Impact of Union Budget 2023 on Cybersecurity Sector
From an increased adoption of digital services and surging demand in new-age technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) etc., to the launch of 5G services, the Union Budget 2023–24 will have a significant impact on the cybersecurity infrastructure of the country.
This Union Budget announcement is quite encouraging for India’s cybersecurity sector and clearly defines the path that the nation’s data security is headed on. It focuses on building a robust business strategy revolution would take. The nation’s technology industry had several demands pertaining to expenditures for the requirements of digital public infrastructure, skill development, and incentives for growing electronics production together with actions that will increase the ease of doing business.
According to estimates, at least one in every four sectors has had a cyber-breach that caused financial damage. The government has taken cognizance of this issue, and has dedicated significant resources to the field of cybersecurity. From an increased adoption of digital services and surging demand in new-age technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) etc., to the launch of 5G services, the Union Budget 2023–24 will have a significant impact on the cybersecurity infrastructure of the country.
Dr Sanjay Katkar, Jt. Managing Director & Chief Technology Officer, Quick Heal Technologies said, “The Indian government has put a strong emphasis on becoming a technology-driven and knowledge-based economy through this budget. With more than 400% increase in infrastructure investment, in comparison to 2014, comes a greater need to protect our country’s critical data and IT assets as well. With “Make AI in India and Make AI work for India” objectives, 3 specialized Artificial Intelligence centers being set-up in top educational institutions will create an effective AI ecosystem empowering India to lead the AI revolution globally. This also will help bridge the skill-gap that exists in the field. With this digital enablement across sectors, there is even bigger responsibility for Cybersecurity players in India to keeping the economy and its people safe.”
Dr. Kailash Katkar, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, Quick Heal Technologies stated, “In the year 2022, India witnessed an unprecedented increase in cyberattacks and their level of sophistication. Cybercriminals are using new and advanced AI technology to attack Indian government agencies and businesses in India to cause significant damage to the country’s reputation. The 2023 Union Budget showcased our government’s focus on strengthening the digital infrastructure of the country, which finds a clear reflection in the National Data Governance policy which will create a secure channel to access anonymized data. This budget fully supports the vision of a self-reliant and cyber-safe India. Some of the key takeaways include the three centers of excellence for artificial intelligence to enable ‘Make AI for India’ and ‘Make AI work for India’, online training platforms for government employees, impetus on creating informative and accessible digital public infrastructure for agriculture and the setting up of a National Digital Library for children and adolescents amongst others. With this, I am confident that cybersecurity has become more relevant than ever, and will be the make or break for the economic progress.
Mr Parag Khurana, Country Manager, Barracuda Networks India commented, “Cybersecurity has for long been a critical matter of concern, especially in light of rapid digitization. With the rollout of 5G and cloud migration, there has been a significant uptick in cyberattacks across the country. In 2022, we have seen the rise of ransomware against critical infrastructure, with education (15%), municipalities (12%), healthcare (12%), infrastructure (8%), and financial (6%) being the five key targeted industries according to research. The Union Budget announcement today paints a favourable picture for the sector with the introduction of the National Data Governance policy which will help academia and start-ups gain access to anonymised data by the government.
Provisions like the establishment of three centers of excellence for Artificial Intelligence in top educational institutions noting that ‘Make AI in India’ and to ‘Make AI work for India’ will support the creation of a stronger technology infrastructure in the country. This will further boost the government’s vision of ‘Digital India’ and ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’. That being said, Budget 2023 amply highlights the greater focus that the government has placed on string digital infrastructure and technology at large. And, we are hopeful that today’s announcement will have an inherently positive effect on the sector.”
Subbu Iyer, Regional Director, India & SAARC, Forescout Technologies Inc. said, “As announced by the Hon’ble Finance Minister in the Union Budget 2023, the government shared its exemplary vision of ‘Amrit Kaal’ which includes a technology-driven, knowledge-based sustainable economy. The government appears to cover a vast gamut of sectors and some of the priority areas are Digital India, 5G services, upskilling and building a cyber resilient nation. This is expected to drive the next phase of cybersecurity infrastructure in the country thereby bringing in focus around solutions providing stronger compliance, data privacy, IoT security, advanced detection, and response.
Government is fast tracking 5G adoption with focus on application development, training, smart transport and healthcare. The combination of 5G and IoT would result in massive growth in the number of connected devices. Hence it will be critical for organizations to protect their IT, IoT, IoMT and OT device landscape against growing cyberattacks.
The initiative of setting up CoEs for artificial intelligence (AI) with a vision of “Make AI work for India” will further boost the government’s aim of “Digital India.” AI is critical in every sector today and more so in cybersecurity where there is a growing need to improve visibility, compliance, detection, and response through automation.
While automation is important, the government has rightly placed equal emphasis on development of manpower. The “Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana” clearly outlines the need to upskill the youth to develop competency of functionaries and professionals in upcoming areas like coding, automation, and IoT. It also highlights the need for key partnerships in developing courses and enabling on-job training. This will act as a catalyst to address the skills gap in cybersecurity by providing better means for training and upskilling of resources.
Government is also leading from the front in terms of allotting investments towards cybersecurity response and projects. This clearly indicates the importance of cybersecurity to build a strong nation and will definitely inspire businesses to follow and invest in protecting their ever-expanding digital infrastructure.”