By Geeta Dalal
Telecom security is a complicated and complex procedure. It requires dedicated efforts to achieve telecom security. We have no dedicated and implementable telecom security policy in India. There is no second opinion that telecom security policy of India is required to be formulated as soon as possible.
A telecom equipments security framework of India also needs to be formulated. We must formulate cyber security best practices in India that must include telecom security best practices of India as well. The cyber security infrastructure in India must be properly established that must include telecom security infrastructure of India as well. The Internet is full of unprotected and unsafe devices, SCADA systems and computers. There are numerous insecure telecom equipments that are connected to Internet and they are real cyber security hazard.
Even the cyber security policy of India is waiting for its implementation in India. Although the cyber security awareness brochures in India have been prescribed by India government yet this would not bring the desired results. In the past Indian government has also mandated that telecom equipments must be certified by TEC in India before use. A national critical information infrastructure protection centre (NCIPC) of India has also bee n proposed by Indian government but the same has not yet been established.
Meanwhile telecom equipment manufacturers of china are trying their level best to bridge the trust deficit. Huawei is trying to inculcate trust among US government over telecom security issues. Even in India, Huawei and ZTE are in telecom security tangle of India. The national telecom policy of India 2012 (NTP 2012) has also raised concerns regarding telecom and network security in India.
Indian government has tried to achieve telecom security in India in the past. Some initiatives and proposals have also been suggested by Indian government in this regard from time to time. For instance, national telecom network security coordination board (NTNSCB) of India has been proposed in the past. The norms for import of telecom equipments in India would also be formulated. A central monitoring system (CMS) for telephone tapping in India would also be made operational very soon. Indian government is also planning a legislation mandating strict cyber security disclosure norms in India. Indian government has also directed that mobile service providers of India shall use Indian made SIM cards.
Now it has been reported that the Centre is planning to set up a telecom security directorate of India. This is part of the government’s broader strategy to set up an institutional framework of technical manpower to handle telecom security-related issues linked to the use of telecom gear manufactured by Chinese giants Huawei and ZTE.
A regulatory framework has already been suggested to manage any potential threats by use of Chinese telecom equipment or from any other source. But, to ensure the compliance of the security guidelines contained in licence amendment, it is necessary to create an institutional framework of technical manpower for which a proposal has already been submitted to create the telecom security directorate to handle telecom security related issues. There is urgent need to ensure techno legal skills development in India. Further, offensive and defensive cyber security capabilities of India must also be developed.