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 Monday, 20 January, 2003, 17:09 GMT
India plans cyber defence centre
Software programmers at an Indian software company
Many hi-tech firms are setting up in India

India is working to set up an internet security centre in the capital, Delhi, to try to prevent cyber attacks on key defence, business and government establishments.

Officials said the centre could cost up to $20m and could be operational by the end of the year.

The announcement was made at a national conference on information security management systems in the southern Indian city of Bangalore.

The one-day meeting, attended by 300 delegates, was organised by the Indian office of the British Standards Institution, a national standards organisation of UK and world leaders in management systems certification.

US help

"There is concern the world over about cyber attacks. We are doing our bit," said B V Naidu, director of the government-run Software Technology Parks in India, told BBC News Online.

The Federal Information Technology Ministry in Delhi is handling the project, with the help of US-based security organisation Cert.

Cert is a research and development centre run by the Carnegie Mellon University that helps improve internet security.

The number of security breaches has gone up alarmingly from about 300 in 1993 to 73,420 in the first nine months of 2002, according to Cert.

Mr Naidu said a survey in Britain had confirmed security breaches in most of the companies.

"Of the respondents, 60 percent said they had a security breach and 45 percent did not have a contingency plan in place," he said.

See also:

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