US Consulate and MCCIA sign crucial cyber security initiative - Hindustan Times
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US Consulate and MCCIA sign crucial cyber security initiative

ByNadeem Inamdar
Feb 27, 2024 07:42 AM IST

US Consulate launched Centre of Excellence for Cyber Security during the MCCIA-organised Pune International Business Summit

PUNE: Consul general at the US Consulate General, Mumbai, Mike Hankey, on Monday stressed that the US Consulate and MCCIA’s first ever cyber security initiative in Pune is aimed at combating identity theft-related scams, intellectual property rights’ violations, cybercrimes and a host of other cyber challenges.

(From left) MCCIA IT committee’s Dinanath Holkar, MCCIA director general Prashant Girbane and Mike Hankey - Consul General for the US in Mumbai. US Consulate launched Centre of Excellence for Cyber Security during the MCCIA-organised Pune International Business Summit. (HT)
(From left) MCCIA IT committee’s Dinanath Holkar, MCCIA director general Prashant Girbane and Mike Hankey - Consul General for the US in Mumbai. US Consulate launched Centre of Excellence for Cyber Security during the MCCIA-organised Pune International Business Summit. (HT)

Hankey, while speaking to reporters after the launch of the Centre of Excellence for Cyber Security during the MCCIA-organised Pune International Business Summit, said that the centre will act as a platform for joint strategic initiatives where like-minded partner nations such as the United States, Israel and India will counter cyber security threats through research and development-led cyber safety solutions.

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“The cyber initiative is a collaboration between the two countries to counter these violations. Once this issue is addressed, it will increase our abilities to do business and raise the economic levels of both the countries,” Hankey explained.

Suggesting a three-pronged approach for developing the MCCIA Pune cyber initiative, Hankey said, “We will be connecting the best of cyber security companies from the US and India for crafting jointly developed cyber security solutions. Both the countries are dynamic and developed democracies which will raise skill levels and the intellectual level of those involved and better the commercial connect between the two countries.”

According to the consul general, the centre will connect the very best of security experts from around the world to create jobs, develop cutting-edge solutions, and facilitate people-to-people ties in this key industry. He added that the centre’s launch comes at a critical time as digital technologies have advanced more rapidly than at any other time in human history. “We are observing extraordinary transformations in artificial intelligence, advanced telecommunications, critical and emerging technologies, bioengineering, and energy,” he said. The consul general strongly advocated that the United States stands together with India and the MCCIA to strengthen Pune’s cyber security ecosystem.

Hankey said that the collaboration should include working with research institutions, industry, and civil society to raise cyber defence and infrastructure, and protect sensitive information. “We need to improve our ability to respond to and recover from cyber threats. Our two countries have a variety of collaborations on cybersecurity capacity-building, cyber security research and development, combating cybercrime, international security, and internet governance,” he said.

MCCIA president Deepak Karandikar and director-general Prashant Girbane also reiterated the centre’s strategic importance for citizens, businesses, and governments.

US-India cyber security collaboration

Some examples of the United States and India working together: A deal to increase cyber security collaboration where the US-India Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology (ICET) is a collaborative framework to enhance cooperation in the developing fields of technology, announced by President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May 2022. The ICET seeks to elevate and expand the bilateral strategic technology partnership and defence industrial cooperation between the governments, businesses, and academic institutions of the two countries.

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