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The aim is to promote mutual co-operation and exchange of information

In order give a boost to cyber-security cooperation, India and USA have recently signed an MoU between the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) and US Department of Homeland Security. The MoU was signed by Aruna Sundararajan, Secretary, Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, and Richard Verma, the US Ambassador to India. It was signed for co-operation in cyber security areas between both countries based on mutual benefit and reciprocity. The 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.

The present move is in continuation of an earlier MoU signed between the countries in 2011 for furthering cooperation and exchange of information between the organizations of respective governments. Since the time of the earlier MoU, regular interactions between CERT-In and US-CERT have taken place to share the information and discuss cyber security related issues.

CERT-In (the 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 was formed to protect Indian cyberspace and software infrastructure against destructive and hacking activities. It also responds to computer security incidents, reports on vulnerabilities and promotes effective IT security practices throughout India. 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 the 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, and cyber security policies, India has also collaborated with the Singapore Computer Emergency Response Team.

—India Legal Bureau

Lead picture: Bhavana Gaur

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