Indian military personnel to train in US on cybersecurity, command in the offing

The proposed cyber command will marry the individual capabilities of all the three services to protect the military from being vulnerable to cyber-attacks from India’s adversaries.
CDS General Bipin Rawat with three armed forces chiefs.
CDS General Bipin Rawat with three armed forces chiefs.
Published on Jun 30, 2021 09:24 AM IST
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By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

With the threat of cyber attacks mounting against the Indian armed forces, the Department of Military Affairs (DMA) is planning to send up to 100 personnel to US to train in latest cybersecurity technology and artificial intelligence (AI) for future warfare.

According to South Block officials, the US, under the 2016 Cyber Framework and defence cooperation agreement, has offered to train up to 100 military personnel in Silicon Valley to give them first-hand experience on how to counter cyber warfare and AI role in future defence and warfare.

While India military has a tri-service defence cyber agency under the integrated headquarters, the government is in favour of setting up of a proper cyber command in the hinterlands of Madhya Pradesh to give the fighting edge to the proposed theatre commands. The proposed cyber command will marry the individual capabilities of all the three services to protect the military from being vulnerable to cyber-attacks from India’s adversaries.

The charter of the command will be also to ensure that Indian military communications are secure and systems are not contaminated with any malware by adversaries in the forward formations like the sensitive Siliguri Corps, Tezpur Corps and the Northern Command including the Ladakh Corps facing Tibet. The Siliguri Corps facing Chumbi Valley has in the past decade seen cyber attacks through malware for not only corrupting the software but also leakage of sensitive documentation to the adversary.

With AI, cyber warfare, armed drones and standalone weapon systems now being part of warfare, the cyber military command will have to dump the World War II concepts of strike and defending corps and prepare for a future where war shifts seamlessly from missile to cyberattacks. The cybersecurity is being taken seriously by national security planners as Chinese PLA and the Ministry of State Security have high end capability to target the adversary through new age weapons.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Author of Indian Mujahideen: The Enemy Within (2011, Hachette) and Himalayan Face-off: Chinese Assertion and Indian Riposte (2014, Hachette). Awarded K Subrahmanyam Prize for Strategic Studies in 2015 by Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (MP-IDSA) and the 2011 Ben Gurion Prize by Israel.

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