Hyderabad: The US government is keen to explore ties with Telangana government in the cybersecurity sector, particularly in the areas of cryptocurrency forensics, capacity building and technology transfer, amidst national security challenges presented by China, Russia and other cyber and emerging technology competitors and adversaries.
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Telangana has been a frontrunner in cybersecurity with dedicated efforts/initiatives such as a State policy, Hyderabad Security Cluster and Cybersecurity Centre of Excellence.
The deputy assistant to the US President and deputy national security advisor (DNSA) for Cyber & Emerging Technology on the National Security Council Anne Neuberger, who was in India on a short trip recently, exchanged thoughts on potential cooperation and collaboration with the Government of Telangana, represented by Industries & Commerce and IT principal secretary, Jayesh Ranjan.
The meeting, which was also attended by Hyderabad Security Cluster (HSC) director general Dr Zaki Qureshey and representatives of Nasscom, Intel and DNSA, focused on how both sides could address and build plans, resources, and capabilities around the convergence of operational technology and information technology. Representatives from the US Embassy-New Delhi, Consul General in Hyderabad Joel Reifman, two National Security Council staff directors who travelled with Anne Neuberger had also joined along with officials from the Economic Section in the virtual meeting.
Dr Zaki Qureshey, director general, HSC, told Telangana Today, “We discussed on core cybersecurity concerns such as ransomware attacks, Pegasus revelations, cryptocurrency, phishing, and spyware that have made inroads into the nations that not just corporates, governments and defence forces are feeling the heat, but even small businesses and individuals are impacted.”
India has lost $12 billion in cryptocurrency scams in the last four years but not a single prosecution has taken place. Indian States do not have jurisdiction beyond India, even different States in India have jurisdiction issues, Qureshey said this has become a challenge for investigation agencies.
While addressing the cybersecurity challenges, the Hyderabad Security Cluster today focuses on tackling cyber threats to ensure that the emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, 5G, cryptocurrency, quantum computing, networks and related technologies are used for the digital transformation.
Qureshey said, “Hyderabad is on the verge of becoming the cyber security capital of India, under the leadership of KT Rama Rao, Minister for Information Technology, Government of Telangana.”
“I would say that more aspects than just threat detection need investments and integration. Education, development, regulations, cooperation, and collaboration all need further investment and integration. This is a core aspiration for both our countries,” he added.
It has become important for nations to build resilience and secure supply chains for critical technologies. He added, “We have sought Neuberger and the current US Administration to look at collaborating in several critical areas and share efforts, so that we multiply our outcomes as well as ensure developments don’t happen in silos.”
“There are 5,00,000 cyber-related jobs available in the US alone. We need to build stronger partnerships between the US and Indian education systems, particularly in the cybersecurity space. There is a rich history of talent exchanges in general between our two countries, and more interestingly in the space of technology. The HSC would be interested to follow up with the US administration on the next steps, share efforts and seek possible cooperation and collaboration,” Qureshey emphasised.
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