Rai, who also heads the eSecurity and Cyber Law division in the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, has been involved in various capacities regarding cyber security for over two decades. He is part of the Department of Electronics and IT (DeitY).

"Rai will take over as Cyber Security chief under the Prime Minister's Office as Special Secretary from April 1," a government official informed.

His long experience with cyber security, e-Governance, legal framework and the Information Technology Act made him an ideal candidate for the top job, the official added.

Rai's appointment comes at a time when cyber security assumes importance in the backdrop of growing network intrusions and hacking attempts on not just businesses but also on the government.

According to government data, more than 700 government websites that are hosted under 'gov.in' and 'nic.in' domains have been hacked by cyber criminals since 2012.

As per CERT-In, 371, 189, 155 and 13 government websites were hacked during the year 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 (January), respectively.

During the Budget Session last month, Home Minister Rajnath Singh had sought an experts committee was set up to suggest ways and means to strengthen cyber security and was likely to submit its report within three months.

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