National Cybersecurity Coordinator M.U. Nair reported that the Indian cyberspace has experienced nearly double the number of cyber incidents compared to the global average. During the Synergia Conclave 2023 session on 'Aligning Technologies to Future Conflicts,' Mr. Nair revealed that, on average, ransomware attack payments totaling nearly $1.54 billion have been made in the past 10 months. This amount has doubled since 2022.
“These payments are just the tip of an iceberg since several of these incidents go unreported,” he said. According to Mr. Nair, the Indian cyberspace has experienced an average of 2,127 cyber incidents in the past six months, significantly surpassing the global average of 1,108. He emphasized the need for countries to unite in order to contain and restrict disruptive practices in cyberspace.
“There are a large number of initiatives in this direction under the UN and regional forums where nations are looking for solutions to cyberspace which is not confined to national boundaries,” he said.
Nair highlighted the existence of various international initiatives dedicated to tackling the evolving challenges in cybersecurity. Among these, he pointed out the noteworthy effort of the UN Group of Governmental Experts (UN GGE) appointed by the United Nations General Assembly. This group is focused on advancing responsible state behavior in cyberspace.
In 2021, the UNGGE achieved a significant milestone by adopting a report that plays a crucial role in shaping the landscape of international cybersecurity. Nair emphasized the importance of such initiatives in addressing the complexities of the digital realm and promoting responsible conduct among nations.
“Key recommendations from the UN GGE include the development of international norms and principles, promotion of international cooperation, and strengthening of national cybersecurity capabilities.”
“Additionally, an ad hoc committee is collaborating on a comprehensive international convention to counter the use of ICTs for criminal purposes,” he added.
As the world grapples with evolving challenges in the digital realm, fostering global cooperation and adopting responsible state behavior, as highlighted by initiatives such as the UN Group of Governmental Experts, becomes paramount to ensure a secure and resilient cyberspace for nations worldwide.
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