US Consulate, CUTS International Join hands to mitigate cyber threats for small businesses

KNN India, February 27, 2023

The U.S. Consulate General Kolkata and CUTS International on Saturday organised a daylong workshop to equip MSMEs with Knowledge and training on how to identify and combat cybersecurity threats and become cyber-resilient.

The workshop was held in Itanagar in collaboration with Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), and Arunachal Pradesh Micro & Small Industries Development Association.

“The U.S. Consulate General Kolkata is supporting the initiative across the East and Northeast India to help the region and its people to cope with the growing threat of cybercrimes for small businesses, especially those led by women entrepreneurs,” CUTS International said.

A delegation of officials from the Arunachal Pradesh government participated in the workshop, led by Hage Tari, Secretary, Department of Industries, Arunachal Pradesh.

Speaking on the occasion, Tari said, “Cybercrime is on the rise in the Northeast states of India and people are becoming easy targets to the hackers. Lack of awareness among the masses about cyber threats is one of the major reasons why cybercrimes are on the rise.”

“Cyberspace and its underlying infrastructure are vulnerable to a wide range of risks stemming from both physical and online threats and hazards. Sophisticated cyber actors exploit vulnerabilities to steal information and money and are developing capabilities to disrupt, destroy, or threaten the delivery of essential services,” Melinda Pavek, Consul General, U.S. Consulate General Kolkata.

Pavek added that putting operational collaboration into practice, working together to share information in real-time, reducing risk, and building strength from the start to protect critical infrastructure and empower the small businesses that U.S. and India rely on every day.

Arnab Ganguly, Associate Director of CUTS International, stressed that adoption of digital technologies have accelerated due to the COVID-19 pandemic and many MSMEs went online without the required understanding and safeguards to combat cyber-attacks, rendering them vulnerable.

“The workshop would equip the entrepreneurs with the basic understanding of the possible ways of cyber-attacks and methods to combat the threats,” he said.

Key persons present at the workshop included Taru Talo, Director, Department of Industries, Government of Arunachal Pradesh; Haj Dodung, Director, Department of Textile & Handicrafts, Government of Arunachal Pradesh; and Shailendra Chaudhari, Additional Managing Director, Arunachal Pradesh Industrial Development & Finance Corporation, Government of Arunachal Pradesh.

The final workshop of this series will be organised in Shillong during March, 2023.

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