In order give a boost to cyber-security co-operation, India and USA have recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT- In) and US Department of Homeland Security. The MoU was signed by Aruna Sundararajan, Secretary of the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and Richard Verma, US Ambassador to India. MoU has been signed for co-operation in cyber security areas between both countries based on mutual benefit and reciprocity. Its aim is to promote mutual co-operation and the exchange of information relating to cyber security in accordance with the relevant rules and regulations of respective economies.
This action was taken in continuation to an earlier MoU signed between the countries in the year 2011 for further co-operation and exchange of information between the organisations of respective Governments. Since the time of earlier MoU, regular interactions between CERT-In and US CERT have taken place to share the information and discuss issued related to cyber security. CERT-In (Indian Computer Emergency Response Team) is in operation since January, 2004 under the Indian Department of Information Technology, Ministry of Electronics and IT. CERT-In is a national nodal agency for information technology (IT) security.
CERT-In aims to protect Indian cyberspace and software infrastructure against destructive and hacking activities. It also functions to respond to computer security incidents, report on vulnerabilities and promote effective IT security practices throughout the country. CERT-In also issues guidelines, vulnerability notes, advisories, and whitepapers relating to information security practices, prevention, procedures, response and reporting of cyber security incidents. The government is also planning to amend existing Information Technology (IT) Act to strengthen the current cyber security infrastructure in the country. Amendments are essential for strong cyber security framework and to address the security challenges due to dependence on digital economy. In a bid to promote cyber security co-ordination and exchange of cyber security information- including information on cyber attacks, research collaboration in smart technologies, cyber security policies; India has also collaborated with the Singapore Computer Emergency Response Team.
The main function of the CERT-In is to spread awareness regarding cyber laws and to provide technical assistance and advice when posed with computer security threats. With technological advancements, there is a surge in incidents of cyber attacks. Moreover, after the initiation of various internet based programmes, including the cashless drive by the Government of India, there is a need for stronger cyber security to protect the interests of the people.