High-end labs should be set up to bolster cyber security

Considering that multitude of homeland security solutions currently available in the market create a lot of confusion for authorities during procurement, a recent ASSOCHAM-EY joint study has suggested the government to come up with a formal national security strategy.

“To ensure that procurement in critical national security related projects is done in an efficient and transparent manner, a comprehensive set of guidelines, principles and policies should be made available,” stated an ASSOCHAM-EY joint study titled, ‘Homeland Security – Digital frontiers.’

It also suggested that a comprehensive, digitally enabled security strategy must be framed with a structured plan and framework to identify, analyse and operate digital tools to increase efficiency and effectiveness of agencies responsible for ensuring India’s security.

Currently, each critical sector (energy, telecom, transportation and others) is facing challenges with respect to the absence of a well-defined security strategy and procurement processes while facing the daunting task of countering ever increasing attacks threatening national security. Authorities face various challenges vis-à-vis procurement of homeland security projects in areas like – policy and regulations, process, technology and people, which is not only hampering government’s ability to deal with complex procurement needs in smart internal security projects but is also impeding overall growth of the sector, the study noted.

Additionally, the report stated, technological advancements should be utilized in changing existing public procurement model in national security. Continuous engagement of all stakeholders including internal security agency personnel, private sector and the citizens is essential as well.

The study suggested key steps for smart internal security procurement – preparing procurement guidelines and model RFPs (Request for Proposals), creating a dedicated central agency to guide smart homeland security projects, promoting collaborative procurement model, mandatory use of e-procurement, smart HLS procurement database, effective engagement with industry, vendor community and change management programs.
The report further stated that intelligence-led policing through implementation of appropriate technology to capture and analyse data to counter challenges posed due to limited resources is need of the hour for government to strengthen homeland security.