Continuing to support the cybersecurity ecosystem in the country, Microsoft announce the expansion of its CyberShikshaa program in association with the Data Security Council of India (DSCI), Tata STRIVE, and ICT Academy.
In the next three years, the program aspires to reach 45,000 women and underserved youth with technical skills for careers in cybersecurity and provide internships or job opportunities for 10,000 learners.
Aiming to build a strong pool of diverse cybersecurity talent in the country, CyberShikshaa launch by Microsoft and DSCI in 2018, has successfully train 1,100 women and employe more than 800 women through multiple training batches.
More than 5,000 underserve youth have also train in Cybersecurity Beginners modules.
CyberShikshaa for Educators with ICT Academy, the latest addition to the CyberShikshaa portfolio launch in June 2022 for providing cybersecurity training to 400 faculty members, will help build cybersecurity careers for 6,000 underserved students across 100 rural technical institutions and facilitate job opportunities for over 1,500 students.
In its fifth year, CyberShikshaa will focus on scaling the program, leveraging industry partnerships, and conducting specialized training for careers in the banking, financial services, and insurance (BFSI) industry.
Expanding its reach into semi-urban and rural locations of the country, the program will offer AI/ML training for cybersecurity product development and enable cybersecurity certifications through an enhanced Cybersecurity Beginners program named ‘Ready4Cybersecurity’.
More than 10,000 rural underserve youth will be enable with Ready4Cybersecurity certifications.
The announcement was made in New Delhi in the presence of Rama Vedashree, former chief executive officer of DSCI; Tom Burt, corporate vice president – customer security and trust, Microsoft Corp; Dr. Rohini Srivathsa, national technology officer, Microsoft India; Hari Balachandran, chief executive officer, ICT Academy; and Rajarshi Mukherjee, principal lead – partnerships, Tata STRIVE.
Microsoft and DSCI also released an impact summary comprising anecdotes from participants of the program in the last four years.
By 2025, there will be 3.5 million cybersecurity jobs open globally, representing a 350% increase over an eight-year period, according to CyberSecurity Ventures.
In India, cybersecurity jobs are project to grow by 32% by 2028, yet the talent pool falls short by 42%. Women represent only about 21% of the country’s cybersecurity workforce.
Given the massive talent shortage in a diverse cybersecurity workforce, there is a large untap opportunity to decrease this deficit by skilling and employing underrepresented groups.
When cyber adversaries come from diverse backgrounds, the defender community must be equally diverse for understanding and succeeding against them.
Expanding career pathways for women in cybersecurity, CyberShikshaa meets the twin objectives of addressing the gender divide and empowering underserve communities through technical training, mentoring internships, and employment opportunities.
Rama Vedashree, former CEO, DSCI, who has steered the program since its inception, Said :
Anita Rajan, CEO, Tata STRIVE, said :
Hari Balachandran, CEO, ICT Academy, Said :
Dr. Rohini Srivathsa, National Technology Officer, Microsoft India, Said :
The CyberShikshaa training curriculum comprises intensive training for more than 400 hours in many modules, including Information Security, Application Security, Cloud Security, Cyber Forensics, Cryptography, and Network Security, among many others with crucial employability skills such as workplace communication, email etiquette and interview preparation.
Various learning initiatives under this program include:
- CyberShikshaa, in partnership with DSCI and Information Security Education and Awareness (ISEA), an initiative of Ministry of Electronics & IT (MeitY), trains young women and girls from Tier II and III towns for careers in cybersecurity through training partners like C-DAC and NIELIT.
- CyberShikshaa+, in partnership with Tata STRIVE, Tata Consultancy Services and Tata Communications, trains young women and girls in rural colleges for cybersecurity jobs.
- CyberShikshaa for Educators is design for skilling faculty members and students from rural technical institutions for internships or jobs in cybersecurity.
- CyberShikshaa Women in Break is a training program on data privacy for women looking to restart their careers after a break.
- Ready4Cybersecurity is an awareness program for beginners in rural colleges and higher education institutions linked with industry certifications and internship opportunities.
- CyberShikshaa Mentorship, offered by security experts in Microsoft Security, provides CyberShikshaa girl students with opportunities to improve technical knowledge, industry exposure and employability skills.
- CyberShikshaa Customer Partnerships with corporate organizations and industry bodies are design around employment, internship, and industry exposure sessions towards creating diverse industry-ready cybersecurity talent pool.
CyberShikshaa trainings are conduct in more than 100 centers across India, including Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Delhi NCR, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttarakhand, and West Bengal.
Through its extensive network of training institutions, industry associations, non-profits, and government and corporate organizations, CyberShikshaa has reinforce a strong ecosystem of partnerships that are driving sustain efforts in cybersecurity awareness and skilling.
Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge.
Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. Microsoft set up its India operations in 1990.
Today, Microsoft entities in India have over 20,000 employees, engaged in sales and marketing, research, development, and customer services and support, across 11 Indian cities – Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, New Delhi, Gurugram, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Noida, and Pune.
Microsoft offers its global cloud services from local data centers to accelerate digital transformation across Indian startups, businesses, and government organizations.
About Data Security Council of India
Data Security Council of India (DSCI) is a not-for-profit, industry body on data protection in India, setup by NASSCOM®, committed towards making the cyberspace safe, secure and trusted by establishing best practices, standards and initiatives in cybersecurity and privacy.
DSCI works together with the Government and their agencies, law enforcement agencies, industry sectors including IT-BPM, BFSI, CII, Telecom, industry associations, data protection authorities and think tanks for public advocacy, thought leadership, capacity building and outreach initiatives.
About Tata STRIVE
Tata STRIVE is an initiative of the Tata Community Initiatives Trust, aimed at actively bridging the gap between vocational education and industry needs.
In FY2017-18, Tata STRIVE began working under the aegis of Tata Trusts, as a result of the Tata Group’s strategy of ‘Simplification, synergy and scale’.
The move recognizes the close synergies between Tata STRIVE and the broader community interventions of the Tata Trusts.
Tata STRIVE is skilling youth from underprivileged backgrounds through innovations in technology, pedagogy, and methodology.
6.5 lakh individuals have experienced the Tata STRIVE advantage since 2014.
About ICT Academy
ICT Academy is an initiative of the Government of India in collaboration with the state Governments and Industries.
As ICT Academy is a not-for-profit society, the first of its kind pioneer venture under the Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) model that endeavors to train the higher education teachers and students thereby exercises on developing the next generation teachers and industry ready students.
ICT Academy was start to meet the skill requirements of the industry and generate more employment especially in tier 2 and 3 towns, the rural parts of the country.
The organization was form with representations from the State Government of Tamil Nadu, leading companies in the ICT industry and National Association of Software Services Companies (NASSCOM) in India.