Saudi Arabia and India set to deepen cybersecurity ties: top Indian official 

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Updated 12 November 2022

Saudi Arabia and India set to deepen cybersecurity ties: top Indian official 

Saudi Arabia and India set to deepen cybersecurity ties: top Indian official 

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and India will soon sign a memorandum of understanding to elevate cooperation in cybersecurity, as talks are steadily progressing between officials of the two countries, according to a top Indian official.

In an exclusive interaction with Arab News on the sidelines of the Global Cybersecurity Forum in Riyadh on Nov. 9, India's national cybersecurity coordinator Lt General Rajesh Pant, said that he will meet Majed bin Mohammed Al-Mazyed, governor of Saudi Arabia’s National Security Authority to discuss the MoU further.

“We will have some working groups in capacity building. There will be cooperation between the two national sides. There could be also cooperation in threat intelligence,” detailed Pant about the MoU. 

During the talk, Pant also said that the Global Cybersecurity Index, a multi-stakeholder initiative that ensures countries’ global cybersecurity commitment, is expected to change the style of its ranking system soon, and could adopt a block system where nations will be placed in different groups. 

“In the GCI Index, what I am told is that there is a fight going on. It is a typical classroom where somebody will come first and third. This time I am told they are planning to have blocks. For example, if you score 80 to 100, you will come to class A, and if you score 60 to 80, you will be B. So, people are generally happy, that they are not being ranked 1,2,3, but A, B and C,” said Pant. 

He noted that the decision to adopt a block-ranking system is not in the public domain yet, and added that discussions to use this new method are progressing steadily. 

Citing India’s growth in the Global Cybersecurity Index, Pant noted that the nation climbed from the 47th spot to the 10th place in 2021. 

Pant said that people needed to be armed with knowledge to resist the threats cybercrime poses.

“In cyberspace, how do you show your force? The solution to avoid conflicts is to create resilience. People have to be resilient in terms of technology, and they should have good cyber hygiene and they should be trained. There should be also a good cyber crisis management plan in place,” said Pant. 

Pant also said that international collaboration is  necessary to ensure a safe online future: “Today, no nation can protect itself, as protection in cyberspace demands threat intelligence. This threat intelligence should come from all around the world, and we need that information. That, you can only get if people from all around the world give it you.”