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Generating a new wave of growth

Ashish Agarwal |

India is primed to witness a bracing change as the government has successively dipped their toes into the digital stream. The programme to turn the country into a digital economy has been met with a great deal of buzz as initiatives such as digital locker, demonetisation and the successive promotion of digital wallet have opened the floodgates to endless possibilities. This is triggering economic growth, attracting more investment, and creating new jobs across multiple sectors.

Yet with the entire boon comes a great price as it poses a big challenge in cyber security. An increasing amount of consumer and citizen data will be stored digitally and a large number of transactions will be carried out online, leaving the net a cesspool of viable data for malicious people to attack.

Cyber criminals are not only targeting big corporate houses like government agencies, banks, and research institutes but in constant deadlock with hacking and spying. It calls for a more robust framework for cyber security, something that the information technology security market is trying to facilitate rising.

This space is a lucrative career option at the moment generating a large number of jobs.

From engineers to lawyers, project managers to auditors, everyone has a role to play in growing this industry. A requirement for qualified cyber security professionals is becoming challenging for enterprises as they now demand an in-house army of specialists. BFSI, retail, manufacturing, healthcare companies are willing to pay great capital in order to rope in some of the specialised professionals for aim to build a greater defence. There can be a diverse range of professionals who work full-time in the core areas like forensics, incident response, software security, etc, and the Data Security Council of India has done a commendable job of creating a list of opportunities available for such experts.

This throws up new challenges every minute and to keep up with them, curricula need to be refreshed often through placing the talents in the right hands. Therefore, universities and research institutes are best suited to hone this kind of skill set. A number of universities (public and private) now offer graduate-level programmes in specific areas of cyber security and the government is in full support of such development.
When they say evil can be defeated by good, they also mean in the terms of real life issues.

With the growing number of hacking threats, it is becoming difficult for companies to protect their critical data and systems. This has created a huge demand for counter action in the form of ethical hackers who can help in securing operations while offering organisations a third person view of their state of security systems.

Simply put, ethical hacking is a practice of testing organisational security through controlled attempts to break into a company’s security system and expose the loop holes. These gifted individuals use a series of tests such as penetration testing, vulnerability testing, etc, to comprehend the integrity and confidentiality of the company’s data, while testing for the accessibility and availability of the information.

Apart from enlisting such expert, organisations are striving to create an engaging environment where every working individual is armed with a basic level of cyber-security awareness. This includes a look into pain points such as maintaining password hygiene, understanding data sensitivity.

The aim is to help the workforce take the onus of security in their own hands, without any extra expenditure. These would go on to become professionals who can protect themselves and their organisations using best practices on a day-to-day basis.

The digital faction is said to clock in a handsome amount of pay with cyber security sitting in the plum of remuneration. Several studies state that cyber security professionals earn better than other IT personnel, making it a lucrative vocation. A career in this field comes with a fetching salary, job security and better opportunities for professional growth at a quicker pace. It is said that an average cyber security professional in India earns around Rs 7.8 lakh annually- a lump sum to contend with.

When it comes to growth, one shouldn’t worry as according to a Nasscom report there is a growing need for cyber security professionals in India. These consultancies are set to witness a sharp growth in the near future, creating a large number of jobs in the market. With all the digital development taking place at breakneck speed, this ongoing flush of digital proficiency is bound to reach a growth unfathomed by all. It is safe to say, the tide of cyber security has just begun. In future there will be cyber war and it will be without weapons and nuclear.

The writer is founder, WORKNRBY.