A week ago, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley laid down the last full-fledged budget of this term. Though it was mostly a common-man oriented budget, it had quite a few allocations for technology as well.\n\nA massive allocation of Rs 3,073 crore to R&D of new technologies like machine learning, robotics, Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) for the department of science and technology (DST) said it all.\n\n\u201cTo invest in research training, and skilling in robotics, AI, digital manufacturing, big data intelligence, quantum communications and art of the things, the DST will launch a mission on cyberspace in support of the establishment of a center of excellence. I have doubled their allocation on the Digital India program to Rs 3,073 crore in 2018-19,\u201d Jaitley announced. Additionally, Niti Aayog will be setting up a national program for AI. Jaitley also announced the government\u2019s intent to explore blockchain in digital payments, while declaring cryptocurrency as not a legal tender.\n\n\n\t\t\tThe government\u2019s focus on digitization shows that they are on the right path as Indian IT has always been playing catch up to other countries, especially because our IT has always been limited to metro cities.\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\n\t\t\t\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0 \u00a0\u00a0Avinash Velhal, Group CIO - Middle East and APAC, Atos International.\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\u00a0\n\n\u00a0\n\n\u00a0\n\n\u00a0\n\n\u00a0\n\nAvinash Velhal, group CIO\u2013Middle East and APAC at Atos International welcomed these allocations. \u201cTheir eagerness in exploring blockchain for digital payments and e-governance is ideal at our current level, and not making cryptocurrency a legal tender right now is the correct step especially because we\u2019re all aware of the havoc any unregulated currency can cause,\u201d he said.\n\nThe Smart Cities mission also got a huge allocation of over Rs 2.04 lakh crore to be spread across 99 cities with projects like solar rooftops, intelligent transport systems, smart roads and smart control and command centers. Ekhlaque Bari, executive VP\u2013IT at Max Life Insurance, applauded this initiative's allocation and adds that the proper digital infrastructure to sustain this mission will only follow when the projects are beginning to be implemented.\n\nHowever, the one thing missing in the budget was the expected allocation for cybersecurity, seeing the number of cyberattacks and ransomware we had to deal with in 2017. Business Standard\u2019s pre-budget expectations of the government allocating close to Rs 20,000 crore to cybersecurity clearly fell apart. Only Rs 110 crore has been allocated for cybersecurity projects including the implementation of the second phase of National Cyber Security Coordination Centre.\n\n\n\t\t\tBecause of rapid digitization of the globe, technology is the next warfare tool and not taking adequate care of cybersecurity exposes risks to our own sovereignty.\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\n\t\t\t\u00a0\u00a0 \u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0Ekhlaque Bari, Executive VP \u2013 IT, Max Life Insurance\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\u00a0\n\n\u00a0\n\n\u00a0\n\n\u00a0\n\n\u00a0\n\nAccording to Velhal, it is not the government\u2019s sole prerogative to ensure security and no agency, government or private can really ensure better security by pushing more funds into it. \u201cCybersecurity is the ownership of the entire ecosystem and allocating more budget doesn\u2019t ensure better security. When we can build the right ecosystem, the security will be inbuilt and ready in place,\u201d he added.\n\nHowever, he said that in light of recent breaches in the Aadhaar system, one cannot ignore security. With the government pushing for a digital economy, cybersecurity becomes even more paramount as the system has to deal with the rural economy as well. \u201cWe need simple but very effective systems in place,\u201d added Velhal.\n\nBari disagreed. \u201cWith the government\u2019s intent to invest more in newer technologies, a lacking cybersecurity budget is even more glaring,\u201d he said.\n\nWith rapid digitization and with every step taken forward in digital, security risks keep on mounting high. Bari stressed upon how the investment in AI, blockchain and IoT emphasizes that India is taking further steps to becoming a digital economy and are opening up newer security vulnerabilities. \u201cNow that we\u2019ve UIDAI and Aadhaar taking center stage, the way to address security and privacy is opening up bit by bit, and there is a huge gap in the architectural approach to it,\u201d he added.\n\n\u201cThe government\u2019s focus on digitization shows that they are on the right path as Indian IT has always been playing catch up to other countries, especially because our IT has always been limited to metro cities,\u201d he said, \u201cand if we\u2019re looking at a big digital revolution, it will take time.\u201d\n\nAccording to Bari, because of rapid digitization of the globe, technology is the next warfare tool. \u201cNot taking adequate care of cybersecurity exposes risks to our own sovereignty,\u201d he said.\n\nWith a hacker war already going on between India and Pakistan, maybe the next warfare is already here.