India is gearing up to navigate through the next level of cyber threats with the central government set to establish a dedicated wing of ‘cyber commandos’ who will be drawn from police forces of states and Union Territories as well as from central police organisations.
In its latest communication to states and UTs, the Ministry of Home Affairs has asked all police forces to identify 10 suitable ‘cyber commandos’.
The idea of the cyber commando wing had come up earlier this year when Prime Minister Narendra Modi recommended its setting up during the DGP/IG conference.
The MHA letter, seen by News18, says the specialised new wing will counter threats to cyber security, defend the information technology network and conduct investigation in the cyber space.
“During the DGPs/IGPs Conference held in the month of January, 2023, the Prime Minister recommended that a Special Wing of suitably trained ‘Cyber Commandos’ should be established to counter threats to cyber security, to defend Information Technology Network, conduct investigation in the cyber space and to take care of cyber security requirements of the Police and Government organizations on an ‘ongoing basis’,” the MHA letter says.
According to the proposal, the cyber commando wing would be an integral part of police organisations. It will have commandos who will be knowledgeable and have aptitude in the area of IT security and digital forensics.
“The proposed cyber commando wing would be an integral part of the police organization. It would be manned by suitably trained and equipped serving members of the police personnel drawn from the States/UTs and Central Police Organizations/CAPFs. Their efforts can be supplemented by hired professionals, if deemed necessary. ‘Cyber Commandos’ would be selected from amongst the serving personnel of all ranks on the basis of their existing knowledge and aptitude in the area of IT Security and Digital Forensics and undergo a specially designed residential training program,” the MHA letter added.
The hand-picked commandos would receive training and be equipped with required systems to help them deal with and counter cyber threats. They will also be responsible for the nation’s cyber infrastructure.
“This training would be conducted by I4C, MHA along with other top institutions. These ‘commandos’ will continue to work for their parent organizations and requisitioned for national duties only in cases of urgency. We need to identify suitable serving personnel (any rank) in the various police organizations having basic knowledge of computer networks and operating system. It is, therefore, requested to identify at least 10 such candidates in your organization,” the MHA further said in its communication.