Indian government proposes pamphlet-based cybersecurity education

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   Jan 14, 2013

Mandatory brochures not welcomed by manufacturers.

In an attempt to raise public awareness of security issues, the Indian government has proposed a plan in which it will be mandatory for every piece of new hardware sold in the country to include a brochure on cybersecurity - in the hopes that consumers will gen up on security best practices and become more aware of the risks.

Manufacturers are not keen on the proposals however, raising concerns over the logistics of such a scheme. According to industry executives, working the scheme around imported products in particular would likely cause headaches, with disruption caused to the supply chain as brochures would have to be inserted at the point of import or at the time of packaging.

Other concerns have been raised about hardware devices whose dimensions are smaller than the brochure itself (e.g. USB storage devices) - manufacturers claiming that including the literature with such products could necessitate a redesign of the packaging.

While widely accepted that its intentions are honourable, the Indian government has been criticized for not getting its own house in order prior to looking further afield - government websites having suffered a string of attacks over recent months including the hacking of over 10,000 government and military emails last month.

Hardware vendors are reportedly in discussion with government officials in an attempt to modify the proposed scheme. More at The Economic Times here.

Meanwhile, the UK government is set to launch a less controversial cybersecurity awareness scheme. Part of the scheme will involve targeting the next generation of Internet users by getting the message into both primary and secondary schools - a move that, if perhaps somewhat overdue, can only be applauded.

The UK's public awareness programme is set to be launched this spring. More details at The Guardian.

Posted on 14 January 2013 by Helen Martin

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