India-Japan sign Memorandum of Cooperation in the field of Cybersecurity

India and Japan recently signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) in the field of cybersecurity to enhance cooperation in areas of mutual interest regarding the same.

October 7, 2020

The Indo-Japan MoC is focussed on capacity building, R&D, security, and resilience in the areas of 5G, IoT, AI etc.

India has one of the highest numbers of internet users, hence is among the top 10 countries facing cyber-attacks.

Owing to the lockdown, India saw a 37% rise in cyber-attacks during Q1, this year as compared to Q4, 2019.

India will soon have a new cybersecurity policy to tackle cyber crimes like data phishing, monetary fraud, and national security.

India and Japan signed an MoC aiming to enhance cooperation in areas of mutual interest, which include among other things, capacity building in the area of cyberspace, protection of critical infrastructure, cooperation in emerging technologies, sharing information on cyber security threats, malicious cyber activities, as well as best practices to counter them. The cybersecurity agreement is aimed to promote cooperation in capacity building, R&D, security, and resilience in key areas such as 5G network and Artificial Intelligence (AI), Critical Information Infrastructure, and Internet of Things (IoT) etc. India and Japan commit to an open, interoperable, free, secure and reliable cyberspace environment and promote the Internet as an engine of innovation, economic growth, and trade and commerce, in accordance with their respective domestic laws.

The world has indeed become closer. This enhanced connectivity ensures large-scale progress, but also increases the risks to our digitalised societies. With an increase in internet activity, like online transactions, data phishing activities, there has been a rapid rise in cyber-crimes. India, having one of the highest numbers of internet users in the world, also is one of the top-10 countries facing cyber-attacks. According to the Internet Crime Report for 2019, released by the USA’s Internet Crime Complaint Centre of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, India stands third in the world among top 20 countries that are victims of internet crimes. 

In current times, demonetisation and Covid-19 have enabled the adoption of digitisation on a large scale.  During this lockdown period, India has seen a 37% increase in cyberattacks in the first quarter (Q1) of 2020, as compared to the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2019.Going forward, a robust cyber security policy, focussing on major governance reforms will address any current gaps and provide a strong framework to handle related issues. Cyber-crimes today are not only limited to hacking and money related frauds but have become critical from a national security point of view, encouraging the government to create a Cyber Defence Agency, responsible for implementing the cyber defence strategy for national security.