Cisco has announced its target to train 500,000 individuals with cybersecurity expertise in India over the next three years as part of its 10-year plan to empower 25 million people globally with digital skills through its Networking Academy. According to Cisco, the program has already reached 17.5 million students in 190 countries, and in India, it has trained 1.2 million students through 718 partnerships with educational institutions and organizations providing Networking Academy courses. The announcement was made at the Cisco India Summit (CIS) 2023 held in Jaipur, where the company showcased its initiatives and advancements to establish a new standard of trust for the digital world.
During the summit, the digital communications technology conglomerate launched its first-ever cybersecurity Readiness Index. The study found that over half (55%) of organizations worldwide are categorized as either Beginner (8%) or Formative (47%) in terms of cybersecurity readiness, with only 15% of companies considered at the Mature stage, highlighting a significant readiness gap. This is concerning given that 82% of respondents anticipate a cybersecurity incident that could disrupt their business within the next 12 to 24 months. Being unprepared can result in significant costs, with 60% of survey participants experiencing a cybersecurity incident in the past year, and 41% of those affected reporting a cost of at least US$500,000.
Cisco notes that as organizations invest in enhancing their cybersecurity preparedness, their confidence in their ability to remain resilient against potential threats will also increase. Among the companies ranked at the Mature stage, 53% expressed “Very Confident” sentiments about their capability to handle risks. In contrast, only 30% of companies in the Beginner stage and 34% in the Formative stage share this level of confidence. Cisco’s senior executives acknowledged the industry’s requirement for a system that can align specific skills with current and emerging roles. Furthermore, they emphasize that in addition to modern tools and processes, it is essential to instill an organizational culture that can assist businesses in fortifying their security.
By the end of fiscal 2025, the corporation aims to extend the reach of its Networking Academy program and educate 500,000 individuals in cybersecurity skills. Established in 1997, the Cisco Networking Academy has been providing technical education for over two decades.