Antony advocates for enhanced cyber and network security

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New Delhi, Oct 25 (UNI) Defence Minister A K Antony today said the Armed Forces would have to evolve as a technology-intensive and networked force, ready to operate in an integrated manner.

"We need special effort to identify and induct technologies that serve as force multipliers," he said, while speaking at the Naval Commanders Conference here today.

He said the paradigm shift in military affairs today was driven by the merger of evolving high-end technology, which allowed sifting and transfer of data in real time, enabling quick decision-making.

Mr Antony, however, cautioned that these technological advances could pose a challenge-ensuring the security of information and data flow. In this context, he asked the Naval Commanders to discuss ways and means to enhance cyber and network security.

He said the main focus now was to enhance the major capabilities of the armed forces through indigenous means, as far as possible.

"I am confident that in the future, indigenous weapons and sensors will be inducted on the various facilities that are presently under construction." Saying that the best available talent should be attracted to the force and retained in it, Mr Antony said adequate attention should be paid to modernisation aspects of man management, or personal management with special emphasis on stress management. In this context, he stressed the importance of the welfare of the sailors.

As maritime challenges now were diverse, unpredictable and constantly evolving, he said, ''to effectively meet these challenges, we must evolve strategies that deny or reduce the freedom of our enemies to exploit the maritime environment." To achieve this objective, the Services had to be developed into balanced and combat-ready forces.

Calling for judicious and optimal use of funds allocated, he said time overrun of projects naturally led to cost overruns, which inturn required revised approvals, resulting in further delays.

"There is a critical need to institute suitable and adequate monitoring mechanisms to avoid delays in project implementation," he said.

Pointing out that India was likely to become the third largest economy in the world by 2050, Mr Antony said, "our energy needs are bound to grow rapidly. In fact, we will be one of the biggest energy consumers of the world in times to come. Major sea trade routes, carrying about 66 per cent of the total world trade in oil, pass from close proximity to India." UNI

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