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PM’s Emphasis on Self-Reliance in Cybersecurity


During the 7th edition of the India Mobile Congress, the Prime Minister of India highlighted the critical significance of self-reliance in cybersecurity.


GS III: Security Challenges

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Cybersecurity
  2. Self-Reliance in Cybersecurity
  3. The Necessity of Self-Reliance in Cybersecurity
  4. Challenges of Cyber Security in India


  • Cybersecurity refers to the measures taken to protect computer systems, networks, devices, and data from various threats, including theft, damage, unauthorized access, and malicious actions.
  • It involves a broad spectrum of technologies, procedures, and strategies aimed at ensuring the security of digital data and the infrastructure responsible for its storage, processing, and transmission.

Self-Reliance in Cybersecurity

  • Self-reliance in cybersecurity refers to a nation’s capability to independently develop, sustain, and secure its digital infrastructure, data, and information systems. It involves reducing dependency on foreign technology and external assistance.

Relying on Indigenous Solutions

  • It emphasizes the creation and adoption of homegrown cybersecurity solutions and practices, reducing reliance on foreign sources for cybersecurity tools and expertise.

The Necessity of Self-Reliance in Cybersecurity

National Security

  • Cybersecurity is crucial for safeguarding a nation’s critical infrastructure, such as energy grids, transportation networks, and communication systems.
  • Modern military operations rely heavily on digital technology, making cybersecurity a cornerstone of national security.

Geopolitical Considerations

  • Depending on foreign technology, particularly from countries with which a nation has strained relations, can pose security risks.
  • Reducing reliance on external sources for technology minimizes vulnerabilities.

Technological Independence

  • Self-reliance stimulates innovation and research in cybersecurity.
  • It grants greater control over the technology supply chain, reducing potential risks associated with foreign technology.

Challenges of Cyber Security in India

  • Data colonization: India is net exporter of information however data servers of majority of digital service providers are located outside India. Also, data is being misused for influencing electoral outcomes, spread of radicalism etc.
  • Digital Illiteracy: Widespread Digital illiteracy makes Indian citizens highly susceptible to cyber fraud, cyber theft, etc.
  • Substandard devices: In India, majority of devices used to access internet have inadequate security infrastructure making them susceptible to malwares such as recently detected ‘Saposhi’. Also, rampant use of unlicensed software and underpaid licenses make them vulnerable as well.
  • Lack of adoption of new technology: For example – The Banking infrastructure is not robust to cop-up with rising digital crime as 75% of total Credit and Debit card are based on magnetic strip which are easy to be cloned.
  • Lack of uniform standards: There are variety of devices used with non-uniform standards which makes it difficult to provide for a uniform security protocol.
  • Import dependence: Import dependence for majority of electronic devices from cell phones to equipment’s used in power sector, defence, banking, communication and other critical infrastructure put India into a vulnerable situation.
  • Lack of adequate infrastructure and trained staff: There are currently around 30,000 cyber security vacancies in India but demand far outstrips supply of people with required skills.
  • Under-reporting: majority of cases of cybercrime remains unreported because of lack of awareness.
  • Unsynchronised Agencies: Lack of coordination among various agencies working for cyber security. Private sector, despite being a major stakeholder in the cyberspace, has not been involved proactively for the security of the same.
  • Anonymity: Even advanced precision threats carried out by hackers is difficult to attribute to specific actors, state or nonstate.

-Source: Indian Express

December 2023