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India and Bangladesh sign MoU for cyber security cooperation

The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) and its Bangladeshi counterpart Bangladesh Government Computer Incident Response Team (BGD e-Gov CIRT) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cyber security cooperation. The MoU was originally signed in April 2017, and will be implemented through a Joint Committee on Cyber Security, which is yet to be set up. As per the MoU, CERT-In and BGD e-Gov CIRT will:

Exchange information on cyber attacks and cyber security incidents; cyber security technology cooperation; exchange cyber security policies and best practices; and Human Resource Development in this field in accordance with the relevant laws and regulations of each country and on the basis of equality, reciprocity and mutual benefits.

The government of India said that this agreement was required because “business and consumers are increasingly faced with a variety of cyber threats. Besides, there is a need to further improve cyber security readiness and raise awareness around the importance of keeping systems secure, and security practices and procedures.”

CERT-In operates under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology of India, while BGD e-Gov CIRT is part of the Bangladesh Computer Council of Information and Communication Technology Division under the Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology of Bangladesh.

This is not the first cyber security MoU between India and other countries:

United States

January 2017: India and the United States signed a MoU between CERT-In and the Department of Homeland Security, respectively, for cooperation in the field of cyber security. This was an extension of a similar MoU the two countries had signed in 2011.

July 2016: The countries setup the US-India Cyber Relationship Framework, establishing a bilateral commitment to an open, interoperable, secure and reliable cyberspace environment, and bilateral measures to combat cyber crime.

August 2015: India and the US held a joint Cyber Dialogue in Washington, the fourth in the series, discussing issues related to cyber threats, cyber incident management, cyber security cooperation, combatting cyber crime, cyber security capacity-building, Internet governance and international security.

Singapore

November 2015: India also has an MoU with the Singapore Computer Emergency Response Team to promote cooperation and exchange of cyber security information, including info on cyber attacks, research collaboration in smart technologies, cyber security policies and best practices.

India also has active MoUs or previously had MoUs for cyber crime and cyber security with Brazil, Canada, Colombia, France, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.

ReBIT: In January this year, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) set up the Reserve Bank Information Technology Pvt Ltd (ReBIT) to take care of its IT requirements, including the cyber security needs of the bank and its regulated entities. ReBIT will focus on IT and cyber security, including research for the financial sector and assist in IT systems audit and assessment of RBI regulated entities. This development followed the theft of over 3.2 million debit card details by hackers from ATMs and POS machines on YES Bank’s network, and Axis Bank and SBI confirmed security breaches in its servers, in October last year.

Also Read: An overview of India’s cyber security agencies

This June, MediaNama held an open house discussion on Securing Online Data. Here are Part 1 and Part 2 of the discussion.

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