Cyber Security has become a major concern worldwide with the increase in the online dependence of corporates, educational institutes, banks, government organisations during the pandemic. The massive transition to the virtual library and the remote working conditions of employees has increased the risk of hacking and malware attacks.
A recent report from the International Criminal Police Organisation (INTERPOL), stated that cyber attackers have been trying to extract sensitive information from hospitals and medical institutions in 194 countries including India. Around 22 malware attacks were reported in India.
Thus the shift in the due to the ongoing crisis stresses the need for Cyber Security experts.
“The lockdown news came as a bombshell. Overnight, companies had to re-design their strategies on how to keep business afloat and implement precautionary measures to protect private information. The situation becomes even more challenging with a higher risk of data breaches as employees are given the access to crucial materials to continue working from locations outside of a secure office environment,” says Gaurav Vohra, co-founder and CEO, Jigsaw Academy, that offers a masters certificate in Cyber Security.
Highlighting on the need for increasing Cyber Security professionals in the country, he adds, that though our country has progressed quite far in securing the online domain, we still have a shortage of talent.
“Although the Global Cyber Security Index 2018 puts India in the list of the countries with the best Cyber Security, it does not say that the job is done. With newer menaces we need more trained professionals across industries to tackle the latest obstacles,” adds Vohra.
Gradual increase in the demand
As companies are becoming aware of the Cyber Security threats, the country is witnessing a gradual increase in the demand for professionals to contain the risk.
“In 2019, reports indicated global spending of over $124 billion on the protection of sensitive information in cyberspace, and in 2020, it is only going to inflate from here. Even amidst this global crisis, the sector is growing with each passing day. We have seen exponential growth in the demand for our Cyber Security training programme in the past couple of weeks,” adds Vohra.
“In 2013, when the government released the first National Cyber Security Policy directing the administration to increase the number of Cyber Security officials, the country had merely around five lakh professionals in the field. In 2020 the numbers have grown exponentially to 35-40 lakhs,” says Tathagata Datta, director, Cyber Security department, Praxis Business School South.
He adds that post the coronavirus, the corporates and organisations are likely to formulate methods to survive and function in critical situations such as today. The organisations will create management to tackle cyber crisis which is going to increase the employability in the field.
IIT Madras launches new programme in Cyber SecurityKeeping in view the increasing threat in the cyberspace, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras has recently launched a comprehensive Cyber Security course to secure the critical sectors and the industry from data breach.
Highlighting on the urgent need for qualified manpower to handle information security issues, Bhaskar Ramamurthi, director, IIT Madras, says “Cyberattacks in various sectors such as transport, power and energy, telecom, governance, banking and financial services, insurance, and strategic public enterprises would not only carry a heavy financial cost but will also impact human lives. There is a pressing need for cybersecurity professionals in each of these sectors.”
The institute’s private partner Forensic Intelligence Surveillance and Security Technologies (FISST) had earlier launched a certification programme in Cyber Security for aspirants in 2016.
“Our programme started with 12 students per batch in the first year and steadily increased to more than 100 students per batch in the last year. There is a surge in the enrolments in Cyber Security programmes over the past three years for sure but not to the scale that is needed for handling threats and prevention of attacks and crimes,” says C Mohan Ram, chief mission integrator and innovator, FISST.