Critical Infrastructure Security , Cyberwarfare / Nation-State Attacks , Fraud Management & Cybercrime

Why India Should Strengthen Its Offensive Cyber Capabilities

Lt. Gen. (Retd.) R S Panwar on a Three-Pronged Strategy to Bolster Cyber Defense
Lt. Gen. (Retd.) R S Panwar

In an escalating trend, cyber adversaries are directing their focus toward destabilizing the critical information infrastructure or CII, understanding it to be the linchpin of any nation-state.

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These vital systems encompass a wide array of critical infrastructure, including power grids, transportation networks, telecommunications networks, healthcare facilities and financial institutions. A successful cyberattack could result in widespread disruption, substantial economic losses, and even loss of life.

The potential ramifications of an attack on a country's critical infrastructure make it imperative to strengthen cyber defences. While many cyberattacks in India are currently categorized primarily as cybercrimes and treated as internal security concerns handled by the law enforcement, it is crucial to recognize that in the realm of multi-dimensional warfare, cyberspace holds a pivotal role and warrants significant attention.

"Unlike countries such as the United States, China, Russia and the United Kingdom, India lacks a synergistic balance between internal and external agencies, lacking a comprehensive spectrum in cyberspace," said Lt. Gen. (Retd.) R S Panwar, distinguished fellow at the United Service Institution of India. "India must restructure its national cyber strategy to encompass a three-pronged approach involving a defensive stance, cyber sovereignty, and an offensive defensive posture.”

In this exclusive video interview with ISMG, Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Panwar also discussed:

  • India's challenges in the cyber warfare space;
  • The need for a three-pronged approach to strengthen India's cyber posture;
  • Offence as the best form of defense.

Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Panwar retired after 40 years of active military service in the Corps of Signals, Indian Army. His last appointment was commandant of Military College of Telecommunication Engineering, Mhow, which carries out training of officers and soldiers in the fields of ICT, electronic warfare and cyber operations, and is also the designated centre of excellence for the Indian Army for these disciplines.


About the Author

Rahul Neel Mani

Rahul Neel Mani

Founding Director of Grey Head Media and Vice President of Community Engagement and Editorial, ISMG

Neel Mani is responsible for building and nurturing communities in both technology and security domains for various ISMG brands. He has more than 25 years of experience in B2B technology and telecom journalism and has worked in various leadership editorial roles in the past, including incubating and successfully running Grey Head Media for 11 years. Prior to starting Grey Head Media, he worked with 9.9 Media, IDG India and Indian Express.




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