VIF-FICCI Homeland Security Conference 2023: Cyber, AI & Data Analytics for Internal Security
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There has been much contemplation on the development of new technologies and their role in the progress of our societies. It is widely observed that when a nation is on a progress path with new technologies, the security aspect has been the least considered component during the development of these technologies. As many technologies are like the double-edged sword, they can be used or abused. There is a need for us to switch into the ‘mission’ mode and work towards the management and security of the cyberspace.

The Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF) and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) co-hosted the ‘Homeland Security Conference 2023’ on ‘Cyber, Artificial Intelligence, and Data Analytics for Internal Security’ on 15 September 2023 in New Delhi. At the conference, government officials, industry professionals, academicians, diplomats from various embassies/missions, and researchers from several organisations came together to discussa thorough approach to effective cyber management and the adoption of AI in internal security management.

In his Special Address, Dr. Arvind Gupta, Director of VIF, highlighted that emerging technologies such as AI and cyber security have become significant aspects in recent years. Dr Gupta emphasised the transformative impact of technical breakthroughs and emphasised technology as a game changer in internal security. Law enforcement agencies use emerging technologies to fight crime and its manifestations, including terrorism. Referring to a report compiled by FICCI on crime statistics, Dr Gupta mentioned that the Organised Crime sector is likely to be USD 10 trillion by 2025, and around 80-90 per cent of organised crimes are committed in which technology plays a crucial role. He emphasised the importance of coordinating efforts to enhance the State police’s capabilities to stay one step ahead of criminals.

Dr Gupta shared the data on cyber security incidents reported to the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), where around 14 lakh cyber security incidents/attacks were reported in 2022. The data shows an exponential increase in cyber security-related incidents. Dr Gupta restated the importance of AI for law enforcement agencies, including managing the massive amount of data or information in real-time. However, the negative elements also use similar technologies to make agencies’ tasks more challenging. On the strength side, AI is revolutionising cyber security with more accuracy in a real-time environment; however, the over-reliance on AI and lesser human intervention can be a weaker part of such technologies. We must develop indigenous technologies that are less vulnerable to external threats.

In his keynote address, Shri Prakash Singh, a former Director General (DG) of the Border Security Force (BSF), underlined the growing digitalisation and how it has made the country more vulnerable to cyber-attacks. He emphasised the possibilities and dangers of AI, particularly regarding security applications. Despite a slower-than-expected adoption of technology, Bharat is working to catch up and improve its capacity for law enforcement. Shri Singh emphasised the significance of strengthening the military and law enforcement to keep up with the evolving challenges of technology.

Dr Gulshan Rai, a former National Cyber Security Coordinator (NCSC), Government of Bharat, discussed the changes that have been brought about by the development of information technology, particularly emerging technologies, in the session titled “Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Data Analytics for Internal Security." Dr Rai pointed out that AI has created a distinct environment marked by intelligent planning and suggested that having access to such technology would have more successfully prevented incidents like the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

Bharat’s law enforcement agencies use AI, Machine Learning (ML), and data analytics to find and follow illegal activity and gather evidence. These technologies have a vast potential to improve the investigative capacities of the State police forces and considerably shorten the time it takes to take action, given the complicated scenarios that our agencies deal with.

Event Date 
September 15, 2023

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