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India Seen As Partner in Cyber Security: Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper sought to attract highly skilled people to the state during his India visit.

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India is no longer the back office but a partner in cyber security, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper said during a week-long visit to India. Hickenlooper, the Democrat Governor of Colorado, was accompanied by a trade delegation, including the University of Colorado Chancellor Venkat Reddy.

“We have a National Cyber Security Center in Colorado Springs and we have spoken to 10 different companies here so far. We are scaling up cyber security,” Hickenlooper said in Mumbai on Oct.14. He added that he had partnered with Israel, which has shown interest in escalating co-operation with the Maharashtra government in cyber security.

The delegation members also included Sam Bailey from the Metro Denver Economic Development Council, Cody Cornell from Swimlane, Alex Kreilein from Secure Net, and Milan Dalal from the lobbying firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck. The group included members of his Cabinet and entrepreneurs.

Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj also met the delegates during their visit to India. This was the first visit of Hickenlooper, a former geologist, to the country.

“In the past, India was seen as a back office,” he said. “Now, it is seen as a partner rather than an employee or consultant. For example, 15 years ago, Indian companies were dependent on Chinese or American companies for solutions. Now, they are creating their own apps and solutions and America has noticed that.”

He also added that instead of investing in businesses in India, he was looking to attract highly skilled and talented individuals to Colorado. “We are trying to attract talent to Colorado. If we get the talent, businesses will follow,” he said.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been a champion of going digital, which has also increased the risks of cyber security. The “WannaCry” ransomware that spread recently was a disturbing and problematic attack, exposing the loopholes in cyber security. With more digital payments, the risks also increases and India needs to put secure systems in place.

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