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Workshop on cyber security for. MSMEs held in Shillong

The U.S. Consulate General in Kolkata is supporting the initiative across East and Northeast India to help the region and its people cope with the growing threat of cybercrime for small businesses

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Shillong: The U.S. Consulate General in Kolkata and CUTS International; in collaboration with MSME-DFO, Shillong, the Government of India; and the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), organised a daylong workshop in Shillong, Meghalaya, on Wednesday 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.  

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

Attending the workshop, Juan Clar, the assistant public diplomacy officer of the U.S. Consulate, Kolkata, and the deputy director of the American Centre 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 payment 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 between their entrepreneurial efforts and business achievements.” 

He further added that combating cyber threats requires global action. 

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

Assistant Director, MSME-DFO, Meghalaya, Reading Star Nongbri thanked the US Consulate, Kolkata and CUTS International for organising the workshop on cybersecurity in Shillong, which is the first of its kind. 

Nongbri said 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, he said it was important that more such workshops be organised in the state to generate greater awareness among the entrepreneurs.  

Associate Director of CUTS International, Arnab Ganguly, stressed that the adoption of digital technologies has 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.  

Ganguly said that the workshop would equip the entrepreneurs with a 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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