US consulate organises workshop for MSMEs

ITANAGAR, 25 Feb: Kolkata (WB)-based US consulate general and CUTS International, in collaboration with the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) and the Arunachal Pradesh Micro & Small Industries Development Association, organised a workshop for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) here on Saturday.

The workshop was aimed at equipping the members of the MSMEs with knowledge and hands-on training on how to identify and combat cybersecurity threats and become cyber-resilient.

Participants, mostly women entrepreneurs from more than 40 enterprises, participated

in the workshop, during which US Consul General Melinda Pavek said: “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.”

“For our partners in the industry, the US seeks your collaboration to find better solutions. That means 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 US and India rely on every day,” she added.?

Industries Secretary Hage Tari said that “cybercrimes are on the rise in the Northeast states of India and people are becoming easy targets of hackers.

“Lack of awareness among the masses about cyber threats is one of the major reasons why cybercrimes are on the rise,” he continued, and pointed out that “there is an urgent need to organise more such workshops across Arunachal Pradesh and other Northeast states to generate greater awareness among the people of the region.”

MSME Assistant Director Arun Difoe urged the participants to “get the most of the training, in order to navigate the digital space safely,” while CUTS International associate director Arnab Ganguly said 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 will equip the entrepreneurs with the basic understanding of the possible ways of cyber attacks and methods to combat the threats,” he said, adding that “the training will help the entrepreneurs to combat at least 70 percent of cyber attacks.”

Patna (Bihar)-based C-DAC senior project officer Saket Kumar Jha, C-DAC knowledge associate Sonal Kamal, and US-based Outreach and Partner Engagement global director Lessie Longstreet were the key trainers.