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Cisco partners with Karnataka govt to boost cybersecurity, train 40K people

In a bid to fortify India’s cybersecurity infrastructure and address the escalating threat landscape, tech giant Cisco has inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Karnataka Innovation Technology Society (KITS) and the Department of Electronics, IT, Bt, Government of Karnataka. The collaboration aims to impart crucial cybersecurity skills and awareness to 40,000 individuals, with a notable emphasis on gender inclusivity.

The initiative comes at a critical juncture as organisations brace themselves against the looming spectre of cyber threats. According to Cisco’s Cybersecurity Readiness Index, 90% of Indian businesses anticipate disruptions due to cybersecurity incidents within the next 12-24 months.

Further, with 40% of cybersecurity teams in Indian organisations facing understaffing, the urgency for bolstering skill preparedness cannot be overstated, as highlighted in an Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) report.

According to Cisco, the partnership will not only focus on training individuals but will also extend its reach through a ‘Train the Trainers’ programme, aiming to empower college faculties in cultivating a robust cyber ecosystem. Also, promoting cyber awareness among citizens will be a key component, enhancing their capacity to navigate the digital landscape securely, the company said.

Additionally, Cisco’s collaboration with the Government of Karnataka Centre of Excellence for Cybersecurity will facilitate the development of cybersecurity curricula. Leveraging Cisco Networking Academy, renowned for its IT skills-to-jobs programmes, the initiative will encompass webinar sessions and knowledge workshops covering foundational to advanced cybersecurity courses.

Commenting on the announcement, Dr Ekroop Caur, IAS, Department of Electronics, IT, Bt, Government of Karnataka, said, “We look forward to working with Cisco, to empower young professionals across the state with essential skills and job-ready capabilities to safeguard themselves and organisations from risks in an increasingly digital-driven world. Through this engagement, we will be imparting cybersecurity skilling for 40,000 individuals, aiming for 50% of the beneficiaries to be women.” CNBCTV18

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