DefSAT 2024 Wraps Up with SIA-India’s Focus Cybersecurity Cooperation
New Delhi,10th February 2024: SIA-India solidifies a cybersecurity partnership by signing an MoU with the Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ISAC) to enhance India’s cyber resilience. This collaboration aims to fortify defence mechanisms, foster information exchange, and promote proactive cyber defence practices in the space sector, safeguarding space operations’ integrity and security. With the participation of over 500 stakeholders, including government bodies, armed forces, policymakers, industry leaders, and diplomats, alongside a global audience via live stream, DefSAT 2024 reflects a significant step forward in India’s cybersecurity preparedness, in line with the visionary objectives of the Prime Minister and the Defence Ministry.
“Dr. Ajay Kumar, Former Secretary of the Ministry of Defence highlights the crucial role of defence space and calls for accelerated budget allocation, emphasizing the need for a larger investment in the rapidly evolving sector. With startups securing contracts and grants, there’s immense potential to leverage the vibrant ecosystem. Global private equity interest underscores India’s attractiveness. NavIC’s expansion into civil and defence sectors is imperative for strategic navigation, while robust cryptographic protocols are essential for satellite communication security. India’s quantum communication startups offer a pathway to significant advancements in the field.
“The Defence Acquisition Procedure has evolved significantly, fostering private innovation in sectors like satellites and space. To enhance this, the DAP should actively support innovation in services and manufacturing, simplifying the procurement of new technologies. Since these innovations may lack multiple suppliers initially, the DAP should empower authorities to readily procure these solutions.” Dr Ajay Kumar Added.
Mr. Mahaveer Singhvi IFS, Joint Secretary of New Emerging and Strategic Technologies (NEST), underscored the significance of AI, quantum, space, green hydrogen, and defence sectors, emphasizing the need to engage with all stakeholders and SIA-India for providing the ideal platform for collaboration. He highlighted the recent interim budget announcement, wherein the government unveiled a notable surge in support for the space sector, pledging an additional investment of $2 billion annually for the next decade. This commitment is poised to propel India’s space industry to new heights, projecting a market value of $44 billion and a contribution of 8-10% to the global space economy by 2033, with export sales expected to reach $11 billion within the same timeframe. Additionally, Mr. Singhvi highlighted the importance of enablers like technology transfer, data localization, trade dispute resolution, and IPR policies.”
Air Vice Marshal Pawan Kumar, VM, Director General of the Defence Space Agency (DSA) stressed the pivotal role of platforms like DefSAT, noting the protracted development timeline in a field where technology is paramount. He referenced Operation 1991, commonly known as Desert Storm, hailed as the pioneering “space war” that leveraged GPS, precision-guided weapons, and satellite communication as integral components rather than mere supplements. Reflecting on the costly and data-intensive nature of space ventures, he underscored the imperative of maximizing resource utilization and fostering civil-military fusion.
Lt. Gen. PJS Pannu, Chairman of the Defence Space Committee at SIA-India, envisions a transformative trajectory for the Indian Military, amalgamating the realms of Land, Air, and Sea into a seamlessly integrated force fortified by cyber security measures. This holistic approach encompasses Space, Cyber, and Digital (ICT) capabilities, underscoring the imperative for a cyber-secured environment. ISAC serves as the linchpin in this endeavour, providing a vital nexus for intelligence gathering on cyber threats to critical infrastructure.
The partnership between SIA-India and ISAC establishes a collaborative framework aimed at fortifying the nation’s space and defence cybersecurity posture and safeguarding essential assets from cyber risks. Gen. Pannu emphasizes the necessity for military engagement amidst our evolving security landscape. He underscores the pivotal role of cybersecurity in modern decision-centric warfare, citing the integration of cyber capabilities into concepts such as DARPA’s Mosaic Warfare.
The SIA-India is proud to have support from pivotal government entities and esteemed organizations such as Niti Aayog, ISRO, NSIL, IN-SPACe, DoT, DRDO, and Ministry of Defence.