14:38 GMT29 November 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): With over 451 million monthly active internet users, India was the second most cyber-attacked country in the world between 2016 to 2018, according to a report by the Data Security Council of India (DSCI).

    In a bid to help the Indian government safeguard sensitive data from outsiders, the cloud storage subsidiary of the US-based e-commerce giant Amazon has come forward, local media reported on Thursday.

    The proposal comes a day after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Cabinet approved the “Personal Data Protection Bill”, that would identify which data should be classified as personal, sensitive or critical for India and its citizens.

    Called Amazon Web Services (AWS), the entity provides on-demand cloud computing platforms on a metered pay-as-you-go basis.

    Now, US-headquartered AWS is doubling its efforts on reaching out to the Indian government with its Public Sector Cloud offerings, hoping to convince the national authorities that AWS is the only service provider that is capable of isolating sensitive data from the usual open data and keeping it safe within the country.

    “We are reinventing how the government looks at technology and once you showcase those benefits, they get convinced. There's a conversation happening across multiple stakeholders in the country,” the reports quoted Rahul Sharma, president of Amazon Internet Services' World Wide Public Sector as saying.

    The interesting factor here is that AWS is an American company and until now, the US has strongly opposed the requirements stipulated by the “Personal Data Protection Bill” under consideration in India.

    Earlier in November, it was reported that the Information Technology Industry (ITI) Council - a US-based global lobbying body for technology companies, said that India’s mandate on data localisation could prove detrimental to tech companies in more than one way, especially because it would necessitate 30 to 60 percent more capital investments from related foreign firms.

    Back in October this year, US-based financial services corporation Mastercard, which has invested to the tune of billions of dollars in India, said it was confident about completing its data localisation requirements in India by the year-end.

    However, the card payments major believes that restricting data flows in digital transactions would affect the quality of fraud detection and assessment.

    Although the Cabinet-approved “Personal Data Protection Bill” foresees confidential private data of India and its citizens being stored in the country, it allows data processing outside the country with the explicit consent of the individual concerned.

    The data localisation holds importance in the wake of a massive jump in cyber attacks in the country. India tracked over 300,000 cybersecurity breaches in the year to October.

    India’s Electronics and Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on 27 November that cyber-attacks, like phishing, network scanning and probing, virus/malicious code and website hacking, have been increasing – from over 50,000 in 2016 to 313,649 so far in 2019.


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