Interview with Vinayak Godse, CEO of the Data Security Council of India


Established by NASSCOM, the Data Security Council of India (DSCI) is a not-for-profit industry body committed to making India’s cyberspace safe, secure and reliable by establishing cybersecurity and privacy best practices, standards and initiatives.

DSCI collaborates with the government on various policy formulations, drives cybersecurity innovation and collaborates with multiple stakeholders with the aim of improving the cybersecurity ecosystem in India.

“Cybersecurity in today’s era has become essential because the next decade will be driven by technology, and cybersecurity has become fundamental, an area that will drive all of these transitions. So, there is a NASSCOM report that talks about how AI/ML, cloud and cybersecurity will be crucial and critical for this decade,” said Vinayak Godse, Managing Director of the Data Security Council of India. Analytics India Magazine.

AIM: First, tell us a bit about your journey with the Data Security Council of India (DSCI) so far.

Vinayak: I joined DSCI in 2008. When I had the opportunity, I took it because it was something very different. DSCI is not a commercial company; it is not about delivering or selling products or services. It is a cause that pushes at the level of cybersecurity.

At DSCI, we do a lot of interesting work in public policy, national service strategy to build the industry ecosystem, help sectors improve their products, prepare for cybersecurity, work with the leadership of the secretariat and, more importantly, stimulating research and innovation.

AIM: What are your roles and responsibilities as CEO of DSCI?

Vinayak: We see ourselves as an important catalyst in national cybersecurity initiatives, especially in terms of the technological geopolitics that are currently hitting; take the technology war between the United States and China, for example.

Cybersecurity then and now has become essential as the next decade will be technology driven and cybersecurity has become fundamental. it is the one area that will drive all of these transitions. So, there’s a NASSCOM report that talks about how AI/ML, cloud, and cybersecurity will be crucial and critical for this decade.

But, how will it be? There are many different parts to this. First, security must allow the industry to grow. Our goal is to prepare industry, society, individuals and, most importantly, the economy against possible privacy issues and challenges. This is the second part.

With technologies such as AI/ML, data analytics, and VR/AR gaining prominence, we will strive to address the security issue related to these emerging technologies.

Also, how we bring responsibility, accountability, or ethics around data are some of the areas I will be looking at as well.

AIM: What are the various cybersecurity projects and initiatives that DSCI has undertaken or is working on?

Vinayak: One is certainly to help people understand the importance of security and, in large part, to help them implement security. We have the DSCI Security and Privacy Framework, which is one of the major initiatives that we have undertaken.

We work with the government on political issues on the one hand and on the other hand we help it with certain national objectives. We work closely with several government departments to develop the policies – we work with the Department of IT, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Telecommunications and to some extent with other departments that are also involved in the policy. policy development. We also work with NASSCOM and sometimes independently.

Then the second part is our intervention or our efforts to activate the policy rate and work with the government and other parties to help the industry better understand these policy regulations while helping them better manage compliance.

We help stakeholders from multiple industries improve their preparedness, and through this process, we also bring together the country’s security leaders.

We are also in partnership with the government in various other aspects; for example, I lead the National Center of Excellence for Cybersecurity Technology Development. The CoE focuses on research, promotion and incubation of startups. We’re trying to create a complete ecosystem to grow a market for them, increase adoption, and attract better investment.

Besides that, we also focus on the hardware side; with the advent of semiconductors, we partner with academic institutions such as IIT Kharagpur and IIT Madras.

Finally, one key thing that most of you might not know is that we work closely with law enforcement. We help them understand, prepare for and overcome the challenges of investigating cybercrime. We have set up a Cybercrime Investigation Training and Research Center in Bengaluru. It aims to build the capacity of police, prosecution, justice and other departments to manage technological investigations and create standard operating procedures (SOPs) in cybercrime investigations.

AIM: What has DSCI done to drive cybersecurity innovation in the country?

Vinayak: In the first phase of DSCI between 2008 and 2012, we were looking at it but not focusing our attention on it in a big way. However, since 2012-2013, we have started to realize that cyber should also offer some kind of opportunity.

So we started helping startups in this area, especially product-based startups. We have created the National Center of Excellence for Cybersecurity, which we believe is one of the key players in developing this innovation ecosystem for cybersecurity in the country.

So we don’t just drive innovation through incubation and acceleration; we strive to engage closely with the research community in India. We collaborate with many Tier 1 and Tier 2 universities that undertake cybersecurity research.

Besides, we also run a very good incubation program and through our membership program we were able to create a good market for startups. We are increasingly working on creating an investment ecosystem for these startups.


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