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‘National Cyber Security Strategy awaiting cabinet nod, will hopefully be released in October’: Rajesh Pant

Rajesh Pant

India's National Cyber Security Strategy 2020 is ready and is now just awaiting cabinet approval, National Cyber Security Coordinator Lt Gen. (Dr) Rajesh Pant said on Friday. He hopes that the Strategy — which will “cater to the entire [cybersecurity] ecosystem” and discusses “how to strengthen existing systems” — will be released in October, the month that is globally considered the cybersecurity awareness month. The “inter-ministerial part”, where inputs are sought from different ministries and accordingly incorporated in the policy, “is over”, he said. Pant was speaking at a virtual cybersecurity conference organised by industry body Assocham. The five-year Strategy (2020-2025) has been in the works since 2019 and will succeed India’s 2013 cybersecurity policy. In December 2019, the National Security Council had invited comments on the Strategy, and it was meant to be released in the first quarter of the year. COVID-19, however, upended those plans. In an interview with MediaNama in May 2020, Pant had told us that the Strategy now includes a section on tele-working “since this virus has changed the threat scenario to a great extent”. “The entire section has been added and, in some places, [the Strategy] has been tweaked because in the next five years, lot of the impact of COVID is going to be felt. Consequently, there will an impact on the cybersecurity part also. We have done that and now it’s going through its versions of cabinet paper being approved, etc.,” he had earlier said. ‘Use of data for influence operations should…

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