US Consulate Launches Cyber Security Center of Excellence in Pune

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Pune, 27th February 2024: The US Consul General, Mike Hankey, announced the initiation of the US consulate’s first-ever cyber security initiative in Pune in collaboration with the MCCIA (Mahratta Chamber of Commerce Industries and Agriculture). The primary focus of the initiative is to combat identity theft-related scams, intellectual property rights violations, cybercrimes, and various other cyber challenges. Hankey emphasized that the Center of Excellence would serve as a platform for joint strategic initiatives involving partner nations such as the United States, Israel, and India, working together to counter cyber threats through Research and Development (R&D)-led cyber safety solutions.

Addressing the media yesterday, Consul General Hankey highlighted the significance of the cyber initiative as a collaborative effort between the United States and India to address cyber violations. He explained that tackling these issues would not only enhance business capabilities but also elevate the economic levels of both countries.

Hankey outlined a three-pronged approach to develop the MCCIA Pune Cyber initiative into a Center of Excellence. He stated, “We will be connecting the best cyber security companies from the US and India to craft jointly developed solutions. Both countries, being dynamic and developed democracies, will raise the skill and intellectual levels of those involved, fostering better commercial connections between the two nations.”

The Consul General emphasized that the newly launched center would bring together top cyber security experts worldwide, creating job opportunities, developing cutting-edge solutions, and fostering people-to-people ties in the cyber security industry. The launch of the center coincides with a critical time in the advancement of digital technologies, progressing more rapidly than ever in human history.

Hankey reiterated the importance of a secure, resilient, and stable cyberspace for the development of the public and private sectors globally. Cyber issues are a priority in the U.S.-India bilateral relationship, aiming to minimize cybersecurity threats and ensure that the digital revolution enhances global prosperity and stability.

MCCIA President Deepak Karandikar and Director General Prashant Girbane echoed the strategic importance of the center, emphasizing its role in enhancing cybersecurity defenses and infrastructure. Consul General Hankey expressed pride in launching the US-India Cyber Security Center of Excellence with MCCIA, envisioning secure and prosperous IT connections between the two countries.

The collaboration aims to strengthen Pune’s cybersecurity ecosystem and is part of the broader U.S.-India initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET), announced by Presidents Biden and Modi in May 2022. The iCET framework aims to enhance cooperation in developing technological fields and expand the bilateral strategic technology partnership and defense industrial cooperation between the two nations.