Lack of awareness among the masses about cyber threats is one of the major reasons why cybercrimes are on the rise in Northeast India, Hage Tari, secretary, Department of Industries, Government of Arunachal Pradesh said.
Tari was speaking as the chief guest during a day-long workshop in Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh, for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
"Cybercrime is on the rise in Northeast India and people are becoming easy targets for hackers. Lack of awareness among the masses about cyber threats is one of the major reasons why cybercrimes are on the rise," Tari said.
Tari pointed out that there is an urgent need to organise more such workshops across Arunachal Pradesh and other Northeast states in India to generate greater awareness among the people in Northeast India.
Also attending the workshop as the guest of honor, Melinda Pavek, Consul General, US Consulate General Kolkata, 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.”
She added: “For our partners in 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 the US and India rely on every day.”
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.
“The workshop would equip the entrepreneurs with the basic understanding of the possible ways of cyber-attacks and methods to combat the threats,” Ganguly said. He added that the training would help the entrepreneurs to combat at least 70 per cent of the cyber attacks.
The day-long workshop was organised by the US Consulate General Kolkata and CUTS International, in collaboration with Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), and Arunachal Pradesh Micro and Small Industries Development Association to equip MSMEs with knowledge and hands-on training on how to identify and combat cybersecurity threats and become cyber-resilient.
The workshop’s key trainers were Saket Kumar Jha, senior project engineer, C-DAC, Patna, and Sonal Kamal, Knowledge Associate, C-DAC, Patna, and Lessie Longstreet, global director of Outreach and Partner Engagement, Change Behavior, Be Cyber Ready based in the United States.
Participants, mostly women entrepreneurs from more than 40 enterprises, participated in the workshop. The US 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.
The final workshop of the series will be organised in Shillong in March, 2023.