian Railways to form cyber security team; starts identifying officers with technical aptitude for training

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December 14, 2020 12:18 PM

The working of the national transporter has been increasingly shifting to ICT platform. Therefore, it has become essential to secure the ICT infrastructure to safeguard critical information.

Recent policy measures for development of goods sheds through private investment, improving customers’ experience with the Railways and conversion of all private siding into private freight terminals have aided in the revival.Recent policy measures for development of goods sheds through private investment, improving customers’ experience with the Railways and conversion of all private siding into private freight terminals have aided in the revival.

Indian Railways has begun the selection of officers who will form the Railway Ministry’s cyber security team as part of PM Modi’s directive to every government department to pick personnel with technical aptitudes as well as train them in cyber security. This is being done so that online breaches are contained. In a directive to all general managers, the Railway Board has said that the working of the national transporter has been increasingly shifting to ICT platform. Therefore, it has become essential to secure the ICT infrastructure to safeguard critical information, according to a PTI report. In recent times, there has been an increase in the number of breaches or attempted breaches to the ICT infrastructure of government organizations.

The Indian Government is also looking for ways to secure the infrastructure of ICT. Therefore, to begin with, it has been decided that certain strength of officials may be identified from each Railway Unit with aptitude in ICT hardware, software, compliances and networking to form the group for that Unit. As per the order, this group would work under the overall supervision of the nominated Railway Unit’s Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), the order stated.

On September 1 this year, during a presentation on the National Cyber Security Strategy 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had directed that every ministry to have some personnel with technical aptitudes. These officers are to be identified as well as trained within six months in Cyber Security Courses and then form that ministry’s cyber security nucleus. In recent times, the national transporter witnessed a slew of cases in which illegal applications were used to buy train tickets, bypassing the railway firewall. While the RPF has busted many such gangs, newer technology replaces that with automatic monitoring.

The Secretary (Security) in the Cabinet Secretariat, in a recent meeting, convened to firm up the road-map for implementation of the directive given by PM Modi. As per the minutes of the meeting on the National Cyber Security Strategy 2020, these officials will be trained in cyber security’s both- theoretical and practical aspects through a course prepared by Miety of around six hours to eight hours. Officers who are technically qualified or with requisite aptitude in cyber security or IT will be selected for advanced training. The training of officers should enable them to troubleshoot, the report stated.

For each railway unit, the Railway Board has also allotted nominations. While eight such officers have been assigned by zonal railways each for generic training and four officers for the advanced course, the PSUs of railways have four officers each nominated for its regular training courses and two officers for advanced. CRIS, the national transporter’s IT arm and the Railway Board has as many as 20 nominated spots for generic training as well as ten nominated spots for the advanced classes each. For these courses, each railway unit has been asked to identify officers, the report added.

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