Industry experts and policy makers called for creating a national body to evolve a fine balance between cyber data protection and privacy of citizens as the society and businesses become a part of the huge electronic ecosystem.
They also demanded a detailed regulatory, legal and policy-enabling regime to facilitate further protection and preservation of cyber security.
Cyber secrecy and network security are extremely relevant in today’s context, said Mr Pawan Duggal at the 4th international conference on ‘Safeguarding the Digital Economy’ organised by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).
Recalling the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, he said a handful of terrorists took the city to ransom, demonstrating how the security of networks can be bypassed to achieve illegal designs. “Both the requirements of national sovereign governments as those of balancing the needs of data protection and privacy have to be appropriately addressed,” said Mr Duggal who is chairman of ASSOCHAM’s cyber law committee.
He said there is need to ensure that relevant stakeholders are not burdened with costs of compliance in a manner that makes businesses impossible or that has an extremely detrimental impact on them.
Ms B. Bhamathi, additional secretary at the ministry of home affairs, said the government is working on a Rs 2,000 crore criminal tracking network project which is aimed at seamless connectivity among 16,000 police stations across the country, allowing them to share information on crimes and criminals in real-time.
She said risks in cyber space have the potential to damage national security, businesses and individual civil liberties. “Cyber security can be achieved if interwoven with corporate governance.”
Mr Peter Swire, professor at Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University, emphasised on data encryption’s vital role in safeguarding the digital economy. Strong encryption is feasible and is the correct answer as fast innovations take place, said Mr Swire who was earlier special assistant to US president Barak Obama.
Dr Nimrod Kozlovski, chairman of Israel-based Altal Security, said adaptive security models must be created for changing cyber threat scenarios and backed by governments at the highest levels.
Mr Ansh Patnaik, director of Singapore-based ArcSight – a Hewlett Packard company, said risks to digital economy will only increase in future and technology response needs to be holistic. There should be national and trans-national security intelligence sharing by corporates and governments as security systems get integrated with information technology systems under continuous monitoring.
Mr Alexander Seger, head of economic crime division at the France-based Council of Europe, said protection of personal data is a fundamental right.
Mr D.R. Kaarthikeyan, former director of the Central Bureau of Investigation, said with technologies changing like seasons, cyber attacks can happen on hospital, stock exchanges, air traffic control towers and other vital installations to create mass hysteria.
ASSOCHAM’s secretary general D.S. Rawat said cyber security issues are a major concern for corporates worldwide. However, he said the chamber’s vital suggestions have been accepted by the Parliamentary Consultative Committee and incorporated in the Information Technology (Amendment) Act 2008.