In today’s digital world, cyber security is a more important issue than ever before. As our reliance on technology continues to grow, so does the risk of cyber attacks. That’s why it’s so important to have a national cyber security coordinator (NCSC) in place to lead the country’s efforts to protect itself from cyber threats. In this post, we will take a closer look at who is the first national cyber security coordinator in India. We will also explore his roles and responsibilities as a national cyber security coordinator.
What is a national cyber security coordinator?
A National Cybersecurity Coordinator is a high-ranking government official responsible for overseeing and coordinating a country’s cybersecurity efforts and policies at the national level. This role is critical in addressing the growing threats and challenges posed by cyberattacks and ensuring the overall security and resilience of a nation’s digital infrastructure, data, and information systems.
The NCSC is typically appointed by the head of state or government and is accountable to a high-level cabinet minister or other government official. The NCSC may also have a seat on the National Security Council, depending on the country’s governance structure.
Here are some of the key responsibilities of a national cyber security coordinator:
- Develop and implement national cyber security policy and strategy
- Lead and manage the national cyber security center
- Coordinate the activities of all relevant government agencies and departments on cyber security
- Build and maintain relationships with international cybersecurity organizations
- Provide advice and guidance to the government on cybersecurity issues
- Oversee the response to cyber security incidents
- Raise awareness of cyber security risks and promote best practices
The NCSC plays a critical role in protecting the country from cyber threats and safeguarding its national security.
Why is the role of a national cyber security coordinator important?
The role of a National Cybersecurity Coordinator is critically important for several reasons, given the increasingly interconnected and digital nature of modern societies. Here are some key reasons why this role holds significant importance:
1. To coordinate national cyber security efforts: Cybersecurity is a complex and multi-faceted issue, and it is essential to have a central authority to coordinate the efforts of all relevant government agencies and departments. The NCSC plays this role by developing and implementing national cyber security policy and strategy, overseeing the response to cyber security incidents, and raising awareness of cyber security risks.
2. To advise the government on cyber security issues: The NCSC provides the government with expert advice and guidance on all aspects of cyber security, including policy, strategy, and operations. This helps the government to make informed decisions about how to protect the country from cyber threats.
3. To lead and manage the national cyber security center: The national cyber security center is the central hub for cyber security operations in the country. The NCSC leads and manages the center, ensuring that it is able to effectively detect, respond to, and mitigate cyber threats.
4. To build and maintain relationships with international cyber security organizations: Cyber threats are global in nature, and it is important for countries to work together to protect themselves. The NCSC builds and maintains relationships with international cybersecurity organizations, facilitating cooperation and information sharing.
Who is the first national cyber security coordinator?
The first national cyber security coordinator (NCSC) in India was Dr. Gulshan Rai. He was appointed to the position in 2015, following the establishment of the Office of the National Cyber Security Coordinator (ONCS) under the National Security Council Secretariat.
Dr. Rai is a renowned expert in the field of cyber security, with over 30 years of experience in academia, industry, and government. He has held senior positions at organizations such as the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), the National Informatics Centre (NIC), and the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS).
As the first NCSC, Dr. Rai played a key role in developing and implementing India’s national cyber security strategy. He also oversaw the establishment of the National Cyber Coordination Centre (NCCC), which is the central hub for cyber security operations in the country.
Dr. Rai served as the NCSC for two years, before retiring in 2017. He was succeeded by Lt. Gen. Rajesh Pant (Retd.), who served in the position until 2023. The current NCSC is Lt Gen MU Nair.
Dr. Rai’s contributions to the field of cyber security in India are significant. He is credited with laying the foundation for India’s national cyber security framework and for developing a strong cyber security culture in the country.
Responsibilities of Dr. Gulshan Rai
As the first National Cyber Security Coordinator of India, Dr. Gulshan Rai was responsible for a wide range of duties, including:
- Developing and implementing India’s national cyber security strategy
- Overseeing the establishment and operation of the National Cyber Coordination Centre (NCCC)
- Coordinating the activities of all relevant government agencies and departments on cyber security
- Advising the government on cyber security issues
- Building and maintaining relationships with international cybersecurity organizations
- Raising awareness of cyber security risks and promoting best practices