Karnataka Innovation Technology Society to collaborate with Cisco

BENGALURU, India, March 13, 2024 – Cisco, a global leader in technology, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Karnataka Innovation Technology Society (KITS), Department of Electronics, IT, Bt, Government of Karnataka, to train 40,000 individuals in cybersecurity skills and cyber awareness. Women will represent half of the trained workforce to help meet the growing need for cyber talent as organizations look to bolster defences against an evolving and complex threat landscape.

According to Cisco’s Cybersecurity Readiness Index, 90% of organizations in India expect a cybersecurity incident to disrupt their businesses in the next 12 to 24 months. Moreover, as stated by an Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) report, with 40% of cybersecurity teams in Indian organizations understaffed, the urgency for skill preparedness is clear. This collaboration underscores a collective commitment to equip students with job-ready cybersecurity skills required to meet the ever-growing security demands of tomorrow.

Moreover, the collaboration will include a ‘Train the Trainers’ program to empower college faculties with the knowledge and skills required to create a robust cyber ecosystem. This program will also focus on promoting cyber awareness among citizens to bolster their defences and empower them to be safer and more secure online.

“As the digital-first world evolves, placing cybersecurity at the forefront, the imperative to equip individuals with the knowledge and skills to identify and respond to cyber threats has become increasingly crucial. Our collaboration with the Karnataka Innovation Technology Society and the Government of Karnataka Centre of Excellence for Cybersecurity underscores our commitment to empowering disadvantaged sections of society, including students, teachers, and senior citizens, with critical cybersecurity skills and awareness to protect against threats and be safer online. As we navigate the new world, we remain steadfast in our mission to enable individuals to defend digital domains and create a secure and sustainable future for all.’’ said Harish Krishnan, Managing Director and Chief Policy Officer, Cisco India & SAARC.

Additionally, Cisco will collaborate with the Government of Karnataka Centre of Excellence for Cybersecurity, to promote cybersecurity awareness and skill-building among students and professionals. Cisco will contribute to curriculum development by providing cybersecurity courses through Cisco Networking Academy – one of the world’s longest-running IT skills-to-jobs programs – and conduct webinar sessions and knowledge workshops for students, covering a diverse range of courses, from foundational to advanced levels.

Commenting on the announcement, Dr Ekroop Caur, IAS, Department of Electronics, IT, Bt, Government of Karnataka said, “The need for a cyber-resilient workforce is integral. 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.’’

These strategic partnerships represent a significant step forward in Cisco’s mission to help bridge the gaps in digital skills and prepare India’s workforce for the jobs of the future.