Organizations that are seizing the digital opportunity need security everywhere – from the network to the endpoint and from the cloud to every corner of their operations – to limit the risk of sensitive data compromise. India’s transition from cash to digital financial services requires a digital network that enables business innovation, generates insights and creates customer experiences. As financial services firms in India move towards digitization and bring more users, devices and applications online, companies are challenged to protect an expanding attack surface.
Recognising the integral role of cybersecurity in the digital economy, Cisco and Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for strategic cybersecurity cooperation, which aims to enhance digital security readiness and awareness of cybersecurity.
The MoU was signed in the presence of the Honourable Minister of Electronics and Information Technology Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Government of India, and Dinesh Malkani, President, Sales, Cisco India and SAARC. Under this MoU, Cisco and CERT-In will establish a threat intelligence sharing program wherein personnel from Cisco and CERT-In will work cooperatively together to address cybersecurity threats and incidents, identify and shape emerging security market trends, share leading practices, and learn new approaches to enhance cybersecurity.
The demand for cybersecurity experts has grown three times faster than any other IT job role and training a cybersecurity workforce is a priority for many organizations. As per a Cisco report, there are more than 1 million unfulfilled security jobs worldwide currently. To help increase the pool of talent with critical cybersecurity proficiency, Cisco announced a $10 million Global Cybersecurity Scholarship globally in June 2016. The Cisco Network Academy program has enhanced its security portfolio with a new Cybersecurity Essentials course. In India, Cisco Network Academy program has trained 122,000 students and is committed to training an additional 250,000 students by 2020.
According to a Cisco Security Report, 54 percent of cyber-attacks are not even detected for months or even years. Even if they are discovered, it may take several weeks before full containment and remediation are achieved. During that time, sensitive information and intellectual property may be compromised. Most organizations however do not have the methodology or budgets needed to build, staff, and maintain sophisticated threat-monitoring and defence capabilities.
As part of Cisco’s efforts to enhance its abilities to deliver cybersecurity capabilities in India, Cisco also announced three new investments –
- Cisco will open a new Security Operations Center (SOC) in Pune to provide a broad range of services, from monitoring and management to comprehensive threat solutions and hosted security that can be customized to meet customer needs. Cisco Active Threat Analytics provides 24-hour continuous monitoring and advanced-analytics capabilities combined with industry-leading threat intelligence and expert investigators to rapidly detect advanced threats. Cisco Hosted Identity Services helps address device proliferation and BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) challenges. Cisco has three Security Operations Centers worldwide, located in strategic geographies: Poland, the U.S. and Japan. With India as the fourth location, this structure allows Cisco to provide a 24-hour service for customers, regardless of time zone, using a “follow the sun” model.
- As cybersecurity threats have become more complex, targeted and persistent, they pose a serious ongoing challenge. Apart from security hardware and software products, modern cyber defences require proactive security operations run by highly trained staff with the experience and expertise to detect and disrupt sophisticated threats. Aiming to address this issue, Cisco announced the launch of the Cisco Cyber Range Lab in its Gurgaon facility, which will provide specialized technical training workshops to help security staff build the skills and experience necessary to combat new-age cyber threats. Cyber Range Lab will simulate an environment that allows staff to play the role of both attacker and defender to learn the latest methods of vulnerability exploitation and the use of advanced tools and techniques to mitigate and remove threats.
- Recognizing that cybersecurity is critical to India’s drive to digitize its economy, Cisco’s global Security & Trust Organization (S&TO) and Cisco India announced the formation of Cisco S&TO – India. The Security & Trust Organization is accountable for ensuring trustworthy product development, value chain security, customer data protection, and transparency that earns the verifiable trust of Cisco’s customers, partners, shareholders and employees. In furtherance of that mission, Cisco S&TO – India will advise on and help the government shape the national cybersecurity strategy and initiatives. Cisco is committed to ongoing innovation and leadership to address a rapidly evolving cybersecurity threat landscape. Cisco S&TO – India will work with public and private sector customers to help analyze their infrastructure, understand cyber risk, identify and mitigate vulnerabilities, and ensure that their networks are built on a foundation of secure, resilient, and trustworthy products.
Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Honourable Minister of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India said, “In light of rapidly evolving cyber tactics and shared risks in cyberspace, the need to work side-by-side with industry partners on pressing cyber-challenges becomes increasingly important. We are happy to have Cisco collaborate with us to enhance the security of India’s digital infrastructure and speed up digitalization of India”.
Dinesh Malkani, President, Cisco India and SAARC said, “As India digitizes, security will become fundamental to seizing the unprecedented opportunities for businesses, cities and citizens. Cisco is committed to helping achieve India’s digital transformation by enabling a digital ready infrastructure and security everywhere. Today’s cybersecurity announcements reaffirm Cisco’s long-term commitment to India, a strategic center of country digitization and innovation. At Cisco we securely connect everything to make anything possible.”