Role of government and policies to help security SaaS companies thrive in India

All over the world, the rapid digitization and switch to online business activities has demanded greater emphasis on cybersecurity. The need of the hour is to build frameworks and policies to ensure that people in a nation like India are able to live and work digitally in a safe and worry-free manner. Cybersecurity approaches have to be robust and capable of preventing cyberattacks, deterring criminals, and ensuring safety of the public sector as well as private sector infrastructure from any digital risks. Such a secure digital environment is critical to enabling the growth of technology companies in the country. 

However, this is easier said than done. The operating environment in 2022 is faced with threats that are multi-dimensional and diverse. There are organizations and individuals that create manipulative and harmful cyber tools that act as weapons and have the capability of damaging infrastructure alongside stealing information. Cyber-risks transcend boundaries, and more often than not assets in one country are targeted by criminals located elsewhere in the world. 

To counter such risks, effective national cybersecurity frameworks and policies that are holistic and integrate public as well as private sector entities, individuals and agencies have to be put in place. There has to be an absolute lack of clarity and command in the eventualities of cyberattacks. Alongside its ambition of a ‘Digital India’, the Indian government has taken a number of steps to make the country a ‘cyber-secure nation.’ While there are numerous measures to monitor government departments and websites, and safeguard them from cyber-risks, the protection of private data and digital infrastructure is governed by the Personal Data Protection (PDP) Bill. It governs the storage and processing of all sensitive individual data and mandates local storage of such information. There is a provision to make social media platforms accountable for the content shared through them, and push them to take stronger action to prevent spread of hateful or offensive content. 

India has a thriving IT sector, and Indian companies offering SaaS (Security as a Service) solutions are governed by the policies put in place by the government. The pragmatic approach taken by authorities plays a critical role in ensuring the growth of Indian cyber-security SaaS companies. A major step in this direction has been the ‘Simplified Other Services Provider’ guidelines for IT, BPO, and IT-enabled services. There is a lot of focus on the industry specific skill development in the arena. The rapid digital transformation in the wake of the pandemic has brought in an unprecedented demand for cyber-security trained professionals, as well as for solutions that seamlessly and holistically cover various aspects of the omni-channel digital businesses. 

A comprehensive measure in this direction is going to be the implementation of the National Cyber Security Policy which aims to build capabilities to prevent and respond to cyber-attacks, promote resilience and disaster recovery in the eventuality of an attack. It also aims at building an ecosystem of the SaaS sector through collaborative processes, technology and human resource development etc. 

The aim of the government’s policies is to build a Secure Cyberspace ecosystem that has 24×7 mechanisms in place for speedy monitoring, identification, response, resolution and crisis management against cyber-attacks. It envisages development of ‘Indian’ security technologies through development and deployment of secure solutions and adoption of processes that safeguard the interests of users. The policy also aims at creating a workforce of 500,000 professionals skilled in cybersecurity arena in the next five years through capacity building, skill development and training. Through effective public-private partnerships and collaborations, the policies not only aim to make cyberspace safer, but also help Indian SaaS companies emerge as a global exporter of the security solutions. This is going to be a key enabler for the goal of achieving the $5 trillion economy in the near future!

The article has been written by Venkatesh Sundar – Co-founder and CMO, Indusface

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