Workshop on cyber security for MSMEs and women entrepreneurs held in Shillong

The Meghalayan, April 19, 2023

The U.S. Consulate General Kolkata and CUTS International; in collaboration with
MSME-DFO, Shillong, Government of India; and Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), organised a daylong workshop in Shillong, Meghalaya, for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to equip them with knowledge and hands-on training on how to identify and combat cybersecurity threats and become cyber-resilient.

Participants, mostly women entrepreneurs, and students participated in the workshop.  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 cyber-crimes for small businesses, especially those led by women entrepreneurs.

Attending the workshop as the Guest of Honor, Juan Clar, the Assistant Public Diplomacy Officer of the U.S. Consulate, Kolkata, and the Deputy Director of the American Center in Kolkata, said, “The United States is committed to the responsible development and design of digital assets and the technology that underpins new forms of payments and capital flows in the international financial system.

The Executive Order on “Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets” demonstrates our determination to lead and shape financial innovation to promote prosperity, prevent abuse, and advance democratic values. The goal of today’s session, and the series, is to empower women entrepreneurs to navigate safely in the digital space and mitigate cybersecurity risks so that nothing comes in between their entrepreneurial efforts and business achievements.”

He further added that combating cyber threats require global action. In this regard, he mentioned that U.S. and India along with Japan, and Australia have come together as the QUAD and cyberthreat is one of the important pillars of collaboration. Additionally, the ongoing G20 meetings are covering various aspects of combatting cyberthreats.

Reading Star Nongbri, Assistant Director, MSME-DFO, Meghalaya, Government of India thanked the US Consulate, Kolkata and CUTS International for organising the workshop on cybersecurity in Shillong which is the first of its kind. He mentioned that cybercrimes are on the rise in India and many small entrepreneurs, especially women entrepreneurs, are falling prey to fraudsters, and ultimately ending up paying money. Therefore it is important that more such workshops should be organised in the state for generating greater awareness among the entrepreneurs.

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. Mr. Ganguly said that the workshop would equip the entrepreneurs with the basic understanding of the possible ways of cyber-attacks and methods to combat the threats. He added that the training would help the entrepreneurs to combat at least 70 percent of the cyber-attacks.

The workshop’s key trainers were Saket Kumar Jha, Senior Project Engineer, C-DAC, Patna; Aditya Saha, Project Engineer, C-DAC, Patna; and Lessie Longstreet, Global Director of Outreach and Partner Engagement, Change Behavior, based in the United States.

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