India needs cyber security experts, here’s how to be one

Protect yourself from online attacks that threaten your identity, your files, your system, and your financial well-being.

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© Provided by The Indian Express

— Written by Vikas Gupta

From a mobile wallet transaction at the milk booth to ordering furniture online, an individual leaves her digital footprint all across. This makes one prone to phishing, hacking, frauds and the response time to predict or reverse this is rather sluggish. The large size of our population using smartphones makes us even more prone to mass attacks that impact national security.

According to the Data Security Council of India (DSCI) report, India is the second-most affected country for cyber attacks between 2016 to 2018. Cybersecurity concerns have moved beyond frauds to becoming an important aspect of national security leading to an increased demand for cybersecurity experts.

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To supply the growing demand, several institutes are offering cybersecurity as a course. It is not just offered at degree, diploma level but many online courses are also available in the domain for those already working in the IT sector wishing to have an updated skill. Some of the popular and widely accepted certifications are offered by CCNA, CompTIA, Red Hat, etc. Certificate-level training is for fresh graduates, working professionals.

At the degree level, premium institutes like IITs teach cyber security as a subject. IIT-Roorkee even organised an online summer training program on ethical hacking and cyber security. But several other institutes across India offer master’s and bachelor’s level courses in the field including master of science in computer science with specialisation in cyber security courses offered by the Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management-Kerala, SRM Engineering colleges, Chandigarh University, HITS Chennai, NMIMS among others.

Challenges in the current ecosystem

Yet, the supply is not at par with the demand. The PwC study also indicated a shortage of cybersecurity workforce in India is projected to be 9 per cent higher than the global average. India needs 1 million experts and has less than 10,000 who can secure networks. There is an urgent need to reconsider the strategy and resolve the discrepancies in…