Aadhaar data to be more secure with government's new Cyber Surakshit Bharat initiative

Cyber Surakshit Bharat has been conceptualized with the mission to spread awareness about cybercrime and building capacity for safety measures.

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Amidst reports about Aadhaar data leaks and rising privacy as well as digital security concerns, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has now announced a new initiative in association with National e-Governance Division (NeGD) and industry partners to strengthen the cybersecurity ecosystem in India.

Aadhaar data to be more secure with Cyber Surakshit Bharat initiative

 

The initiative which will be called Cyber Surakshit Bharat has been conceptualized with the mission to spread awareness about cybercrime and building capacity for safety measures for Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) and frontline IT staff across all government departments.

Cyber Surakshit Bharat will be operated on the three principles of Awareness, Education, and Enablement. It will include an awareness program on the importance of cybersecurity; a series of workshops on best practices and enablement of the officials with cybersecurity health toolkits to manage and mitigate cyber threats.

Moreover, Cyber Surakshit Bharat is the first public-private partnership of its kind and will leverage the expertise of the IT industry in cybersecurity. The founding partners of the consortium are leading IT companies Microsoft, Intel, WIPRO, Redhat and Dimension Data. Additionally, knowledge partners include Cert-In, NIC, NASSCOM and the FIDO Alliance, CISCO and premier consulting firms Deloitte and EY.

Speaking at the event Minister Shri K J Alphons, Honourable Minister of State for Electronics & Information Technology and Tourism (Independent Charge) said, "Securing the nation's cyberspace is vital for achieving the Honourable Prime Minister's vision of a Digital India. The fruits of development must reach the last man out there. Digital India has led to a rapid transformation in the governance system. To ensure good governance, the private corporate sector must come forward."

According to him, India is home to over 118 crore Aadhaar accounts, providing people with a unique identity. He has further said that the government has opened 30 crore bank accounts for the poor and underprivileged section of the society and linked those with Aadhaar. So far the Government has transferred subsidies worth 2.40 lakh crore to the Jan Dhan accounts linked with Aaddaar, thereby saving over 60,000 crore, which would earlier go to the middlemen.

 

"As we are moving towards that ecosystem, we also must ensure that our systems are protected and our data is secured. Keeping this concern in mind, the government has launched the Cyber Surakshit Bharat, with a primary objective to keep our data safe and protected. The best brains in both the government and corporate sector must come together to ensure a safe a secure cyberspace. I am happy that today we have CISOs in many institutions, we have them in as many as 60 ministries and departments of the government of India; 230 banks and 45 other financial institutions have CISOs to protect their data and systems. We must not forget that there is a bunch of smart individuals out there who are trying to steal our data, and to outsmart them we all have to work together towards building a robust cyber security system that keeps all these confidential information protected," the minister added.

Ajay Prakash Sawhney, Secretary, MeitY has also said, "With billion-plus mobile phones linked with a billion-plus Aadhaar connections and billion-plus bank accounts, we are definitely going to face billions and billions of threats, which are growing and becoming more and more sophisticated."

"I believe that the consortium approach is a great way to move forward and I hope that more capable companies will join hands and help us in this endeavor," he added.

Speaking about the initiative, Anant Maheshwari, President - Microsoft India, also said, "Cyber Surakshit Bharat is a significant initiative. I congratulate the Government and our industry partners for coming together to launch it. Security and data privacy is the highest priority for Microsoft. We invest over a billion dollars every year globally in this area. Here in India, we launched our Cybersecurity Engagement Center in October 2016 to build local capabilities and are now proud to be part of this important initiative. As part of this initiative, we will bring the best experts to help train and create a capability to deal with the latest cybersecurity challenges."

Meanwhile, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has also been making announcements regarding new measures to safeguard the data, like generating Virtual IDs (VIDs) along with a face recognition system and more.

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