99 Percent Indian IT Engineers Lack Secure Programming Skills | digitalLEARNING Magazine
December 2013

99 Percent Indian IT Engineers Lack Secure Programming Skills

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Though the country boasts of producing the maximum number of engineering talent in the world, only 1 percent of Indian IT students have been found skilled in the information security space.
According to a study done by ECCouncil, a global certification body for information security professionals, nearly 86% of student IT talent pool in India displays no awareness of cyber security basics; while a mere 13% was found to be trainable in the space.
“This is very alarming news to the country’s corporate and defence establishments. India is known as the software and outsourcing capital of the world. However, recent industry data shows how vulnerable the Indian IT industry is. Lack of skills in both working professionals as well as students is a major area of concern for the nation,” says Amit kumar, president and co-founder, cyberfort .
Cyberfort Technologies is one of the fastest emerging IT security and consulting firm in the most emerging field of Cyber Security. It is a venture of IIT alumni, Management Professionals from the Top Colleges of India and seasonal professionals from IBM, CISCO, WIPRO, DATTO and Converges. Established in the year 2013, awarded by the IT minister of Hyderabad for its innovative teaching and eclectic learning methodology imbibe with technology. In a very short span of time the company recognized for conducting various Cyber security courses and projects on new dimension of information technology.
Other than providing niche and hi-tech certification courseware globally via virtual and instructor led teaching modules, it also has strategic alliance with Mahatma Gandhi University (UGC-AICTE-DEC) and EC-Council (world largest certification body for cyber security professionals) for imparting high quality post graduate and professional certifications in Ethical Hacking and Information Security.
While the study is indicative of the fact that when the current curriculum has some introductory topics on the subject, focus via its inclusion as a separate subject is missing. India declared its first national cyber security policy in July this year, which aims to create 5 lakh information security professionals over next five years.
“Given the fact the 86% of the current IT talent has no awareness of cyber security, the role of academia becomes all the more challenging,” says Amit
In a recent move to up the ante on cyber security, the government has hired 4,446 experts.
However, the number is miniscule compared to the increasing number of attacks on websites every month. Financial institutions, telecom, mobility, internet organisations and hospitals are more vulnerable to cyber threats today, because of the data they handle.
According to reports by CERT-In, 4,191 Indian websites were hacked in the month of August this year, up from 1,808 in May this year. In fact, corporates too agree that they have a tough time filling up positions in the information security space. “It is difficult to find basic engineering talent, let alone talent in information security space.
The problem is not with students, but the whole system. You can’t expect them to be good at something they are not taught,” says the CFO of an IT company who did not wish to be named. “The world is recognising vulnerabilities, leading to cyber threats and attacks. India holds a key position in the global IT and IT-enabled services map. Every country is taking steps towards building a talent pipeline towards a secure future and we urge Indian industry and academia to address the concerns to retain their leadership in the domain,” Dr Rajesh kumar VP cyberfort said.

What Is Infosec?
Information security is the practice of protecting information from unauthorised access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, perusal, inspection, recording or destruction. Protecting confitualdential information is a business, ethical and legal requirement

Demand Is Big…
By 2015, India will need at least 5,00,000 cyber professionals. Government, IT/ ITeS, financial institutions, telecom organisations and hospitals are more vulnerable to cyber threats.

Key features of Industry Collaboration Division
More than 5 lakh job openings in cyber security by 2015 stated by GOI
Huge emerging market for skilled professional in cyber security
• Pre-placement selection camps in association with technology partners
• Job fairs involving top recruiters held regularly
• Promising and rewarding career with 3 fold high salary then the IT professional

 

…Supply Situation Is Bleak
Only 0.97 percent of Indian students have the basic skills in information security. Just around 13percent of students have an understanding of concepts and can be trained in information security.
More than 86 percent have not been made aware of skills or are not trainable.
The world may acknowledge India as an information technology superpower, but its very own official cyber security workforce comprises mere 556 experts deployed in various government agencies.

Security Architecture
Now, India is also setting up its own ‘cyber security architecture’ that will comprise the National Cyber Coordination Centre (NCCC) for threat assessment and information sharing among stakeholders, the Cyber Operation Centre that will be jointly run by the NTRO and the armed forces for threat management and mitigation for identified critical sectors and defence, and the National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC) under the NTRO for providing cover to ‘critical information infrastructure’. The government is also coming up with a legal framework to deal with cyber security.

India needs five lakh cybersecurity professionals by 2015 to support its fast growing Internet economy

The NSCS has identified over a dozen ‘critical information infrastructure’ sectors/ facilities requiring protection. These include the civil aviation sector (Air Traffic Control or ATC), Railways’ passenger reservation system and communication network, port management, companies and organisations in power, oil and natural gas sectors, banking and finance, and telecom sectors.
The government of India along with private organizations is launching several initiatives to combat cyber attacks. However, the biggest challenge currently facing the country is the lack of cyber security professionals. According to recent data, India currently has around 556 certified cyber security professionals, which is miniscule when compared to China having nearly 25 million cyber experts or commandos. Experts note that the country would need 500,000 cyber security experts by 2015 to protect its IT infrastructure. As a result, they believe that the country should gear up to create a strong poThere are of course a few exceptions with some organizations across the country actively working towards this initiative. A good example is the recent announcement by the International Council of E-Commerce Consultants (ECC) that partnered with Institute of cyberfort to train nearly 1,000 students ethical hacking, security analysis, penetration testing and other infosec programs across their 10 centres in India.ol of cyber security experts to strengthen its cyber security space.
The inspiration to take up these subjects should be inculcated from the school level,” mentions Eugene Kaspersky, Founder and CEO-Kaspersky Lab. At a recent cyber security summit, he mentions that it is important for respective governments to partner with engineering and computer schools to offer courses in information security. The awareness however should be created at an even preliminary level to combat the evils of cyber space. Like, recently the Gurgaon police organized a series of cyber security campaigns to sensitize students about threats of cyber crimes and make them aware of safe Internet practices and security measures to minimize this concern.
Debasis Nayak, CIO, Asian School Of Cyber Laws believes there are ample opportunities in the cyber security space. He also highlights the need of public private partnership to respond to the recent cyber security challenges. “IT security is an interesting subject and we can see a growing interest among students to take up these topics. technical and law schools should partner with the government to offer subjects related to cyber security,” he says.
The need of the hour for India is to create a cyber security ecosystem, where government agencies, private players including large enterprises and SMBs, students, legal entities, researchers and academicians can actively participate to strengthen the space, says Nayak.
But experts also point out that in India cyber security as a subject is still evolving and may take another 2-3 years for the country to build a strong pool of cyber warriors.

For establishment of cyberfort study
center contact – Dr Rajesh Kumar
Mobile- +91 9031489275, 9973195996
email-rajesh@cyberfort.org

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