NIIT Foundation, a not-for-profit organization focused on digital education, and Cisco, a worldwide leader in technology, have joined hands to implement the Cyber Suraksha program, aimed at tackling the growing concern of cyber safety by equipping citizens with the knowledge to identify and respond to cyber threats. A milestone celebration event was organized to mark the achievement of the training of 1,00,000 individuals. The event was attended by dignitaries and guests including Narendra Nath Gangavarapu, Joint Secretary, National Security Council Secretariat; Harish Krishnan, Managing Director and Chief Policy Officer, Cisco India; Vijay Thadani, Vice Chairman & Managing Director NIIT Limited; and Sapna Moudgil, Director, NIIT Foundation.
It was telecast live to more than 5000 individuals over YouTube to share the remarkable progress that has been made.
The NIIT Foundation and Cisco have been partners since 2008 to implement many training programs for the youth of our country. With the increased use of the internet, there has been a simultaneous rise in cybercrime. Cyber threats continue to evolve and become more challenging, making the need for data protection and privacy more critical than ever. The Cyber Suraksha program aims to develop cybersecurity professionals who can aid in the fight against cybercrime while embarking on an extremely promising career.
The goal of the program is spreading awareness along with providing tools and strategies to citizens to safeguard themselves in the digital-first world. Multiple training sessions have been organized to help a diverse set of people identify cyber threats and crimes. At the end of the training sessions, participants feel more confident to complete transactions, submit documents, make online payments, and perform banking functions through apps and websites.
As on today, NIIT Foundation and Cisco has achieved several milestones in the Cyber Suraksha Program, including:
- 42% female participants
- Representation from 27 states and 5 union territories
- Diverse beneficiaries including senior citizens, persons with disabilities, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, army veterans, professionals, and students
NIIT Foundation and Cisco are also facilitating placement of students who complete advanced trainings in this program. The aim is to provide placement opportunities in cybersecurity jobs to 20,000 students over a span of 3 years.
The Chief Guest, Shri Narendra Nath Gangavarapu, Joint Secretary, National Security Council Secretariat, said, “The Digital India program has propelled millions of citizens to shift online. This number is only going to increase in the coming days. Programs like Cyber Suraksha are the stepping-stone to equipping citizens with tools to mitigate cyber threats. I encourage the industry to come forward and emulate such programs at scale. I also encourage industry and civil society to collaborate and focus on more targeted advanced cybersecurity trainings, which will help prevent cyber-attacks on institutions.”
Harish Krishnan, Managing Director and Chief Policy Officer, Cisco India, further adds, “As digital becomes the new world order, security is foundational to the survival and success of any nation. Technology has the potential to both increase or decrease the digital divide. We believe programs like Cyber Suraksha can help move the needle by enhancing access to best-in-class knowledge, tools, and training. Today, we commemorate achieving 1,00,000 cybersecurity champions and I am confident that the 10 lakh cybersecurity champions that NIIT Foundation and Cisco collectively train by 2025 will create a domino effect in strengthening citizens’ privacy and our nation’s infrastructure.”
Vijay Thadani, Vice Chairman & Managing Director, NIIT Limited, shares “We feel proud to have partnered with CISCO in developing and implementing the Cyber Suraksha program to combat the cybersecurity menace. Graduates of this program will play an important role in enhancing safe digital transactions as well as protect themselves and their families from cybercrime The students who complete the Cyber Smart & Workforce parts of the programme also have an opportunity to build lucrative careers as cybersecurity professionals. The Cyber Suraksha Programme aims to educate 200,000 individuals in the first year itself.”