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IT Minister urges global collaboration for cybersecurity amidst rising threats

IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Friday called for coordinated cybersecurity efforts and strategies at global, national and organisational levels to protect cyberspace and societies, as he emphasised the need for shared solutions to tackle the challenges, being compounded by new technologies like AI.

The minister exhorted G20 member countries to come together and think through these challenges, share solutions and tools, and “co-operate across boundaries”.

Citing platforms like UPI, ONDC and CoWIN, the minister said that India with its robust digital public infrastructure has ensured true democratisation of technology for the benefit of its people.

“We have seen in many parts of the world, technology has been cornered by a few big-tech companies…is that the right model for a country, democracy or society which is evolving so fast?” Vaishnaw said asserting that India has been clear in its approach on democratising technology to ensure it is inclusive, accessible to all, and not cornered by a handful of companies.

On the challenges of cyberspace where complexities are increasing multifold, the minister said joint efforts and coordinated strategies across boundaries are needed.

“The challenge of cybersecurity is common to us, it is complex and does not have any boundaries. Technology is evolving every day…if we find a solution to a problem today, tomorrow there will be a new problem to solve, and AI is going to increase the complexities multifold,” Vaishnaw said calling for a multi-pronged approach to cybersecurity.

The challenges of the cyberworld cannot be left to firewalls alone, the minister said addressing the ‘G20 conference on crime and security in the age of NFTs, AI and Metaverse’.

“We will have to look for solutions that if there is a cyberattack in one country, countries and societies will have to collaborate and come up with solutions common to all,” he said.

He emphasised the digital economy ministers group is trying to build consensus on international collaboration and institutions that will work across boundaries for cybersecurity.

Many new tools will have to be developed, and solutions shared for the benefit of others, he said.

Asserting India’s philosophy of ‘One Earth-One Family’, the minister said India is keen to share some cybersecurity tools it has developed, with countries that would like to use them.

“Some of the solutions have really helped our country face the complexity of cybercrimes. One of the solutions was so effective that we could detect and close millions of accounts that were used for creating cyberfrauds,” he said, and added “that kind of effort will have to be taken at the international levels also”.

Efforts will have to be taken at global, national and organisational levels for creating cyber awareness, following cyber rules, ensuring cyber hygiene, to protect societies, he added. PTI

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