As India progresses embracing technology and its Internet users inches towards the 900 million mark, cyber threats loom large.

Digital Public Infrastructure created by the government has accelerated the process of India becoming a global leader in transacting digitally. Recognising the evolving nature of security threats in the 21st century, the government embarked on a mission to reinforce the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS), empowering it to effectively address emerging challenges and ensure the country’s security preparedness in a rapidly changing geopolitical landscape.

At the core of this transformation was the strategic integration of the NSCS into the Allocation of Business Rules a few years ago. This move was aimed at institutionalising NSCS’ authority and bolster its operational efficiency.

Four verticals

Comprising four verticals, three of them led by Deputy NSAs, the NSCS’ organisational structure reflects its diverse portfolio of responsibilities and functions. The Strategic Affairs Wing plays a pivotal role in shaping India’s strategic posture and fostering international cooperation to safeguard national interests in an increasingly interconnected world. The Internal Affairs Wing is focused on ensuring robust governance and security measures within the country’s borders.

The Technology and Intelligence Wing leverages cutting-edge technologies to enhance India’s intelligence capacities and safeguards critical infrastructure against cyber-threats and technological disruptions. And the Military Vertical under the NSCS provides strategic guidance to the armed forces.

In addition to its core functions, the NSCS serves as the secretariat for various entities, including the National Security Advisory Board and specialised groups like the National Information Board.

With India going digital, its citizens need to be safeguarded against relentless cyber-attacks. A 2023 Reserve Bank of India report reveals that there were more than a million cyber intrusions in 2023 with an average of 4,500 cyber assaults per day in the financial sector alone.

Here too the government has risen to the occasion, taking proactive steps with initiatives like Cyber Safe India and the setting up of Indian Cybercrime Coordination Centre (I4C), which have prevented crores of rupees of citizens’ money from getting lost. Other initiatives like the National Cybercrime Reporting Portal and further strengthening of the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems have begun to yield results.

Further, setting up of mechanisms like of blocking SIM cards, IMEI devices, bank accounts, UPI IDs besides apps, websites, etc., have been noteworthy preventive initiatives for safeguard.

These institutionalised efforts are steps in the right direction to ensure the evolving security challenges are mitigated.

The writer is CEO,