International collaboration in fighting cyber-crime is a challenge, says India’s cyber-security chief

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on August 19, 2020

‘We have to change our approaches to target different types of audience for cyber-security,’ Matsubara of NTT

International collaboration in building a system to fight cyber-crime is one of the biggest challenges, according to India’s National Cyber Security Coordinator Lt Gen (Dr) Rajesh Pant.

Pant was speaking at cyber-security firm Kaspersky’s online Asia-Pacific policy forum. The cyber-security chief was joined by Eugene Kaspersky, CEO of Kaspersky; David Koh, Singapore’s cyber-security commissioner and CEO of Singapore’s Cyber Security Agency, and Mihoko Matsubara, chief cyber-security strategy of Japan’s NTT Corp.

Pant stated that there was a need to move past the “deglobalisation” that is happening due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“There is a sense of deglobalisation that is taking place. And this is likely to impact the fractured cyber-space for some time to come. But then we have to fall back. I am sure that major countries and major regional forums, the moment they realise that in cyber-space there are no borders, we have to align our services. We will go back to the new normal,” Pant said.

“We definitely need international collaboration. That is also one of the biggest challenges,” he said.

Pant’s call for international collaboration was supported by Koh who said, “There is a very strong need for us to develop a rules-based international order for cyber-space, just like we have in the physical domains for land, sea and air, and also in world trade,” he said.

Revamping the cyber-security space

The panellists further emphasised the need for a more inclusive and redefined cyber-security architecture to meet the current needs of the cyber-security space where the human factor is just as important as the technology.

People need to be educated and made aware of cyber-hygiene while organisations need to be made more cyber-resilient, according to the experts.

“The entire system has become distributed. So, a new type of cyber-security architecture is now required for us. Now, you said that we have a choice between technology or user behaviour. I would like to say both. In fact, that classic case of people processing technology still holds good in the field of cyber-security. People are also very important,” said Pant.

“As far as the general concept (is concerned), we have now had to adapt; things are no longer inside a nice perimeter; we have to now deal with unknown identities. But the bigger issue is that besides balancing usability, security and cost, we have to deal with the human dimension. This is a huge challenge and not just in rural areas. Singapore is a totally cosmopolitan city, but still, you have huge challenges with respect to the human dimension,” said Koh.

“We need cooperation in multiple dimensions within the country..., the government has to work with industry, with the people sector with academia,” he said.

“We have to change our approaches to target different types of audience for cyber-security,” said Matsubara.

As for the companies enabling cyber-security, the main focus should be on “how to develop and how to provide there through cyber-security for the critical infrastructure, for the facilities, for the healthcare,” said Kaspersky.

Published on August 19, 2020

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