As the government makes more of its services available
online, enhancing the security posture of NIC and hence, of the government, is
expected to enhance citizens’ trust in digital government services.
On December 11, the Indian Minister of Law & Justice and
Electronics & Information Technology, Ravi Shankar Prasad, inaugurated
the “NIC-CERT” (National Informatics Centre-Computer Emergency Response Team) NIC-CERT
is an initiative of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY)
under Digital India.
The National Informatics Centre (NIC) is responsible for building and
operating government ICT infrastructure at all levels, from the central
government down the state and district levels. The agency also builds the
e-government applications enabling digital interactions between the citizens
Through its ICT Network, "NICNET", NIC has
institutional linkages with all the Ministries /Departments of the Central
Government, 36 State Governments/ Union Territories, and about 688 District
administrations of India.
The Indian Government has been making
more of its services accessible online, as part of its Digital India push. But
this is also exposing citizens to ever proliferating threats and
vulnerabilities in today’s cyberspace.
A CERT specifically aimed at enhancing the security posture
of NIC and hence the Government is expected to lead to enhanced trust of the
citizens, as the services offered to them would be configured in a framework
that is secure by design.
NIC-CERT aims to upscale the Government’s ability to protect
its data. NIC-CERT has been setup with the objective of creating a
comprehensive framework that integrates world-class security components and
inbuilt threat intelligence for detection, prevention and incident response.
Using the tools, NIC-CERT will be able to correlate events, generating a comprehensive
image of the attack surface and identifying vulnerabilities and possible exploits.
The gathered intelligence assimilated with the knowledge of the open web would
give the CERT the ability to predict and prevent attacks.
The NIC-CERT will operate in close coordination and
collaboration with sectoral CERTs and more so with Cert-IN, which is the national nodal
agency for responding to computer security incidents, as and when they occur.
Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that in the recent past
there has been an exponential growth in cyberattacks leading to concerns of
data theft, which led to the Government drafting
the Data Protection Act. He also stated that NIC has been doing a
remarkable job of securing the Government cyberspace for a long time and by setting
up this centre they have taken their experience and expertise to the next
He emphasised that for responding to the cyberattacks of
today, the Government needs an agile and responsive eco-system.
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