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Govt’s ‘Cyber Security Grand Challenge’ For Startups Brings INR 3.2 Cr Grant

Govt’s ‘Cyber Security Grand Challenge’ For Startups Brings INR 3.2 Cr Grant

The last date to submit the application is February 14, 2020

The winner of this programme gets to walk away with INR 1 Cr as grand total prize

12 startups will be selected that are in the ideation stage with a prize amount of INR 5 Lakh each

To encourage startups into developing innovative cybersecurity products for the Indian market, the ministry of electronics and information technology (MeitY) and Nasscom-affiliated Data Security Council of India (DSCI), on Wednesday (January 15), launched the ‘Cyber Security Grand Challenge. Through this programme, the Indian government has allocated INR 3.2 Cr grant which will be distributed to innovative startups in the cybersecurity space.

The startups participating in this challenge should develop solutions across ideation, minimum viable product (MVP) and final testing stages. The solutions developed by the startups should revolve around emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), microservices, biometrics and hardware security among others. The registration for this programme has already started on January 15 and is going to end on February 14, 2020.

The Cyber Security Grand Challenge will be moderated by the DSCI with various mentorship programmes and workshops where the selected startups will be guided throughout the process, from ideation to product development and pilot testing. Once the startups are selected, the programme will go on for nine months under various stages.

Accordingly, in the idea stage, 12 startups will be shortlisted and will be awarded INR 5 Lakh each. In the MVP stage, six startups will be selected and will get INR 10 Lakh each. In the final stage, two startups will be selected, where the winner gets to take INR 1 Cr, followed by INR 60 Lakh for the first runnerup and INR 40 Lakh for the second runner up.

At the launch of the event, MeitY secretary Ajay Prakash Sawhney had said that the cybersecurity space has a massive potential to grow in the coming days, especially with the help of cybersecurity startups fueling the ecosystem. He further said that the government is looking at providing a platform for innovators and startups to align its efforts in the development of products and solutions for solving the rising cybersecurity threats in the country.

Further, sharing the insights about the cybersecurity space in India, Sawhney said that the cybersecurity service and products market in India is at $1.9 Bn and $450 Mn, respectively. The total industry is valued at $5 Bn, he added. India can lead the growth, where more and more startups and large corporates with software development capabilities can tackle the vulnerabilities occurring across various channels.

According to the US-based cyber tech company CrowdStrike, Indian companies take more time to respond to data breaches and cybersecurity threat compared to other countries. The study conducted by the cyber tech company further revealed that Indian companies showed a lack of preparedness in dealing with online attacks. The data further revealed that the average response time to cyber threats was nine days, while global companies on average take seven days.

Enterprise impacted by a data breach or cyber attacks, lose a quintessential amount of money in the process to mitigate risks. As per Michigan-based Ponemon Institute and IBM Security ‘Cost of a Data Breach’ report, in the past six years, the average cost of a data breach has been growing at 12%. Globally, it cost about $3.92 Mn per breach in 2019.

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