Eyeing a billion-dollar cyber security market in India in the next five years, Israel - the leader in the sector — is trying to tap the opportunity. Organisations such as CyberSpark from Israel have started holding preliminary talks with Indian companies including Reliance and Tata groups, educational institutions like Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad, Indian Institute of Techonology-Mumbai and even start-up incubators to start collaborations between the two countries. CyberSpark is the central coordinating body for joint cyber security activities with government agencies, the Israel Defense Forces, the public and academia. It is formulating a multi-year business plan, leveraging the region's significant strengths and maximising its potential in the field of cyber technology. According to Roni Zehavi, co-founder and chief executive of CyberSpark Industry Initiative, the governments in the two countries are keen to evolve a joint start-up ecosystem. “We want bigger and better collaborations in India. We are collaborating not just with the companies, but with India.
What we have here is a blessing of government from both the countries. We have a number of events lined up where companies from both the countries would be there this year,” said Zehavi. “By working together, India’s cyber-security can easily be around a billion dollars in the next five years.” According to experts, the Indian cyber security market is worth $218 million at present. While the country has made enormous progress in sectors such as information technology and e-commerce, the cyber-security in India is at a nascent stage. Israel, the biggest player in the sector after the US, had exported $6 billion worth of cyber-related products in 2014. According to sources in the Ministry Telecom and Information Technology, talks are on to form a mechanism under which start-ups from both the countries can work together on cyber security solutions and a fund pooled in from the two countries would be used to bankroll certain projects. “Cyber security is going to be one of the major topics of discussions between the two countries during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Israel. The two government plans to work on various solutions together,” said a senior official in the ministry. Zehavi said he also held meetings with representatives from various sectors. “All the qualities we are looking for a successful collaboration are here.” CyberSpark, which is working on a cyber test range for autonomous vehicles (basically cars that will drive on their own), met representatives from Tata Motors. “We are interested to collaborate with a couple of major players in the domain to establish a range to check whether those cars can work in hostile environment. Tata Motors is a fantastic candidate for the project. However, the talks are at a preliminary stage,” said Zehavi.