What are your upcoming plans and strategies as the CEO of Data Security Council of India? And how is the data security scenario in India?
Since inception in 2008, Data Security Council of India (DSCI) has been fostering the growth of the Indian market through elevating cyber security, data security, and privacy protection standards. Going forward too, DSCI will continue to focus on policy research and enablement through engagement with key central government ministries, contribute to take leadership role in global forums to protect India’s strategic interests, spearhead in education, awareness of cyber security, and privacy in the country.
DSCI will also focus on meeting specific needs of the industry including its members and addressing their business issues. Going forward, we will strengthen our work with the industry-enabling support to sectors including IT-BPM, BFSI, healthcare, manufacturing, energy, e-commerce and others.
We will continue to leverage our domestic and international expertise to build capacity of the law enforcement through our Cyber Lab Program, and meet the growing demands of skilled privacy workforce for the industry through our pioneer privacy certification programs. We will also be prioritizing our efforts in nurturing the environment for the development of cyber security products ecosystem.
How is your initiative of developing certified professionals in the field of cyber security with Symantec panning out?
Symantec has partnered with Sector Skill Council NASSCOM for building cyber security skills in India. DSCI will be supporting SSC NASSCOM in developing curricula for five job roles. I believe, this initiative—aimed at developing skilled and certified professionals—is step forward to bridge the skills gap in this niche segment, and to support the ecosystem. This program will help in scaling the capacity and enhancing the employability through proper certification at the entry level itself.
What do you see as the crucial trends and developments for 2015? And according to you, how enterprises should approach security in their digital journey?
Insider threats, cyber espionage, and data breaches captured the limelight in 2014. Digital transformation has encouraged the organizations to pursue expanding opportunities in Internet of Things (IoT), mobile and cloud technologies, which demands focus on security especially in the light of last year’s disclosure of security breaches.
Furthermore, Digital India launched recently is one of the most ambitious project of government of India that not only promises to open myriad opportunities for the Indian ICT industry and benefits for end users, but also opens challenges pertaining to information security.
Technology governance and management, next-gen solutions for monitoring, analysis, and increased capabilities in incident response along with forensics, are the key areas of security to be focused upon while exploring the new success avenues through digital transformation.
Identity and access management, security in cloud, and mobility are a few domains also gaining focus due to increased dependence on identity and mobility in delivery of services in cyber space. Implementation of aforesaid critical security technologies could be the focus of enterprises for optimizing the secured usage of cyberspace. A noticeable change witnessed in the domain of cyber security is the blurring of boundaries of product and services.
What have you done to engage employees to take part in the digital transformation?
Digitization leads not only to easy access, and process ability of data, but also affords excellent opportunities to reengineer processes to make them more efficient. I have always encouraged my colleagues to make use of digital tools to increase their productivity and effectiveness of work. I am glad to report that here at DSCI, each member of my team is digitally talented and an avid adopter of digital platforms.
How effectively are Indian companies taking advantage of the government’s push on digital India?
Digital India has immense potential to create new opportunities and possibilities. In the current state the industry is not only shaping-up for the opportunities brought about by Digital India, but also moving hand-in hand with its momentum. While on the one hand businesses are creating and transforming their business models to cater new industry segments including ecommerce and e-governance projects, scaling-up their productivity, increasing their competitiveness through low cost of operation.
The ecosystem on the other hand is developing to fill the gap between the users and service providers. It is important that security awareness in inculcated in product and process design, to enable large scale adoption by first-time users and increase their trust in order to truly gain from the potential of information technology to eliminate waste and inefficiencies.
What is your take on the Digital India initiative launched by our PM Narendra Modi?
The vision of Digital India is centered on three key areas—digital infrastructure, governance and services, and empowerment of citizens. In all these areas, cyber security is emerging as a critical area to be looked upon. During the launch of Digital India week and at the event on NASSCOM’s 25 years celebration, Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighted cyber security issues as one of the key global issues, and emphasized on the need for India to take a leadership role in this critical and emerging space.
On his call, NASSCOM and DSCI has set-up Cyber Security Task Force (CSTF) that aims to build India as a global hub for providing cyber security solutions, developing cyber security research and development plan, and develop a skilled workforce of cyber security experts.
How NASSCOM participates in helping companies or individuals to come out with new security products?
Cyber security product development is recognized as one of the important areas in the national level security initiatives. Both, National Cyber Security Policy (NCSP), released in the month of July in 2013, and the Joint Working Group (JWG) established for PPP for cyber security in the same year, have emphasized on the need for promoting indigenous cyber security product development in the country.
DSCI and NASSCOM have realized the potential quite early and had included promotion of Indian cyber security companies as part of their trade delegations to the global market.
Some of the key initiatives that encourages development of cyber security products are 10K startup program, to scale up start-up ecosystem including cyber security product; NASSCOM Product Initiatives, where NASSCOM product conclave Bangalore and regional toll through security cluster in showcase.
It also includes, hackathon and industry connect, in which hackathon partnered with UIDAI to encourage and promote applications based on the Aadhaar system.
In addition to the above, DSCI also has been spearheading initiatives to support these companies and provide a favorable ecosystem for their sustainable growth. Among them includes establishment of cyber security product forum, DSCI Innovation box, and DSCI Excellence Awards for security products.