Cyber security funding: Microsoft eyes bigger window in India

The Microsoft Cybercrime Center, headquarters of the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit, in Redmond, Washington. (Photo: Reuters)
Global information technology giant Microsoft said it would be investing a lot more on cybersecurity in this country.

The company says it yearly spends close to a billion dollars on this, the majority in India.

It says it has begun a nationwide campaign to increase awareness on cybersecurity and cyber hygiene, ahead of the coming Global Conference of Cyber Space. 

The company last year started an India Cybersecurity Engagement Center, part of a global network of eight such centres. Over a year, the India Center says, it reached out to 126 organisations, giving them information and techniques to secure critical information infrastructure, help reduce malware and digital risk. 

“There is renewed interest in cybersecurity by the Indian government, to look at holistically, in collaboration with the private sector, as well as regulation and policy. Europe is certainly trying to be a leader in that space. We have significantly increased our cyber security investment here. The Engagement Center, the digital crimes unit, is doing a lot of work to attack cyber crime specifically,” said Jan Neutze, director of cyber security policy for the company in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.  

The company is also part of a consortium to help the government tackle rising cases of cyber attack and cyber fraud, to train around 1,200 IT officers of ministries, banks and public sector units. Other major technology and cybersecurity firms are also part of this Cyber Surakshit Bharat Programme.

“There is a lot we can bring to the table. There is a need for collaboration between public and private sectors. There are many opportunities of improving private partnerships in cyber security. We are also planning to increase collaboration with the government and that is part of the reason we have created a centre here. What we are trying to bring to India are security capabilities that we have developed around the world,” added Neutze.

Microsoft says it has partnered with organisations across sectors to set up a CISO (Chief Information Security Officer) Advisory Board. The aim is to foster continuous engagement with the CISO community, sharing knowledge on the latest developments and techniques. 

“Our engagement with the government happens at various levels, training them how to respond to incidents, exchanging data on malware... it’s a 360-degree collaboration,” added Neutze.   

Microsoft says it is also extensively working on biometrics, now an important component of how the company engineers cyber security into its products. The company is also working with a number of Indian financial technology entities to make their network more secure.
PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES
  • India has one of the 8 global cyber security centres 
  • Microsoft is working with the government in training officials and assessing threats
  • It has partnered with 25 schools under the Atal Tinkering Laboratories initiative to train students in cyber security