The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) has signed an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with IIT Kanpur for developing tools for strengthening cybersecurity and advising the stock exchange on current and future cyber related issues.

The MoU will also include the IIT assisting in testing for vulnerabilities in BSE’s IT system and network, forming guidelines and auditing security operations, performing cyber security research in financial markets and developing an ecosystem for dealing with current and future cyber security challenges. Interestingly Sebi had warned BSE and NSE against cyberattacks in April last year, and had suggested creating a framework for protecting the securities markets.

Additionally, stock exchanges are a favourite of hackers to try and hack. The other BSE, Barbados Stock Exchange, was hacked in late 2014. Earlier this year, Anonymous took offline New York Stock Exchange’s website, along with five other bank websites. Subsequently, the group also shut down the London Stock Exchange website, keeping it out of action for over 2 hours. Similarly, attacks had shut down the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange as well infiltrated the servers of Dow Jones to steal trade information. As such, it makes sense for the BSE to bring on board cyber experts.

Computer & Internet Security research centre: Note that IIT Kanpur runs the Prabhu Goel Research Centre for Computer and Internet Security, which collaborates with defense and security agencies in developing various computer security technologies. The department claims to have already conducted two-month training courses on computer security for the armed forces, and plans to undertake consulting activities for various agencies for designing of security policies, designing of networks or other information systems for secure use, penetration testing, security audit etc.

IIT Kanpur’s collaborations: This is not IIT Kanpur’s first cooperative project with a large organization – Indian Railways had partnered with the educational institution to introduce a real-time train tracking system for mobile users back in 2012. The IIT also offers a platform for use to run Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) called MOOKIT.

Other developments:

– In February this year, BSE Institute, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Bombay Stock Exchange, launched a new accelerator for startups.

– The month before, the BSE signed a partnership with Tata Docomo to offer free WiFi services around the area of PJ Tower (where the BSE is located).