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Last Updated Thursday May 24 2018 11:31 AM IST

Miss Marple of Cyberville: Meet India's first woman cybercrime investigator

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Dhanya Menon

At the pinnacle of happiness while receiving a national award from the president at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, Dhanya Menon felt a tinge of grief. She wished her grandfather could see her moment of glory.

India’s first woman cybercrime investigator, honored by the Union ministry for women and child welfare among 100 women achievers last month, has to thank her visionary grandfather for nudging her to a sunrise career.

P B Menon, who was a senior advocate in the Supreme Court of India, had told her: “Someday I will be remembered as your grandfather.” He was proven right.

When Dhanya Menon opted to join a cyber law course in 2003, her well-wishers tried to dissuade her. Her grandfather, who was 86 years old then, encouraged her to carry on with the subject though.

Dhanya Menon got hitched to cybercrime investigation after she attended a seminar in Kochi. She shared the insights with her grandfather, who realized that the girl had a talent for crime investigation.

Dhanya Menon pursued a diploma from the Asian School of Cyber Law in Pune before joining the ICFII for a post-graduate diploma. Even as she visited the Asian School as a visiting lecturer, she competed a B Tech course from a Canadian university.

Dhanya Menon

Dhanya Menon eventually set up her own cyber security firm at Ayyanthole in Thrissur, her mother’s hometown. Her client list mostly comprises corporates. She offers legal advice to her clients on cyber security related issues and leads them to the evidence they are supposed to collect before seeking remedies.

Her firm also offers cyber legal audit and IS audit to corporate houses and government institutions apart from imparting techno legal counsel. She often teams up with the police to crack cases of online crimes. She works with about 400 schools in the country to detect cybercrimes and lessen them. She runs a helpline to offer advice on cyber law and create awareness on the little-known field. The number is 8129771111.

The mother of a plus-one student, Dhanya Menon is an accomplished classical dancer too. She has been training in Mohiniyattam and Kuchipudi since she was a third-standard student. Her son Pranav Menon is a student of the Vidyavihar Central School at Kakkasseri. Her parents, Manikkath Venugopal and Lakshmi, live in Kochi.

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