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India To Expand ‘Trusted Sources’ Mandate to Bolster Cybersecurity Across Critical Sectors

India’s cybersecurity gets a boost with expanded trusted sources rules, encompassing IoT and critical sectors.

cybersecurity

The government is looking at ways to expand trusted sources rules beyond telecom networks to other critical sectors, devices, and the Internet of Things (IoT), National Cyber Security Coordinator MU Nair said at an Assocham AI event, as per an ET report. The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) amended the Unified Access Service License in March 2021 to prevent telcos from obtaining gear from untrustworthy vendors. The updated license stated that the government would have the right to impose conditions for the procurement of telecommunication equipment through the National Cyber Security Coordinator. The National Cyber Security Coordinator was given the authority to decide who these trusted sources could be. This trusted sources mandate was further strengthened under the Telecommunication Act, of 2023. This act allows the central government to issue directions for the procurement of telecommunication equipment and telecommunication services only from trusted sources. Nair said that the country should be in a position to have only trusted products join the networks in a few years. Who are these "trusted sources" anyway? The trusted sources regime has been understood as a way to reduce India's dependence on Chinese telecom equipment manufacturers. According to information released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), between 2022-23,38% of the networking and telecom equipment imported by India was from China. It is also important to note here that when the National Cyber Security Coordinator rolled out a list of approved vendors for telecom equipment, Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE were noticeably left off of it.…

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