Cyber Security – CERTs, Policy, etc

The outlines of a national security policy


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Not much

Mains level: Paper 3- Dimensions of national security policy in 21st century


National security concepts have, in the two decades of the 21st century, undergone fundamental changes. Cyberwarfare has vastly reduced the deterrent value of conventional deterrents.

Emergence of cyberwarfare

  • In the 21st century, after cybertechnology enters as an important variable in nations’ defence policies.
  • Geographical land size or GDP size will be irrelevant in war-making capacity or deterrence.
  • These fundamental changes are entirely due to the earlier 20th century innovations in cybertechnology and software developments.
  • Drones, robots, satellites and advanced computers as weapons are already in use.
  • Some examples of further innovations are artificial intelligence and nanotechnology.
  • Tracking those cyber warfare threat will need a new national security policy.
  • By credible accounts, China, recently, publicly cautioned Indians to sit up and take notice by using cybertechnology to shut down Mumbai’s electric supply in populated areas of the city, for a few hours.

Four dimensions of national security policy

  • Objectives: the objective of the National Security Policy in the 21st century is to define what assets are required to be defended, the identity of opponents.
  • Although the novel coronavirus is perhaps accidental, it has completely destabilised peoples globally and their governments in all nations of the world over.
  • This is a preview of the kinds of threats that await us in the coming decades which a national security policy will have to address by choosing a nation’s priorities.
  • Priorities: National security priorities will require new departments for supporting several frontiers of innovation and technologies such as hydrogen fuel cells, desalination of seawater, thorium for nuclear technology, anti-computer viruses, and new immunity-creating medicines.
  • This focus on a new priority will require compulsory science and mathematics education, especially in applications for analytical subjects.
  • Strategy: The strategy required for this new national security policy will be to anticipate our enemies in many dimensions and by demonstrative but limited pre-emptive strikes by developing a strategy of deterrence of the enemy.
  • For India, it will be the China cyber capability factor which is the new threat for which it has to devise a new strategy.
  • Resource mobilisation: The macroeconomics of resource mobilisation depends on whether a nation has ‘demand’ as an economic deficit or not.
  • If demand for a commodity or service is in deficit to clear the market of the available supply of the same, then liberal printing of currency and placing it in the hands of consumers is recommended for the economy to recover the demand-supply parity.
  • A way to increase demand is by lowering the interest rate on bank loans or raising the rates in fixed deposits which will enable banks to obtain liquidity and lend liberally for enhancing investment for production.
  • If it is ‘supply’ that is short or in deficit compared to demand, then special measures are required to incentivise to encourage an increase in supply.


National security at its root in the 21st century will depend on mind-boggling skills in the four dimensions mentioned above.

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