Efforts are underway to get more women into the emerging niche of cyber security. This is apparent from what Rama Vedashree, CEO of Data Security Council of India (DSCI), a not-for-profit industry body, has to say on the initiatives being put in place to reach out to women professionals across the country including freshly minted engineers from the tier-II and tier-III cities and towns.
Speaking to Business Today, Vedashree says that at one level, it is about reaching out to women professionals and mentoring and coaching them to take up a career in cyber security and at the another level, it aims at having fresh women engineers from tier-II and tier-III cities and towns to provide them training free of cost in the specialised field of cyber security. The effort comes under Cyber Shikshaa, a collaborative initiative by the industry and the government. The initiative has a philanthropic grant support from the global IT major Microsoft. Under this, programmes have been held in Srinagar, Mohali, Patna and other places. So far, she says, around 300 women have been trained and the aim is to reach out to 1000 such women in a year from now. She feels that the cyber security is an evolving domain with very few women in the space even globally. Her focus on the same seems only natural as DSCI, in its very founding year, had specified a goal to stay committed to making cyberspace safe, secure and trusted by establishing best practices, standards, and initiatives in cyber security and privacy. She also sees the domain of cyber security to remain in focus given the fact that lot of opportunities are expected in this space and therefore the need to build the talent pool. Under Cyber Shikshaa, there is partnership and engagement with multiple government entities and public institutions such as CDAC (Centre for Development of Advanced Computing) and the National Institute of Electronics & Information Technology (NIELIT) under the broader national level skill development agenda.
While the new Cyber Security Centre of Excellence in Hyderabad, jointly set up by the Data Security Council of India and the government of Telangana, may have not had its formal launch yet, but the centre has just got off to a start with its first meeting focussed on this very subject of getting more women into the cyber security domain. The centre of excellence is to accelerate the cyber security momentum and create a conducive cyber security ecosystem that nurtures innovation, entrepreneurship and capability building. It is to work with all industry organisations, government agencies, academia, and R&D centres and user groups to collaborate with other industry bodies, incubators, and accelerators to accomplish its mission. At a close door meet in Hyderabad on December 10, there were founders of start-ups, heads of incubators and academicians.