As information communications technologies expand in India, Internet security becomes vital to its government and businesses. To prevent, protect, as well as respond to cyber attacks across the Internet, India has taken several steps. One such step in that direction involves Cisco Systems. Ministry of IT’s Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), launched in 2004, and Cisco Systems have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on security cooperation in India. Both parties will work together to address the increasing Internet security threats faced by critical information infrastructure by improving computer security readiness and raising awareness around the importance of keeping systems and cyber infrastructure secure, software up to date and security practices and procedures current.

As per the security cooperation MoU, Cisco Systems and CERT-In will engage in cooperative activities in the areas of Internet security, including, sharing of best practices and issues regarding the handling of software security vulnerabilities in networked information systems and training of the CIOs.

Market research firm Gartner predicts that what the Indian information communications technology (ICT) spends will surpass US$54.8 billion by 2008 and achieve a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 19%. With this growth comes the high level of security threats/attacks that Indian enterprises and consumers are faced with.

“The MOU, provides Cisco and CERT-In an opportunity to work together to ensure a secure networked computing environment for Indian enterprises and the general consumers," said Sudhir Narang, Sr. VP Government and Service Provider Businesses, Cisco Systems India. He added, “The MOU gains further significance in light of the growing shortfall of networking professionals in the country. As per an e-value serve report, there is a deficit of more than 60,000 professionals currently and this deficit is expected to grow at a CAGR of 21.64% till 2010 further compounding the security vulnerability of enterprises.”

CERT-In director Gulshan Rai noted, “Our primary concern lies in ensuring a secure critical information infrastructure and computing environment in general for Indian enterprises including the government and citizens,and we hope to leverage on Cisco’s experience and learning internationally.”