Bangalore, January 4 :

The country’s third cyber lab, set up through public-private partnership to train and hone the skills of law enforcement officials in tackling cyber crimes, has begun functioning here.

Located in the Corps of Detectives (CoD) premises of the Karnataka police, which also houses the country’s first cyber crime police station, the cyber lab will be run by Nasscom, the trade body of the Indian software and services firms, and sponsored by Canara Bank.

The third facility of its kind in the country after similar labs in Mumbai and Thane in Maharashtra, the Bangalore cyber lab will train annually about 1,000 officials of law enforcing agencies operating in the state police department, law department, defence services, banks, insurance and allied sectors.

“With the increasing use of IT in day-to-day life, we see emergence of both new challenges and threats. Though various forms of cyber crimes are on the rise the world over, India continues to be a safer place in terms of a strong security framework. There is, however, need to retain vigilance,” Nasscom cyber security and compliance director Nandakumar Saravade said on the opening day function on Wednesday.

Saravade, an Indian Police Service officer of the Maharashtra cadre, is on deputation to Nasscom for working towards strengthening the security environment in the sub-continent, through direct and private-public partnership initiatives.

In addition to strengthening the legal infrastructure and creating an effective enforcement framework, the cyber lab will spread awareness on the impending threat of cyber crimes. It will have a full-time project manager from the police, two instructors and part-time volunteers from the student community.

“The training will include familiarisation on areas such as Internet, browsing, e-mail and online transactions and education on what constitutes cyber crime. Once trained, the law enforcing officials will be able to carry out various tasks like analysing and scrutinizing data on hard disks, e-mail tracking, extracting evidence using Internet and mobile phones and on cyber crime-related legislation,” Saravade said.

Karnataka Director General of Police K R Srinivasan said that in the age of digitization and automation of information, security issues such as data theft, piracy, hacking, identity theft and violation of IPR (intellectual property rights) have been on the rise worldwide.

“While India follows global security practices, it is essential to keep evolving and extending security initiatives pro-actively if we have to remain a preferred global outsourcing destination,” Srinivasan pointed out.

Canara Bank chairman M B N Rao said as part of the bank’s social responsibility, it had decided to associate with Karnataka police and Nasscom to create an eco-system for checking cyber crimes, especially frauds related to Internet banking, ATMs, credit/debit cards and e-booking of tickets.

“Though banks have been dealing with various financial transactions using paper, coins, cheques and drafts, increasing use of technology has made money to be transacted in the form of bits and bytes. We need to know more about bits and bytes to prevent possible crimes and tackle fraudsters who intend to abuse technology for criminal activities,” Rao said.

Nasscom plans to open a fourth cyber lab in Pune soon and in other cities across the country.

The two cyber labs in Mumbai and Thane have in the last two-three years trained about 1,500 cops and investigators so far.