nscs: India’s security coordinator kicks off new project to identify privacy, security issues in mobile phones, apps

The government’s National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) has kicked off a project to identify privacy and security issues in the mobile ecosystem in India and prevent cyber frauds due to application and device vulnerabilities and unsafe user habits.

Under the project, called ‘Indian Citizens Assistance for Mobile Privacy & Security (I-CAMPS)’, the NCSC will create a technology platform with a mobile application and desktop site to support Indian citizens and help them mitigate the vulnerabilities in their mobile handsets due to certain operating system versions, pre-installed apps or any other app available in app stores.

For this, the NSCS is collaborating with the ministries of information technology and communications, finance and home affairs, besides several government departments.

The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) has been tasked with execution of the project by closely working with these departments along with the Indian internet industry and the security community.

India’s National Cyber Security coordinator Lt General (retd) Rajesh Pant told ET that the project has “just started and will take some time”.

The NCSC has sent letters to some ministries and is planning to reach out to some more shortly.

The project’s aim is to build an integrated system which can collate all mobile security related information and provide customised and actionable knowledge to citizens to secure their mobile devices.

The mobile ecosystem is vast and includes devices, manufacturers, mobile phone operators, OS companies, app providers as well as government departments dealing with mobile management, security and governance. While each plays an important role, they are disconnected with each other due to the nature of their objectives. Hence, I-CAMPS was conceptualised to form a single organisation allowing all stakeholders’ involvement.

“Work has started on multiple levels. The base framework is being developed for now. There will be a central database in the middle and the information will be available as an API,” Satyendra Verma, head of I-CAMPs and advisor — Cybersecurity & Mobile security at IAMAI, told ET. “In case users want specific…