Q. Manish Pandey asked : How will the Government/Industry/Security Professionals/Citizens tackle the increasing threat of Cyber imperialism by China, USA or any other country when Core Cyber infra of India like Telecom towers, Networking equipment, Networking Protocols or even Mobile OS and Processors are owned controlled and often misused by them?
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Replied by VIF :

There is no doubt that Nation States compete for an upper hand in technology space, especially when the technology has strategic applications. Cyberspace and the related technologies have strategic relevance and the competition is fierce in every segment be it research, product development or occupying a space in the policy high table for governance. There is no specific solution to the increasing threat of foreign interference when the telecom or communications infrastructure is highly dependent on technology procured from other countries who have a leading edge. Countries might consider preferential treatment to domestic technology supplies, if they exist and are competitive. They may also restrict procurement of technology from certain foreign countries on national security grounds. Indigenous availability of technology and services could be the best case scenario, but technology supply chains are truly multinational these days. It is practically very difficult to built, deploy and maintain products or services for a single company or a nation state. It could be costly as well. A practical approach could be to build capacity and facilities to review any foreign telecom or networking product for security threats and simultaneously invest in or facilitate domestic technology research and production facilities. Both of these need a coordinated involvement of a) government in facilitating innovation through policy measures; b) private sector investing in building products of international standards; and c) academia in undertaking research projects having direct applications in the telecom or networking sector. Without a vibrant innovation ecosystem and proven prowess, no one can claim space at the policy high table.

Posted on April 10, 2019
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