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Demand for cybersecurity in India to rise post COVID-19

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Digitisation in India will dramatically rise in a post COVID-19 scenario which in turn will increase demand for greater cybersecurity and privacy, experts said.

Amid the COVID-19 crisis, as businesses are still coping up, cybersecurity is being seen as a core technology to keep companies secure as they go online and virtual, and as emerging deep tech such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Blockchain evolves, investment in cybersecurity will be a key differentiator for companies offering such services.

“We have joined hands with DSCI (the Data Security Council of India) in establishing a National Centre of Excellence to accelerate innovation and make India an attractive cybersecurity market,” Ajay Sawhney, Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), said during a virtual conference.

“Currently, all focus lies on COVID-19 management and innovation challenges are running to help us tackle the pandemic but all this will possibly transform into something larger, and we should never waste a crisis but take it as an opportunity,” he added.

The National Centre of Excellence for Cyber Security Technology Development and Product Entrepreneurship, a joint initiative of DSCI and MeitY, hosted the “Security Investors Conference” to accelerate funding and transform India into a hub for cybersecurity innovation.

The virtual conference brought together key government stakeholders as well as multinational investment firms such as Sequoia Capital, Accel Partners, IvyCap Ventures, Indian Angel Network, IDFC Parampara, India Nivesh, Helix Investments Management and around 70 cybersecurity start-ups and many large enterprises on the same platform.

“Post COVID-19, digitization of companies is going to accelerate dramatically as we are already witnessing innovative ways in which online education, telemedicine facilities are growing,” said Rajan Anandan, MD, Sequoia Capital.

“As the pandemic dust settles, COVID-19 will actually prove to be an accelerator for cyber security and its definition will expand. Cybersecurity now being a key priority for investors, start-ups need to focus on building scale and plan to get to $100 million Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) to catch the attention of venture capital funds and investment firms,” Anandan added.

Industry leaders also talked about cybersecurity growth amid the pandemic and funding roadmap for the industry, post the crisis.

“As India gears up to become a hub for cybersecurity, investment becomes the game changer to nurture start-ups,” Rama Vedashree, CEO, DSCI, said in her opening address.

“We have seen an uptick in cybersecurity patent filing and grants in India which proves the growing innovation ecosystem in our country. As Big Data, AI, Cloud and other deep tech emerges, cybersecurity serves as a foundational tech across all technologies and for that we need a spurt in innovation and investment,” she noted.

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