“Our national security policy must include cyber security as one of its fundamental components”: Dr. Rajib Subba

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Dr. Rajib Subba is a cyber security expert who holds a Ph.D. in Communication and Information Sciences from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He is an academic and has formerly served as the Deputy Inspector-General of Nepal Police. DCNepal’s senior correspondent Shweta Karki discusses on the overarching dimensions of cyber security in an interview with Dr. Subba. Below are the excerpts and video of the interview. 

“The time has come for us to rethink our national security policy to include cyber security as one of the major components in the national defense. Cyber security does not just belong to the computer science domain.”

“Non-traditional warfare needs to be included in the idea of national security. Out of the 33 countries that have cyber warfare capacity, ten are in Indo-Pacific region. The whole dimension of cyber security has changed from hacking and information/data security breach to information warfare and disinformation warfare.”

“Nepal is getting digitized at such a pace that the International Telecom Union has recognized our efforts and we stand quite high in the e-governance index. But the question is how much money is being invested in the critical infrastructure of the country?”

“There is no policy that dictates the telecom and internet service providers, who hold public data and information, to force them to say that 25% of their investment must go to ensure data security. The Prime Minister needs a Cyber Security Advisor. Similarly the Defense Ministry must have a Cyber Command Center.”

“In the modern warfare the conflict is triggered by some people using hate speech in social media. Cyber hacking is not only limited to computer hacking!”

“When we talk about information systems, there are four components: people, technology, data, and process. The banks in Nepal need to make their staff more competent. Human resources are a big component which we lack and do not invest on.”

“The COVID-19 scenario has led to emergence of new threats. During the ongoing pandemic, Nepal Police has recorded six cyber crime reports every day which is triple in number if we compare the last three years’ data. For personal cyber security, follow the ‘tooth-brush’ theory’. Treat your passwords like your toothbrush – do not share it with anyone. Use double-authentication. Keep a password that people cannot guess easily and that is generated by your machine.”

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