Centre for Internet & Society
CERT-In's Proactive Mandate - A Report on the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team’s Proactive Mandate in the Indian Cyber Security Ecosystem

Published under CC BY-SA

CERT-IN’s proactive mandate is defined in the IT Act, 2000 as well as in the Information Technology (The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team and Manner of Performing Function and Duties ) Rules, 2013 (CERT-In Rules, 2013) both of which postdate the existence of the organisation itself, which has been operational since 2004.

Regarding the proactive mandate, the IT Act and CERT-In Rules include the following areas where CERT-In is required to carry out proactive measures in the interests of cyber security:

  1. Forecast and alert cyber security incidents (IT Act, 2000) & Predict and prevent cyber security incidents (CERT-In Rules, 2013)
  2. Issue guidelines, advisories and vulnerability notes etc. relating to information security practices, procedures, prevention, response and reporting (IT Act, 2000)
  3. Information Security Assurance (CERT-In Rules, 2013)

This article will track and analyse the CERT-In’s operations in each of these areas over the past twelve years, by analysing the information available on CERT-In’s website as well as other media in the public domain.

The analysis will be carried out using a mixed methodology. The basic quantitative analysis of the information available on the CERT-In’ website will be carried out in the form of simple comparatives of updates, bulletins and other forms of publicly available interaction and critical information dispersal on CERT-In’s website. The qualitative sections, on the other hand, will contain a comparative analysis of the content present in the technical documents of the CERT-In with the equivalent documentation (where present) of similar bodies in the USA and EU. Each section will then illustrate normative suggestions as to how CERT-In’s performance of that respective obligation can be improved to better serve its cyber security mandate.

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