Cybersecurity doesn't have any specific allocation in the budget, but the government knows it's a pressing concern

Cybersecurity doesn't have any specific allocation in the budget, but the government knows it's a pressing concern
'Cybersecurity' doesn't appear explicitly in India's budget Unsplash

  • There is no specific allocation for cybersecurity within India's Union Budget.
  • Business Insider interviewed Sameer Patil, an expert on international security, to understand how the government is allocating resources to tackle the impending threat for cyberwarfare.
  • Patil explains that India is better placed than most other countries and that the government is aware of the pressing need to invest in cybersecurity.
Cyberwarfare is more likely that an actual war. But unlike in an actual one, it won't be the military systems along the frontline — but civilian systems. They're easier to penetrate and create a bigger impact.

Last year, there were reports of the China-based state-sponsored hackers trying to infiltrate India's nuclear power plant and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). But, experts say that India is better equipped to handle such threats than most countries.

"We are better placed. There's an appreciation from the political establishments that we need to invest in cybersecurity," Sameer Patil, a fellow in international security studies at Gateway House — a think-tank based in Mumbai — told Business Insider.

'Cybersecurity' appears nowhere in the budget
According to Patil, even though the word 'cybersecurity' doesn't appear in the budget — the government is working on solutions. For instance, two years back, CERT-FIN was announced by former FM Arun Jaitley for cybersecurity in the financial sector.

"There is awareness within the security establishments that this is a pressing concern. The government has been giving resources to security agencies, particularly to those which handle critical infrastructure, to strengthen and harden their networks," he said.

In addition to enforcing infrastructure, the government is also working towards increasing awareness among the masses as thousands of first-time users log onto the internet. Patil explains that any endeavour undertaken by the government within the umbrella of Digital India involves cybersecurity by default since it is one of the pillars of the digital economy.

"There's an impetus to enhance the digital literacy of citizens — to increase the cybersecurity awareness of the general Indian population when they go online," he explained.

See also:
Here's how the budget allocation for Armed Forces in India stacks up on the global scale

Budget 2020: Five charts that explain what you can expect from India's defence expenditure this year

The budget is unlikely to give more money for equipment, but the Armed Forces still want expensive imports over domestic products