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Government mandates 10% of Ministerial IT budgets be reserved for Cyber Security

The move has come at a critical time, with the whole world reeling from major cyber attacks this year.

In light of the recent string of security attacks taking the world by storm, namely the Wannacry Ransomware attack, Petya attack, and so on, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) is now pushing to beef up the cyber security of India. It has mandated that each and every Ministry needs to set aside at least 10 % of its IT budgets solely to be spent on security infrastructure building and development, and also suggested that Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) be appointed for each of the Ministries to help protect and improve their IT infrastructure.

In addition to that, the Ministry is also planning on building as many as 10 more Standardization Testing and Quality Certification (STQC) labs which would be providing IT and electronics related quality assurance services. Ajay Kumar, additional secretary of MEITY, said that while the new labs would be built in smaller cities such as Vishakhapatnam and Amaravati, the Ministry will also be upgrading two of its existing labs. Currently, 15 such STQC labs exist in India, having centres in Delhi, Jaipur, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Pune, and more, which provide Testing, Calibration, IT & e-Governance, Training and Certification services to public and private organizations, utilising the wide network of laboratories and centres that spans the entire country.

The move couldn’t have come at a more critical time, since, in spite of businesses all over the world losing billions of dollars to cyber attacks in recent times, India still does not have any cyber breach disclosure laws. Additionally, India also ranked 23rd among 165 countries in its commitment to cyber security on the Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI) which was published recently by the United Nations. The report classified India under the “maturing” category, which echoed the reality of the country’s ongoing efforts in improving and building a more robust cyber security system. 

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