The United States and India have had a healthy working relationship for at least the last several US Presidencies. Last year, according to the Office of the United States Trade Representative, “US goods and services trade with India totaled an estimated $114.8 billion,” making it the 9th largest trade partner.
Cyber-related goods and services have always been part of that equation. It’s not uncommon when calling a customer service department, to be linked via satellite to a rep in India. Even universities have outsourced IT services to Hindustan.
Given that relationship, it makes sense that these two world leaders would come together in an attempt to develop standards and guidelines for global cyber behavior. The question is if the rest of the world will follow suit.
There’s a short list of power in the world and it might also be named as the 9 countries to have known stockpiles of actual nuclear weapons (not just nuclear power resources). That list would be The United States, Russia, China, India, Israel, France, North Korea, Pakistan, and the United Kingdom.
Of course, there are other sorts of power, such as national economic strength, which still places India near the top. Oil still remains another major source of power for most countries to operate, and the top sources of oil are a completely different list. So, all of those moving pieces at play make for the global power struggle.
India and the United States have been pretty stable players.
As a member of the United Nations Security Council, World Bank, and a major security hub for military operations since World War II, India has played an important role in United States international operations.
Now it’s up to President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to lay the framework for future cyber relations. India could be a stabilizing force in that region when it comes to cyber etiquette. Partnering with the United States, it hopes to do so.
Government Cyber Security
Citizens the world over have begun to look increasingly to governments to solve cyber security issues, or at least lay a framework upon which the private sector and educational systems can build. The governmental role includes:
- Naming and enforcing legal cyber behavior.
- Cooperating with other nations for the naming and enforcing of legality in cyber behavior.
- Defining the terminology for smoother global communication regarding cyber behavior.
- Promoting and incentivizing educational opportunities that will grow the next cyber leaders.
- Advocating for increased private-sector awareness in the general population.
- Protecting their own digital communications as well as the safe operations of digitally-connected utilities in their own nations.
The grassroots, “every man for himself” nature of the internet creates quite an opposition to the level of organization required to increase global cyber behavioral standards. But cyber incidents cost the global economy an estimated $450 billion, and those numbers are expected to continue to rise. A coordinated effort stands the best chance of reversing the alarming downward trajectory, which is projected to reach $2 trillion by 2019.
To this end, a think tank out of India, The Heritage Foundation, has researched and outlined a study, an agenda for Trump and Modi to consider for a US-India let cyber security cooperation effort.
The potential for developing unified standards and cooperation for global cyber behavior is there.
Unfortunately, at this time, weaknesses in US cyber security and defense (as well as other nations), continue to put operations and citizen’s personal information at risk. By utilizing tools within the private sector, and resources such as government proactive cyber intelligence & threat mitigation at Massive Alliance, these major players could overcome such weaknesses.