Cybersecurity: How Cisco is securing digital India

The company is raising a dedicated engineering workforce.

cybersecurity, industry news
The company aims to train 500,000 cybersecurity professionals over three years across India.

Digital is not just about technology implementation. It encompasses the transformation of business, enterprises and governments using technology, so as to make experiences better, communication effective and work simpler. Thus so far, the rising levels of digitisation and digital adoption have ushered in a significant transformation in India, however, reliable and resilient digital transformation can only be achieved when it has a foundation of cybersecurity beneath it, says Anil Nair, vice-president, engineering, Security Business Group, Cisco India.

Digitisation offers new opportunities but also new risks. “We believe that trust is the new currency of a digital India,” says Daisy Chittilapilly, president, Cisco India & SAARC. Doubling down on its commitment to India, the San Jose, California-based firm announced significant security innovations and investments in security infrastructure in the country to help Indian organisations become more resilient and tackle the cybersecurity risks in a hybrid world.

Also read: Top cybersecurity trends small businesses should be paying attention to this year

Cisco is all for a skilling revolution in the cybersecurity space as well. It aims to train 500,000 cybersecurity professionals over three years across India. The training will be provided through Cisco’s flagship programme, Networking Academy, that is celebrating its 25th anniversary. In India, over 1.2 million students have been trained with digital and cybersecurity skills since inception.

New challenges, new solutions

To begin with, Cisco is introducing new risk-based capabilities across its security portfolio for hybrid and multi-cloud environments in India. These capabilities demonstrate progress towards realising the full vision of the Cisco Security Cloud, which will safeguard the integrity of an organisation’s entire IT ecosystem. This includes innovations in Zero Trust, application security, and secure connectivity.

A leading player in cybersecurity, Cisco reckons that a strong security posture in the digital world is rooted in the Zero Trust security framework. Herein, the company has introduced several features for its Duo Risk-Based Authentication solution. These features address security issues, including remembered devices and Wi-Fi Fingerprint to authenticate less often in trusted situations, Verified Push to protect against phishing attacks, and expanded SSO (Single Sign-on) capabilities that notify and allow users to reset their passwords before they expire, improving productivity.

According to Chittilapilly, the world is becoming increasingly hybrid and organisations have to adapt quickly. “Their success hinges in large part on their ability to tackle the cybersecurity risks that this presents. At Cisco, we are committed to helping Indian organisations enhance security resilience,” she said.

Hidden dangers in the cloud

According to Nair, cybersecurity becomes a critical concern as more companies complete their digital transformation and migrate systems to the cloud. Towards this, Cisco is investing in dedicated cloud infrastructure to bring advanced security services. The company is setting up a new data centre in Chennai and upgrading the current one in Mumbai to offer enhanced security solutions. The new and upgraded facilities will bring agile, highly resilient, high-capacity access closer to users, including large and small Indian enterprises from across industries. “This is crucial in today’s hybrid work environment which presents unique cybersecurity challenges as organisations move from a static to a dynamic operating model. This has significantly increased the demand for cloud security,” Chittilapilly said.

Cisco’s “My Location, My Device: Hybrid Work’s New Cybersecurity Challenge” survey recently found that 9 of 10 security leaders in India expect cybersecurity incidents to disrupt their businesses in the next two years. That’s not all. Only 24% of firms in India have the ‘Mature’ level of readiness needed to be resilient against today’s modern cybersecurity risks, according to Cisco’s Cybersecurity Readiness Index.

Also read: Healthcare cybersecurity – Strengthen defenses against cyber attacks

India scored high in the global chart in terms of maturity (24%), performing above the global average of 15% on cybersecurity readiness. However, the number is still very low, given the risks. This readiness gap is telling, not least because 90% of respondents said they expect a cybersecurity incident to disrupt their business in the next 12 to 24 months. The cost of being unprepared can be substantial as 80% of respondents said they had a cybersecurity incident in the last year, and 53% of those affected said it cost them at least $500,000. Long story short, cybersecurity is critical in the digital transformation era.


* Cisco to open new data centre in Chennai

* To introduce new risk-based capabilities

* To train 500,000 cybersecurity professionals over 3 years in India

* Company’s 10-year ambition is to empower 25 million people with digital skills worldwide

* Over 1.2 million Indian students taught digital & cybersecurity skills till date

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First published on: 27-03-2023 at 00:15 IST
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