The last few years have witnessed a massive rise in cyber attacks across critical sectors. With technological advances such as internet-of-things and ubiquitous computing through hand-held devices, end-point security stands severely compromised. Against this background, India has taken steps to protect data and build resilience against cyber attacks. This talk will explore the evolution of cyber threats in the Indian context and her policy solutions to cope with these new threats. The Information Technology Act 2000, which laid the foundation for subsequent national and international regulations, including the 2013 National Cyber Security Policy, has been instrumental in building conversations around cybersecurity, but a lot more needs to be done on the execution front. Dr Hannes Ebert demonstrates that even in 2018, India’s cybersecurity environment remains highly vulnerable. Governmental efforts have not been able to keep up with the rapid growth of the country’s information technology industry and internet connectivity. Effectively securing India’s digital domain would require comprehensive whole-of-government and multi-stakeholder approaches that explicitly address cybersecurity, rapidly implement existing legislation, and credibly build long-term resilience against growing cyber threats.
Hannes Ebert is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Berlin office of the GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, where he conducts research on conflict transformation and crisis management, rising powers, and cyber policy in South Asia. His most recent work focuses on territorial dispute settlement between India and Pakistan, the diplomatic and military contestation to India’s rise, and India’s cybersecurity and internet governance policies. Hannes has previously worked for think tanks in Berlin, Delhi, London, and Islamabad and has advised the German Federal Foreign Office’s policy planning staff and East Africa desk on policies towards the BRICS, fragile states as well as the Indian Ocean. He has also served as a researcher and program coordinator at Harvard University’s Center for European Studies. Hannes completed a PHD in political science at the University of Hamburg‘s School of Economics and Social Sciences. He studied politics and international law at Freie Universität Berlin and The Graduate Institute Geneva, and holds an MSc from the London School of Economics’ Department of International Relations. He was visiting postdoctoral fellow at Yale University’s MacMillan Center and visiting doctoral fellow at Oxford University’s Department of Politics and International Relations. https://www.giga-hamburg.de/en/team/ebert