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New Delhi: The government is likely to release a new cybersecurity strategy this year, Lt. Gen. Rajesh Pant, National Cybersecurity coordinator at the Prime Minister’s Office, said.

Pant said the strategy would holistically cover the entire ecosystem of cyber space in India. “The vision of this strategy is to ensure safe, secure, resilient, vibrant, and trusted cyber space," he said at an event organized by Public Affairs Forum of India.

He said the new strategy would serve as a guideline to tackle every aspect of cyber space, whether it is governance or data as a national resource, or building indigenous capabilities or cyber audit. “There are about 80 odd deliverables coming out of this new strategy," he added.

The theme of the PAFI Dialogue was ‘Cyber Security in the New Normal.’

Pant said the pandemic has increased cyber-crimes in India by 500% and India is one of the top 3 attacked countries in the world as far as cyber-attacks are concerned.

“Cybercrimes are increasing. Attribution is the difficult part and now (cyber criminals) they have started taking advantage of dark web. Pandemic gave the perfect storm to the cyber criminals. There are emerging threats from the proliferation of new technologies like drones and IoT devices," he said.

Pandemic and work-from-home has exponentially expanded the threat surface, Pant said. "Cyber security, from the Government of India perspective, has become an essential service. Government is also looking at revising the IT Act, besides the new cyber strategy that is being worked upon," he added.

On the national security narrative of the telecom sector, Pant said while other nations have created a black-list of companies that cannot operate in the country, India is the only nation to create a white-list of telecom companies that are allowed to operate in India. "The companies allowed must be a trusted source," he said.

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