Want To Do Good For Your Nation? Be A Cybersecurity Professional
By Kamal Jacob
Not all heroes wear capes. This truly fits in the context of serving your nation. You do not have to mandatorily join the armed or the civil services for serving your nation, there are many other ways in which you can serve your nation in great capacities.
One such way of serving your nation is by becoming a Cyber Security Professional.
Yes, you heard it right! Cyber Security Professional.
Like a soldier protects the nation against any forthcoming jeopardy by guarding its borders, in a similar manner a cybersecurity professional, guards the data that holds importance to the national security and saves it from any potential threat or intrusion.
Ever since the countries had their own territories the threat of external attacks remained a potential possibility, that has led to the security arrangements which were being made to counter these attacks. While the air, land, and sea have defined boundaries that are proactively guarded by forces against any external threat.
There emerged a territory that remained with undefined borders, with the advent of technology, called Cyberspace.
With the development of technology that has led to the availability of the internet and low-cost wireless communication, the number of users has massively increased. These resources are used for various economic, political and social transactions in an excessive manner, to an extent of aggressive use.
Technology has already been prevalent in the warfare involving air, land, and sea territories, similarly, it has also seeped in the undefined territory of Cyberspace.
And this threat is as real as the war on the territory of air, land, and sea, that aims to damage the collaterals of the enemy.
With the growing nuisance on the cyberspace, there is a huge threat to the data integrity and other collaterals of national interest that are available on the cyberspace.
Over a period of time, cyberspace has been used by criminals and terrorists to conduct unwarranted activities. There needs to be a strong crackdown on such activities that pose threats to the national interest and to the world as a whole.
Considering there are no defined boundaries on the cyberspace, they are international entity even when perceived from the national interests. This means any unwarranted activity that targets any area in the world on cyberspace cannot go unnoticed.
The attacks on the cyberspace are very different from those in the real-life attacks. Here the attacking party refrains the victim from accessing their collaterals, where everything goes on the cyberspace. This is done by compromising the security and privacy of the party that is being attacked.
Such attacks expose sensitive personal, business or classified information of national interest.
On the cyber front, fighting these unknown attackers in isolation is very difficult. For defending the cyberspace one needs to establish partnerships between various public organizations so as to secure cyberspace and its users that includes individuals, government departments, enterprises, financial, and business institutions.
There needs to be a security policy that is drafted to ensure the interests of the individuals and organizations that are at risk of being attacked. This includes building resources and infrastructure for cybersecurity that aims to track and mitigate such attacks by conducting crackdowns on any unwarranted cyber activity.
Cybersecurity is largely based on public-private partnerships in the sectors that are identified to be dependent on the use of IT. To ensure cybersecurity in place, one needs highly diligent and proactive individuals who are committed to the service of national interest.
Cybersecurity in India
India has the second-largest population of the internet users in the world, marking 560 million users as of March 2019, as per a 2019 report from Statista. Given the massive internet user-base, cybersecurity threats and its impact also become huge as the target is bigger.
The Aadhar breach is considered as one among the biggest data breaches in the world (that occurred between the year 2017 and 2019), in terms of the number of compromised data records, as per the 2019 Statista report.
Considering the size of the user base and the fact that the Indian IT industry makes a huge part of the global IT industry landscape, by providing IT services to top institutions around the world, their prominence on the global Cyberspace is undeniable. This prominence, as it depicts the significance, also points out the potential threat that deepens as the Indian IT grows bigger.
Due to this, there is a rise in the need for having a potentially strong cybersecurity infrastructure that could safeguard the data integrity of India.
NASSCOM, which is the trade association of the Indian Information Technology and Business Processing Outsourcing industry, has discussed Positioning India as Cyber Security Hub by 2025, in its newsletter Newsline, vol 7, issue 11 in November 2016.
NASSCOM has been rigorously working out to enhance the safety of the digital assets and transactions, to keep this in place, they have also constituted a Cyber Security Task Force (CSTF).
This Cyber Security Task Force is working on laying the security roadmap and formulating the list of the do's and don'ts that the stakeholders must adhere to for creating secure cyberspace. With an aim to enable the Indian IT industry in excelling the cybersecurity domain so as to leverage the optimum business opportunities for growth.
NASSCOM Perspective 2025: Shaping Digital Revolution states, Cyber Security as one of the key growth levers, which has to be armed with the right policies, focus on technology, and niche skills so as to cater to the Cyber Security needs at the global level, while ensuring a secure Digital infrastructure of Indian government institutions and enterprises.
CSTF says only a strong partnership between the government, the IT industry, and academia could help in achieving the vision of making India a global hub of cybersecurity.
This indicates a significant increase in the Cybersecurity expenditure being a part of the total IT expenditure by the year 2025. It indicates the target of creating 1 million jobs in Cybersecurity by the year 2050, as stated by NASSCOM as a part of CSTF vision and mission.
They also aim to create a pool of 1 million skilled Cyber Security professionals by 2050, who can address the rising global and domestic demands of cybersecurity professionals. To ensure this they are emphasizing on promoting education in Cyber Security among the aspirants.
They also aim to launch nationwide cybersecurity awareness among the key leadership, decision-makers, and end-users than span over multiple sectors across the industry to ensure the security of cyberspace.
A recent report from Livemint, states that Indian IT managers report that 32% of their team’s time on an average is spent to manage cybersecurity, yet only a mere 8% of them believe to have a skilled team, that could detect, investigate, and respond to cybersecurity incidents.
This study shows how much our system lacks diligent and skilled cybersecurity professionals to ensure a secured ecosystem of cyberspace. And as the youth of the nation, the responsibility lies on our shoulders to fill the gap and serve the nation as cyber professionals.
How can you contribute to your nation as a cybersecurity professional?
To serve your nation and contribute to building it as an economic and social superpower, you can become a cybersecurity professional.
As a cybersecurity professional, you can safeguard the national social and economic interests by mitigating the cybersecurity threats and initiating crackdowns on the unwarranted activities in cyberspace that are controlled by anti-national elements.
You can become a skilled and diligent cybersecurity professional by undergoing specialized certificate training in Cyber Security and serve as a soldier protecting the integrity of cyberspace for your nation against any potential threats of attacks and cyber warfare.
You would not only serve your country and promote its growth interests but also have a good career that would boost further in the coming years by becoming a Cyber Security Professional.
All you need is a strong will to serve your nation, and the enthusiasm to learn, so as to be a Cyber Security warrior for your nation.