India is building its first platform for homegrown cyber security companies to promote indigenous expertise in the field and help local firms get a larger share of the country's digital security technology budget.
The government and industry have come together to prepare a road map to create a platform for digital and cyber security products and solution companies. This includes creating a special fund for cyber security start-ups to groom them to build local solutions to tackle internet security challenges.
India's cyber security market size is about $4 billion (about Rs 26, 729.5 crore), which is expected to grow nine-fold to $35 billion by 2025, according to Data Security Council of India (DSCI).
The move comes even as the country increases its focus on Digital India, a campaign launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to use technology in government and offer government-to-citizen services.
DSCI will collaborate with the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeITY) and the Technology Development Board of the Department of Science and Technology for the platform and funds.
In April 2016, an Indian delegation comprising government officials and industry veterans visited London and Hague as well as Israel, which are globally known cyber security clusters, to study the best practices there.
"Based on the research, we have come up with a road map to build and promote an ecosystem for cyber security products and services, companies and build necessary capabilities," Rama Vedashree, chief executive of DSCI, told Business Standard.
Earlier this year, DSCI had brought together 60-70 cyber security companies to give them a platform to grow.
According Nasscom data, there are about 150 such cyber security companies. However, the security landscape in India still remains considerably untouched by investors. The Nasscom data show that only 40 per cent of the security companies here have received funding from global investors.
"We are working with DeITY as well as Technology Development Board to set up a special fund for cyber security start-ups," said Vedashree.
The hotspots for such companies could be Telangana , which has come up with a cyber security policy in September that focuses on incubating cyber security start-ups. Andhra Pradesh, which is in the process of finalising its cyber security policy, is also working along the same lines, Vedashree added.
According to experts, India has started taking small steps towards building its cyber capability.
"At a national level, India is making a steady progress on cyber security awareness and leadership. However, even the US, which is widely considered ahead of the pack on this issue, is grappling with major cyber security challenges today. Cyber security isn't won or lost on a national level," said Bryce Boland, chief technology officer for Asia-Pacific at FireEye. "In some ways, cyber attacks are 21st century plagues, and if we are to stay secure, we need widespread immunity and awareness. India is not there yet."
CYBER SECURITY LANDSCAPE IN INDIA
• Nasscom expects the digital and cyber security service, solutions and product market to grow to $35 billion by 2025 from $4 billion at present
• There are about 150 security companies in the country
• About 60 cyber security firms or 40 per cent of the security companies were created in or after 2010
• About 40 per cent of the cyber security companies have been funded by global investors
• Some of the start-ups that are working with government bodies include Lucideus Tech. It has been hired, among others, to provide security for UPI and Innefu • Labs, which provides facial and speech recognition solutions to organisations including DRDO, RBI and CRPF