September did not witness high-profile cyberattacks, but threats from China continued, targeting Indian media networks and government organisations. The Indian government unveiled a far-reaching Telecom Reforms Package designed to spur growth, innovation and investment. This package, along with the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme and innovations for 5G networks, carries the potential to reduce the share of telecom imports to under 50%. India is also making concerted efforts to invite investments in the Chip manufacturing sector, which is at the core of cyber security. Amidst the standoff with China on the LAC, the Indian Army is fast-tracking manufacture of tactical drones in collaboration with Indian start-ups and foreign entities.
On the international front, the US imposed sanctions on a Russia based crypto currency exchange, to deter ransomware gangs from laundering money through crypto currencies. Post the Biden-Putin summit, the Russian internet space has seen a lot of turmoil, including internet outages and the arrest of the CEO of a cyber security firm.
Privacy and data protection have become global concerns. While India is still deliberating on the Personal Data Protection Bill, Saudi Arabia has enacted a personal Data Protection Law. Talks are on between the US and the EU to ease trans-Atlantic data flows, after a European court invalidated the ‘Privacy Shield’ in 2020. Amidst regulatory tightening of the technology and real estate sectors, China has made cryptocurrency-related transactions illegal, citing the need for national security and stability.
During the month, India participated in important summits of the Quad, SCO and BRICS, in each of which there was focus on development of emerging technologies, supply chain resilience, cyber-crimes and cyber security.