The Indian Navy has become the first Indian armed force to create a dedicated cadre of officers to provide the service cyber security to protect its computer-enabled communication networks from hacking and other cyber terror attacks and to enable the maritime force to carry out a network-centre operation.
Indian Navy officers said here that the force is looking at recruiting men as short service commissioned officers and the first batch of such computer science, information technology and engineering graduates in December 2012.
Once trained, these officers will be posted on board warships and other establishments to carry out information technology duties. The officers will handle state-of-the-art networks and niche applications, both in operational and administrative areas.
Their job profile will include implanting secure and critical networks including manning of security operation and network operation centres.
These officers will form part of the executive branch of the navy and not technical branch. The navy, which is in the process of acquiring network central operations capability, is already managing it networks through engineering officers from the technical branch and other branches.
"But this is the first time ever any armed force in the country is looking at a dedicated information technology cadre," the navy officers said.
About two months ago, the navy had created a new cell in its headquarters under a Rear Admiral-rank officer as assistant chief of naval staff (communications, space and network centric operations).
It has also decided recently to induct technically-qualified officers in its ranks beginning June 2013 with plans to award Bachelor in Technology degree to the cadets, who pass out of Indian Naval Academy at Ezhimala by converting the Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees into engineering degrees.
The navy had faced one of its worst cyber security breaches in its Eastern Command headquartered at Visakhapatnam when a pen drive used by officers led to sensitive fleet deployment information being passed on to China due to a malware. But the creation of an exclusive information technology cadre is not a direct outcome of this cyber-attack, but has been in the works for a long time.