India ranked tenth at the Global Cybersecurity Index

The International Telecom Union, a specialised United Nations agency responsible for matters related to information and communication technologies, has ranked India at Number 10 in the Global Cybersecurity Index. Interestingly, Pakistan and even China are behind India in the same ranking, with they placed at number 79 and 33 respectively. India's rank comes as it took a big leap from rank 47 in 2018.

Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI) is a globally known reference measuring the progress of nations in cybersecurity. While ranking countries, it considers five criteria viz., legal measures, technical measures, organisational measures, capacity development, and cooperation within stakeholders. The United States topped the chart with the United Kingdom at number 2, Estonia and Saudi Arabia ranked 3, while South Korea, Singapore and Spain came fourth.

During a media interview given to the ET, Lt. Gen. Rajesh Pant, India's National Cyber Security Coordinator (NCSC), attributed India's big leap in the GCI to the capacity addition that has happened in the last few years in this domain. He also mentioned steps like formulation of ‘National Cyber Security Strategy (NCSS)’, ‘Trusted Telecom Directive’, etc., as significant contributors to India's progress in cybersecurity.

India has recently come up with its ‘National Cyber Security Strategy’ to ensure a safe and trusted cyberspace. As per India's National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, the NCSS is aimed at securing, strengthening and synergising the cybersecurity ecosystem by bringing together all the related agencies and by closely associating with businesses, citizens, etc.

Besides, India has launched the ‘Trusted Telecom Directive’ just a fortnight back. It comes next in line with the Cabinet approval for the National Security Directive on Telecommunication Sector. Under it, the government has identified a list of trusted sources and products for installation in the country’s telecom networks. The Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) are mandatorily required to connect in their networks only those new devices which are designated as ‘Trusted Products from Trusted Sources’.

India experienced 1.16 million cyber attacks last year, a 300% rise compared to the previous year. It is quite clear that cybersecurity threats have magnified amid the pandemic as China has initiated a full-fledged hybrid war across the world, especially against India. During these precarious times, the steps India is taking and the big leap at the GCI it has achieved are commendable.