In late March, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said that entry-level computer programmers may no longer be eligible for H-1B visas, in a policy about-face consistent with President Trump’s directive to curtail legal immigration in favor of American workers.
A number of Silicon Valley tech heavyweights rely on the H-1B visa program to recruit engineering talent from foreign countries. The Trump Administration’s push isn’t confined to individual workers -- it also cascades to outsourcers such as India's Tata Communications and others that provide highly skilled tech workers to IT companies.
The policy directive has an unintended bi-directional aspect to it. While India-based Infosys subsequently said it planned to hire 10,000 American workers by 2020 and vowed to build four U.S. tech hubs, consultancy Ernst & Young intends to outsource as many as 300 IT jobs to India-based Tata for application support.
Tata Managed Security Services
Tata may have another, more timely response. The communications and services giant said it will hire 400 people and invest $50 million in its cyber security services business in the next three years, The Economic Times (ET) of India reported. The staffing numbers alone are significant -- Tata currently employs about 100 cybersecurity experts.
Tata’s idea is to catch the rising wave of cyber security solutions to combat cybercrime and data theft in India. The company said it is equipped to package software, appliances and hardware to offer enterprises a security solution to protect their information.
“Lot of companies generate a lot more data. All of them are on social media, run marketing, digital campaigns. There is a lot more thrust for companies to be online. They have the same cyber security challenges that individuals have,” CR Srinivasan, senior VP of Tata’s global data center services and CDN business, told the ET.
Most of Tata’s money will go toward building out its bench in risk and compliance, cloud security, identity and access management, analytics to predict cyberattacks and network and infrastructure security. About 80 percent of the 400 new hires will be based in India while the remainder will expand Tata's geographic footprint in the Middle East, Singapore, the U.S. and the U.K.
At this point, Tata’s managed security operation accounts for 10 percent of overall revenue. The company claims the unit is growing at more than 50 percent a year. Srinivasan pegs the India security software and hardware market at about $200 million annually compared to its global value of about $130 billion, with estimates that the addressable market in India is less than $50 million.
“ Indian market is fairly nascent because cyber security awareness is growing. It is beginning to be seen an important thing in India. Earlier it used to be afterthought or was ignored. It is now being taken seriously with all the discussions happening around Aadhaar, privacy and right to data, ownership of data,” Srinivasan told the ET.
Banking, financial services and insurance companies are expected to provide the lion’s share of security business for Tata.
According to the ET report, the WannaCry and Petya ransomware attacks along with 50,000 other breaches have cost India some $4 billion, the report said.