The Indian armed forces and security establishment must learn to "exploit cyberspace to our advantage" if the scourge of terrorism has to be defeated, Army chief General Bipin Rawat said here on Wednesday.
In his keynote address at a two-day conference on cyber warfare and security, Gen Rawat said: "Cyber is not just important for in conventional warfare domain but also in sub-conventional or proxy warfare.
"As far as armed forces are concerned, we must exploit cyberspace to our advantage. We must enjoy the benefits of cyber."
He said that the modern day terrorists operating against us "from across the border" were very tech savvy and were exploiting cyberspace to their advantage.
"If we don't stay ahead of them, we would never be able to get over the phenomenon of terrorism that has engulfed our nation," the Army chief said.
However, he rued, that instead of learning to exploit the cyberspace to our advantage, the armed forces were "denying ourselves the use of some of the niche technology".
"Why is it happening? I think this is happening because we are developing the right approach but this approach with extreme caution is preventing us from acquiring these technologies," he said.
The way out, the General said, was to exploit not just the technology available in the open domain, but also "the technology that is available with the young technocrats who have acquired expertise through on-the-job knowledge of various issues related to cyber world".
Rawat said that cyberspace had already emerged as a revolution in the military affairs as presently all the weapons, equipment, ammunition or any other system in use in the armed forces employs some kind of technology that takes advantage of it.
He pointed out that this also lent the defence systems vulnerable to attacks from adversaries.