Telangana is one of the youngest states with a thriving innovation ecosystem. With the rapid rise in digitalisation, the state has been proactively assessing the dire need for cybersecurity and constantly fostering the creation of an unmatched cybersecurity ecosystem through key initiatives.
With dedicated efforts and initiatives in cybersecurity such as a State policy and Cybersecurity Centre of Excellence, Telangana is accelerating cybersecurity momentum in India while nurturing the employable talent.
It is the first state in India to have its own Cybersecurity policy and has established a Cybersecurity Centre of Excellence (CCOE) Telangana, acting as a nerve centre in Hyderabad to protect, uplift and build a solid ecosystem for cybersecurity and privacy.
The Telangana Cybersecurity Policy framework was released on 15 September 2016 as a part of the state’s sectoral policy for information technology. Cybersecurity, data centre, data analytics and open data as sectors were identified as the four key areas to help generate more employment and boost investments.
There have been concerted efforts to comprehensively create a robust cybersecurity regulatory framework for IT (Information Technology) through collaborations and partnerships. Ambitious MoUs and letters of understanding have been signed to develop smart cities, data centres and digital platforms with various MNCs, international and national governmental bodies.
The policy lays out a comprehensive framework on cybersecurity business frameworks and stakeholders’ responsibilities including fiscal and non-fiscal incentives, strategic partnerships, R&D grants, workforce capacity building and cybersecurity acculturation.
Cybersecurity Centre of Excellence (CCoE)
Set up in 2020, the Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (CCoE) is a joint initiative of the Government of Telangana and Data Security Council of India (DSCI) with an aim to provide secure and resilient cyberspace to fulfil the needs of the digital economy and society by creating a cluster of cybersecurity organisations in the state.
The facility is equipped with state-of-the-art technology, tools, and infrastructure for the development of cutting-edge cybersecurity products. The focus is to effectively incubate start-ups, host trainings, workshops, events, showcase products in an experience zone that will enable emerging start-ups and cybersecurity enterprises to attain world-class capabilities.
Since its inception, CCoE is catalysing the cybersecurity ecosystem, especially the start-ups and the Global Capability Centres of the world’s biggest tech MNCs, who have the setup of their operations in the state. From forging collaborations with Russia, UK, Netherlands, and Canada to galvanising new partnerships with industry and academia, CCoE is leaving no stone unturned towards leading and promoting a vibrant cybersecurity innovation ecosystem.
As India moved towards digital at an unprecedented rate due to the Covid-19 outbreak, Telangana has been the fastest adopter of digital and cybersecurity technologies. Here are some of the latest major developments that are paving the way for Telangana to become India’s Cybersecurity hub:
- Europe’s most digital nation Republic of Estonia renewed its MoU with Telangana (signed in 2018) for deepening the cooperation in areas such as information and communication technology, cybersecurity and blockchain. (Jul 2021)
- Tech Mahindra and Cybersecurity Centre of Excellence (CCoE), DSCI collaborate to drive innovation. It offers an opportunity to start-ups, to co-innovate and co-create business concepts and solutions with Tech Mahindra for key customers globally. (Oct 2021)
- Young students from 1,650 schools across 33 districts have been recognised as cyber cops and will be known as cyber ambassadors-a drive by The State Police Women Safety Wing, SHE Teams, School Education Department and NGO partner Youngistaan Foundation. (Nov 2021)
- CCoE in collaboration with Municipality of the Hague, the Government of Telangana and other key organisations partnered for the 4th edition of the Indo-Dutch Cyber Security School (IDCSS) in October 2021 to nurture the cybersecurity talent pool in the state.
- Telangana is soon to become the first state in the country to have its own legislation on cybercrime, under the leadership of Sri K T Rama Rao (IT and Industries Minister, Telangana). (Oct 2021)
- CCoE organised India’s largest hackathon on Application Security-THE GREAT APPSEC HACKATHON under the APP SECURITY CHAMPION programme. It was a unique learning and Cybersecurity skill-building programme for college students. The programme brought together leading cybersecurity companies, government organisations, tech associations and academic institutes. Synchrony was the Primary Sponsor while the programme was conceptualized in partnership with DSCI, NASSCOM, FutureSkills Prime, SkillsDa and Telangana Academy for Skill and Knowledge (TASK). IEEE India Council and Hyderabad section were the outreach partners. Ivanti, CSW Cyberworks and JP Morgan Chase & Co. sponsored the championship. (Aug-Nov 2021)
Cybersecurity will remain a powerful growth engine for India to become a trustworthy $1 trillion digital economy by 2025.
Telangana remains at the forefront of India’s cybersecurity development, entrepreneurship, and innovation story. The pioneering initiatives by the Govt, Cybersecurity Center of Excellence, MNCs and other key stakeholders are transforming the Telangana state into a cybersecurity powerhouse of the world. The collaborative innovation ecosystem will become the beacon light for the rest of the nation.