Cyber Security Is A Bloodless War And We Have To Be Prepared, Says Ravi Shankar Prasad

“India is involved in a game changing program, especially driven by Digital India among others; and digital connect is empowering Indians’, said Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union Minister for Communications and Information Technology. He was addressing a large gathering of the members of Indian Merchants’ Chamber here today after inaugurating a seminar on ‘IT & Cyber Crime – Challenges faced by Indian and International Organizations’ jointly organized by IMC, Indo American Chamber of Commerce and Global Insurance.

Highlighting the digital profile of the country – 120 crore mobile phones for a population of 130 crore and 40 crore internet connections – the minister said that new communication technologies will not only bring monetary benefits but also trigger social empowerment and positive change.

A key member of the Union Ministry and driving force behind the country’s IT policies, Mr. Prasad asserted that cyber security was a bloodless war that had to be fought using technology and appropriate legal architecture to enhance IT application. IT continues to be the largest export from India. A large number of Fortune-500 companies still outsource IT services from India, he added.

Prasad announced that Payment Bank of the Postal Department will be launched soon with 650 branches covering as many as 1.5 lakh post offices. “Over 50 top notch companies in the world and in India are keen to partner the Postal Department because of the phenomenal reach the program would offer”, he remarked.

Earlier, welcoming the delegates, Dilip Piramal, President, IMC, said that cyber crime and e-frauds are one of the major threats to the advancing virtual world of internet. “India scores high on the cyber crime map and it is therefore necessary to build safeguard from business, mobile and digital frauds”. Suggesting that SMEs are at the highest risk from cyber attacks due to their low maturity towards security, Piramal warned that cyber espionage could be a direct threat to national security.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Lalit Kanodia, President, Indo American Chamber of Commerce, traced the explosive growth of the IT sector in recent decades to the current value of $ 160 Billion, representing 8% of national GDP and predicted that the sector could potentially reach $ 250 Billion by 2025. “The export potential of software products is anything between $ 50 Billion and $ 100 Billion”, he asserted.

Prabodh Thakker, Chairman, Global Insurance, pointed out that cyber crime is a reality and we need to first recognize the problem and attempt holistic solutions. The event was organized by IMC’s Risk management Committee and Insurance committee of IACC.