The focus of the Synergia Conclave 2017 was to help governments and industry reimagine their 'business' in a digitized and asymmetric world. Does security mean active defence including stealth and laser guided weapons or can it mean building relationships, controlling inequalities and recognizing each other's humanity? How does one respond to cyber threats that are asymmetric and perhaps non-attributable.
Keynote presentations and panel discussions gave participants a rare chance to interact, reenergize, rethink and reset their process and learn from leading security experts and strategic thinkers from around the world.
Mayankote Kelath Narayanan is an Indian diplomat and former IPS officer. He was the National Security Adviser of India from 2005 to 2010. He served as the Governor of West Bengal from 2010 to 2014. The Government of India awarded him the civilian honour of Padma Shri in 1992.
HE MK Narayanan, Former NSA to GoI, Governor of West Bengal and Director of Intelligence Bureau
Dr. Shekhar Dutt, is the former Governor of Chhattisgarh (2010-14). Dr. Dutt served as Deputy National Security Advisor (2007-10). He was the former Secretary of defence and also the recipient of the Sena Medal for gallantry in the 1971 Indo-Pak war.
Former Governor of Chhattisgarh, Former Deputy NSA & Defense Secretary, GoI
Suresh Prabu is an Indian Politician & current Railway Minister of India. He currently represents Haryana in Upper House of Indian Parliament, and is a 4th time member of the Lok Sabha from Rajapur Constituency of Maharashtra.
Indian politician and the current Railway Minister of GoI
Uzi Arad is an Israeli strategist & has served as National Security Advisor to Israel's PM Netanyahu and Head of the Israeli NSC between 2009 and 2011. During Netanyahu's first term as PM Dr. Arad was his Foreign Policy Advisor (1997-1999).
National Security Advisor to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Prime Minister John Bruton was the parliamentary secretary, in the Government of Prime Minister Liam Cosgrave. In a political career spanning more than three decades. He retired from Irish politics in 2004 and served as the European Union Ambassador to the United States (2004–09).
Prime Minister of Ireland
Krishnan Srinivasan is a diplomat, scholar and author. He was also deputy Secretary-General of the Commonwealth of Nations. He was awarded a Hind Ratna (India) in 2002, and was made a Chevalier de l'Ordre de la Valeur (Cameroon) in 2007.
Former Foreign Secretary, GoI
Alva served as Governor of the Indian states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Goa, and Uttarakhand between 2009 and 2014. Before turning her attention to gubernatorial politics, she served multiple terms in the Indian National Congress.
Former Governor of Rajasthan
First UK Security and Intelligence Coordinator, former Permanent Secretary of the UK Home Office and Director of GCHQ., Fellow of Corpus Christi College Cambridge and Senior Independent Director of Babcock International Group PLC. Author of 'Securing the State'.
Director of GCHQ
GK Pillai took charge as Home Secretary on June 30, 2009 until 2011. He has been with the GOI in the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Surface Transport and the Ministry of Homeland Affairs and served as Commerce Secretary to the Union Government.
Former Home Secretary, GoI
Michael Chertoff is an American attorney who was the second United States Secretary of Homeland Security, serving under President George W. Bush. Chairman and co-founder of the Chertoff Group. He is a manga cum laude graduate from both Harvard Law School and College.
Former Secretary of the US Department of Home Land Security
Shyamal Datta joined the Intelligence Bureau of the Government of India in January 1979 where he served in various capacities. In April 1997, Shri Datta reverted to the Intelligence Bureau as Additional Director and was promoted as Special Director in December 1997.
Former Governor of Nagaland and Director of Intelligence Bureau
Dr Subhash Chandra Khuntia, IAS, is currently the Chief Secretary of Government of Karnataka. Prior to this Dr. Khuntia served as a part time Director of Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited. He was also the Secretary to the Dept. of School Education & Literacy, Ministry of HRD.
Chief Secretary, Govt. of Karnataka
Lt. Gen. Philip Campose, AVSM, VSM was the former Vice Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army. He retired in 2015 after more than four decades of service in the army. He also held the appointment of GOC-in-C of Western Command of Indian Army before assuming the office of VCOAS.
PVSM, AVSM & Bar, VSM, Former Vice Chief of the Indian Army
Arogyaswami Joseph Paulraj, an India-born engineer-scientist and Stanford University Professor Emeritus. Recipient of the prestigious 2014 Marconi Prize, a Nobel equivalent for technology pioneers and the Alexander Bell Prize. Dr. Paulraj has been credited with the invention and advancement of Multiple Input Multiple Output.
AVSM, VSM, Professor Emeritus, Stanford University; Recipient of the Marconi Prize
P. K. H. Tharakan, IPS was Chief of the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW). He is the former Director General of the Kerala Police. He was one of the advisors to the Governor of Karnataka and a member of the National Security Council & also a Chief Advisor of Strategic Affairs.
Former Director of R&AW
Air Chief Marshal Fali Homi Major (R) as the 21st Chief of Air Staff of the Indian Air Force. Post retirement, the Government of India utilized his experience and exposure by appointing him as an Independent Director of Air India, on many Expert Groups on Military, Strategic & Defense Modernization issues.
PVSM, AVSM, SC, VM, ADC; Former Member of NSA Board, Government of India
Praveen Swami is an Indian journalist and author specialising on international strategic and security issues. He is currently the National Editor of The Indian Express. Swami is the author of two books on the India-Pakistan conflict in Kashmir and was described by the BBC as "one of India's foremost experts of Islamist terrorism".
Editor of Indian Express
Mr. P.C. Haldar is a Member of the National Security Advisory Board. A former Director of Intelligence Bureau, Government of India. He is currently Government of India's Peace Interlocutor with various insurgent groups in Assam, including the ULFA and the NDFB.
Former Director of Intelligence Bureau, GoI
Vishnu Som, Defence Editor and Principal Anchor with NDTV. He is a veteran of the industry, having been with NDTV since 1996. As a journalist, Vishnu has reported extensively on war, conflict, aviation and natural disasters. He has covered the Kargil, Afghanistan and Iraq wars.
Defence Editor and Anchor, NDTV
Lt. Gen. S.L. Narasimhan, served as a Brigade Major of a Mountain Brigade, Defence Attaché in the Embassy of India at Beijing, China, Deputy Director General, Military Intelligence (East), and Additional Director General Public Information in the Integrated Headquarters of MoD.
PVSM, AVSM, VSM, Member of National Security Advisory Board, GoI
Vivek Lall served as the founding Co-Chair of the US – India Aviation Cooperation Program launched by Norman Mineta. He was appointed as the Vice President and Country Head, Boeing Defense Space & Security. He led a team to conclude US-India defence deals for C17 strategic lift, P-8I Anti-submarine warfare aircraft and Harpoon Missiles.
Aerospace and Defence leader, Lockheed Martin
PS Raghavan joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1979 and retired in 2016 as Ambassador of India to the Russian Federation. In September 2016, he was appointed as a Convenor of the National Security Advisory Board of the National Security Council Secretariat, Government of India.
Convenor of the National Security Advisory Board
Yossi Ben Hanan is an acclaimed war hero, recipient of the Medal of Courage for his contributions in the Yom Kippur War. He commanded the IDF R&D department, the Israeli National Security College and the Armored Corps. He was the head of the Israeli Defense Ministry's developing countries defense assistance division, SIBAT.
Former Head of the Israeli SIBAT ( War hero )
Daisuke Kotegawa is the current head of the Asian Economic Institute at S.t Petersburg Federal University – the alma matter of President Putin and the Research Director of Cannon Institute of Global Affairs in Tokyo. He is a graduate in MBA from Stanford University.
Former Managing Director of IMF, Japan; Director of Canon Institute of Global Affairs, Tokyo
Pindar Wong is an internet pioneer, who cofounded the first licensed Internet Service Provider in Hong Kong in 1993. He is the Chairman of VeriFi (Hong Kong) Ltd, a discrete Internet Infrastructure consultancy. He serves on the digital 21 Strategy Advisor Committee of the Hong Kong govt.
Chairman of VeriFi (Hong Kong) Ltd
Patrick M. Cronin is a Senior Advisor and Senior Director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). Previously, he was the Senior Director of the Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS) at the National Defense University.
Director of Centre for New American Security, Washington
Jean-Louis Bruguière was the leading French investigating magistrate in charge of counter-terrorism affairs. He was appointed in 2004 as the Vice-President of Paris Court of Serious Claims (Tribunal de Grande Instance).
Former Judge of the EU Anti-Terrorism Court
Jorge Braga de Macedo is Professor Emeritus and Founder Director of the Centre for Globalization and Governance (CG&G) at Nova School of Business and Economics and Distinguished Fellow of the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI).
Distinguished Fellow CIGI, Waterloo Ontario, Former Finance Minister of Portugal
Silvio Schlickmann was the Federal Criminal Expert with Interpol at the Global Complex for Innovation in Singapore. Worked as Assistant Director of Research and Innovation at INTERPOL for more than two years and recently took up the position of Director of Cybercrime at INTERPOL.
Director Cyber Operations, INTERPOL
James Creighton retired as a Colonel from the United States Army after thirty years of service where he held key command positions to include: Commander, Combined Team Uruzgan, Tarin Kowt & Afghanistan.
Former COO of East West Institute; Colonel, United States Army
Lt Gen PG Kamath was commissioned into the Madras Regiment in June 1973. A cerebral scholar warrior. He was also the defence advisor to the Indian High Commissioner in Malaysia and Brunei. He is currently the special rapporteur of South Zone, National Human Rights Commission.
PVSM, AVSM, YSM, SM, Former Commandant Army War College
Alexander Nagorny was the former Chief of analytical group at the Institute of USA and Canada Studies. He was also the head of research section at the Russian Parliament. He was also the professor at the Academy of Economic Studies attached to Russian Government.
Former Chief Editor of TASS agency Moscow
In 2017, Frédérick Douzet was a member of the Strategic Review of Defense and National Security Committee. She is also a commissioner of the Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace. She manages a multidisciplinary team of graduate students at the University of Paris 8 and the Castex Chair of Cyberstrategy and covers a wide range of topics.
Castex Chair of Cyberstrategy at the Institute of National Defense Studies, Paris
Max Smeets is a cybersecurity fellow at Stanford University Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC). He is also a non-resident cybersecurity policy fellow at New America. Max has previously held research positions at Oxford University, Columbia University SIPA, Sciences Po CERI, and NATO CCD COE.
Cybersecurity Fellow, Stanford University Center for International Security & Cooperation
Shakti Sinha is currently the Independent Consultant; part-time Director at South Asian Institute for Strategic Affairs. He was the Independent analyst and writer at the Governance, Political Economy of India, Strategic Affairs. He was also the director of India Foundation.
Former Principal Secretary to Prime Minister AB Vajpayee; Director, Nehru Memorial Museum, Delhi
Deepak Kumar Hota has been the Chairman and Managing Director of BEML Limited since July 1, 2016. He was previously employed as the Chief Executive Officer of Bio-Fuels by Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd. He also served as the Chief Executive Officer of HPCL Bio-fuels.
Director and Member of the Board of BEML Ltd.
Krishnakumar Natarajan is one of the co-founders of Mindtree, where he is currently the Executive Chairman. He was appointed as the Chairman of NASSCOM for the year 2013–2014. He was earlier a Senior Executive with Wipro and is an alumnus of XLRI.
Co-founder, CEO and Managing Director of Mindtree
Ajay Nanavati is currently the Chairman of Syndicate Bank. He was previously the Managing Director of 3M Global Channel Services publicly listed overseas subsidiary, 3M India and the Managing Director of 3M Israel. He was also nominated in the top 10 most valuable CEO's for mid-size companies in 2013 by Business World.
Chairman of Syndicate Bank
Vice Admiral Anil Chopra is a former Indian Navy Officer, who served as a Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command from 2014 to 2015. He previously served as Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Naval Command from 1 November 2011, having served as Director General Indian Coast Guard from 2008.
AVSM, Former Flag Officer Western Naval Command, The Indian Navy
Dr. Rajan Katoch, IAS, formerly Heavy Industry Secretary in the Government of India, was the Director of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) during 2012-15. He earlier held senior positions in the Finance and Commerce Ministries; and has headed the Home Department in Madhya Pradesh.
Former Director of Enforcement Directorate
Gaurav Gupta is currently the Principal Secretary of IT, BT & Tourism. He was previously the Commissioner of the department of Industries and Commerce, Government of Karnataka. He was also the Divisional Commissioner of Bangalore Revenue Division, Government of Karnataka.
Principal Secretary – IT, BT & Tourism
T.M. Veeraraghav served as a senior journalist at the Print and Broadcast media. He was the Resident Editor at The Hindu and former Editor of CNN IBN and NDTV. He has over two decades of experience as a journalist.
Former Resident Editor, The Hindu; Editor, CNN-IBN & NDTV
Latha Reddy is the former Deputy National Security Adviser of India. She also served in the Indian Foreign Service from 1975-2011. During her diplomatic career she served in Lisbon, Washington D.C., Kathmandu, Brasilia, Durban, Vienna and Bangkok. She served as an Ambassador of India to Portugal (2004-2006) and to Thailand (2007-2009).
Former Deputy National Security Advisor, GoI
RK Radhakrishnan is the Associate Editor of Frontline. He was earlier The Hindu's foreign correspondent in Sri Lanka, Chief of Bureau, Tamil Nadu, and a political correspondent reporting and writing on major political parties in the State.
Associate Editor of Frontline, Chennai
Served in the army for nearly forty years and has had extensive operational experience. He was the Commandant of the National Defence College (NDC). He played a key role in the formation of the Indian National Defence University (INDU). He was the coordinator for the Naresh Chandra Committee that reviewed the National Security System.
PVSM, AVSM, VSM; Former Commandant of the National Defence College (NDC)
Ajay Goel was the former Managing Director for Symantec Corporation for India and SAARC countries. Prior to Symantec, he was the Senior Vice President for the Industry Business, Strategy and Operations for Cisco Systems, India and SAARC, and had a long stint with Sun Microsystems as the Country Director – India Business Operations.
Former Managing Director for Symantec Corporation & Country Director of Sun Microsystems
Tobby Simon is the Global Commissioner of the Global Commission of Internet Governance. He is the member of the Tri Lateral Commission. He is also the university topper and a special invitee of the Indian Prime Minister in 1998. He is a graduate of the Harvard Business School and a Research Associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
President of Synergia Foundation
Along with disruptive innovations, cyberspace is seeing a sharp rise in threats and attacks derailing progress each day. The internet provides an easy, low-cost and low-risk means for non-state actors or terrorist groups to amplify the impact of any attack.
The world is entering the fourth industrial revolution, best described as the Era of Cyber Physical Systems where Information Technology that encompasses communications, computing and artificial intelligence will transform how we use or operate physical systems - from cars / vehicles, drones, data networks, power grids, manufacturing plants and even agriculture.
This talk begins with a brief survey of five key high technologies today – Bio, Robotics, Information, Nano and Energy, and then shifts focus to some of the trends in communications, computing and AI, drawing mainly on the speaker's work in these areas. The emerging 5G wireless infrastructure, which will be the key enabler for Cyber Physical Systems will be described.
China is not a status quoist power, and aspires to be a Great Power. It is well-positioned to achieve this if it maintains its present course. Any interruption, by indulging in a conflict with nations small or big, would not only damage, but derail the levels of progress that are essential to achieve this objective. President Xi's China dream, seems predicated on this belief. It implies support for a rule-based international system, linked to 'Tianxia', in the belief that this would help China overtake the U.S. as the dominant world power. When China talks of a 'new type of Great Power relations' it already envisages itself as Great Power in the making. It is unlikely to do anything to deviate from this goal.
China's multibillion-dollar One Belt, One Road (OBOR) infrastructure development project, linking the old Silk Road with Europe, is a manifestation of China's growing geopolitical ambitions. President Xi's ambition of propelling China to centrestage in the global power game represents a sharp departure from the approach of previous Chinese leaders, who strictly adhered to Deng Xiaoping's tenet to "hide our capabilities and bide our time, never try to take the lead".
Since the advent of independence, India has faced a multitude of security challenges to its nationhood - both external and internal - and to its emergence as a deservingly significant player in the global order. Located in one of the most security and politically stressed regions of the world, and with some not-so-friendly neighbours, sharing nearly 7000 km of active international borders with seven nations, and a coastline spanning over 15000 km, India's external security challenges are indeed formidable.
The intelligence community has often been blamed for its failure to forecast critical world events, from the fall of the Soviet Union to the Arab Spring that swept across North Africa and the Middle East. Can crowdsourcing and other open source intelligence tools result in more accurate forecasts about future events than the traditional forms of intelligence estimation?
The massive data breach at Equifax & Target ended the careers of their Chief Executive Officers, who had served these companies for more than three decades. Their resignation is a stark reminder of the predicament faced by CEOs caught in the cybersecurity crisis. How can a company's top-level management team address this threat?
Inequality in arms, indeed, significant disparity between belligerents, has become a prominent feature of various contemporary armed conflicts. Such asymmetries, albeit not at all a new phenomenon in the field of warfare, no longer constitute a random occurrence of singular battles.
Global finance's exclusive reliance on electronic communication, together with the billions of dollars traded daily, present lucrative opportunities for cyber-terrorists and criminals from both within and outside of the finance industry.
International theoreticians would say that the triangular interaction mentioned in the title of this presentation is very simple, coming from the Ancient Roman formula – "the enemy of my enemy is my friend". But in the international reality of the triangle in question, everything is much more complicated -involving various factors, details and aspects going down deep into history. In this short presentation it is impossible to cover and analyze all of them. The picture becomes even more multi-sided and complex if we would add the Indian factor.
Beyond the reach of search engines lies the dark web hosting information to help a new breed of cyber criminals commit crime unchecked. Ransomware, which demands payment after launching a cyberattack, has become a rising trend among hackers looking for a quick payout.
By examining the three sides of crypto coins, their privacy, security and transparency, this talk highlights the innovative and interesting security model that emphasizes the importance of having a security economic architecture which challenges traditional 'security perimeter' thinking.
Russia's recent diplomatic intervention in Afghanistan elicits old categorizations of a 'new Great Game' in the making among traditional rivals Moscow and Washington. However, attempts by regional and global powers to resolve the Afghan conflict, ironically, have contributed to exacerbating the situation. A new set of literature goes deep into history and International Relations to seek answers to the wicked problems in and around Afghanistan.
Observers of international affairs claim to have a unified theory of strategy, a unified theory of war, and a cunningly connected meta-narrative for the twenty-first century, indeed for all of history. This point of view endorses the Thucydidean triptych, which holds that the primary motives behind diplomatic and belligerent behaviors are "fear, honor, and interest."
Cyber threats need a holistic, 360-degree security approach covering all aspects of external and internal intelligence, web intelligence, human intelligence, open source intelligence, signal intelligence, supply chain security and social media.
The Iraq War and the Lebanon War of the first decade of the 21st century are watershed events in the history of warfare. For the weaker side in those wars, the Iraqi Army (who turned insurgents) and the Hezbollah highlighted the importance of asymmetric warfare, whereas for their dominant military adversaries, the US and Israel, they emphasized a red line – that, despite their claims of military victories, the large numbers of body bags and war disabled were not an acceptable outcome of war in modern democratic societies.
In our analog world, 'soft power' diplomacy challenged traditional 'hard power' assumptions where 'geography is destiny'. In the digital world, topology, not geography, is destiny - and new assumptions have emerged around leveraging network effects, data diplomacy and the transformative importance of 'software power' - the power of 'The Stack'.
Brexit and Alt-right are living proof that virulently nativist politics can find their way into the mainstream and can deal a severe blow to the global order within the confines of the democratic process. The term Alt-right, borrowed from the French Nouvelle Droit ("New Right"), places race at the center of any political calculus.
In the two decades following the end of the Cold War, the world experienced an era characterized by declining war and rising prosperity. The absence of serious geopolitical competition created opportunities for increased interdependence and global cooperation. In recent years, however, several possibly fundamental challenges to that new order have arisen - the collapse of order and the descent into violence in the Middle East; the Russian challenge to the European security order; and increasing geopolitical tensions in Asia being among the foremost of these. What does this spell for India?
The steady erosion of U.S. politico-economic primacy in the Asia-Pacific region continues unabated. It has two sources: The first is China's growing wealth and power. The second is America's continuing distraction by wars ,as well as President Donald Trump's desire to disrupt Washington's existing alliances and refusal to address pressing socio-economic issues at home.