Hackers, beware: India gets first cyber security chief

Gulshan-Rai-IT-DEITAmid the growing importance of cyber security in India’s strategic calculus, Gulshan Rai, the Director General of Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-in), has been appointed as India’s first Cyber Security Chief from April 1, 2015.

Mr Rai also heads the Security and eSecurity and Cyber Law division in the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, and he has involved with the country’s cyber security operations for over two decades.

“Rai will take over as Cyber Security chief under the Prime Minister’s Office as Special Secretary from April 1,” a government official said.

More than 700 government websites hosted under ‘gov.in’ and ‘nic.in’ domains have been hacked by cyber criminals in the last four years. As per the data released by CERT-in, 371, 189, 155 government websites were hacked during the year 2012, 2013 and 2014. In January 2015 alone, a total of 13 government websites were hacked.

Last month, India’s Home Minister Rajnath Singh had said that an expert committee was set up to suggest ways and means to strengthen cyber security, and the reports would be submitted in the next three months.

The appointment of the cyber chief comes in at a crucial time as India looks to shaping international policy and discourse on interlinked issues of cyber security, cyber terrorism, global internet governance, information security and cyber economy. The Modi government in India has launched Digital India campaign, which involves more proactive e-governance and bridging the digital divide among the 1.2 billion people of the country.

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