Increasing Cybersecurity Awareness and Skills Training Across India

By Rohini Kamath
May 8, 2024 9:30 AM ET
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The Social Impact Partner Spotlight series highlights various Cisco non-profit organization partners that are helping transform the lives of individuals and communities. This blog features Cisco’s partnership with the NIIT Foundation, highlighting its impactful work around cybersecurity education and awareness.

India has the world’s second-largest internet user base. While digitization is rapidly increasing, the vulnerability towards cyber threats is also rising. A major threat to security is around personal information, organizational data, and national security. With an increased focus on cybersecurity in India, there are also job opportunities in this emerging industry.

Keeping these aspects in mind, the Cisco India Cash Grant Program (ICG), along with its implementation partner NIIT Foundation, a not-for-profit education society which has the mandate to reach the unreached, uncared for, and unattended to ensure inclusive development, launched Cyber Suraksha. Suraksha in Hindi means safety and Cyber Suraksha is a flagship Cisco purpose initiative for creating Cyber Security awareness amongst citizens of India and contributing to cybersecurity aligned skilling. Over a three-year grant period (2022-2025), the goal is to engage and impact one million individuals in the country. The program has already reached out to a diverse set of audiences, including senior citizens, persons with disabilities, border security force personnel, youth, and individuals from the LGBTQIA+ community.

The initiative offers three main courses, some of which are available through the partnership with Cisco Networking Academy.

The courses are:

  • Cyber Awareness: A 20-hour foundational program focused on building citizens’ knowledge on personal security. The program builds awareness of cyber security threats and how to be better protected against misuse of personal identity, cyber-bullying, financial fraud, online fraud, racial abuse, pornography, and gambling. The program is targeted at age groups 13 and above.
  • Cyber Smart: An advanced program for college students who want to explore cyberspace and a career in this field. Students learn to develop an understanding of cybercrime, security principles, technologies, and procedures used to defend networks. The program is targeted at age groups 16 and above.
  • Cyber Workforce: An employability program that helps students to build their skill set in cyberspace and move forward with a job in the industry. The program is targeted at age groups 18 and above, specifically for individuals wanting to work in cybersecurity.

Since its launch, the Cyber Suraksha initiative has led to:

  • 500,000 individuals trained
  • More than 3,300 youth placed in Cybersecurity jobs
  • 42 percent of participants in the training identify as female

“In this digital age, the need for Cybersecurity knowledge and awareness is paramount. We have noticed through experience that marginalized sections of society lack information about the ever-evolving risk within cyber space and this was a key driver to conceptualizing this program.” Sapna Moudgil, Director, NIIT Foundation

Get involved:

  • To learn more about Cyber Suraksha, check out their program page and this video.
  • Nominate an organization such as a non-governmental organization (NGO) or a school to be considered for the program, by reaching out to
  • For further information on Cisco Networking Academy’s partnership with the NIIT Foundation, check out this blog.

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