Bengaluru-based Jigsaw Academy has launched a new course in Cybersecurity in association with HackerU, world leader in Cybersecurity.

Pre-empting cyberattacks Indias first offensive cybersecurity program is here
Atom Interview Friday, January 03, 2020 - 12:55

Cybersecurity has become the buzzword today with the amount of data being stored in cyberspace and the Cloud. With cyberattacks on the rise, Bengaluru-based Jigsaw Academy has launched a new course in Cybersecurity in association with HackerU, world leader in Cybersecurity.

The course is India's first offensive cybersecurity program where students will be trained leading to the title of Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP).

The programme has been developed in Israel, a global tech powerhouse which has dozens of firms specialising in security. The candidates will be trained by industry experts from HackerU and will be offered hands-on experience. The students will be equipped to detect and prevent potential breaches by simulating a series of live cyberattacks.

Interestingly, NASSCOM estimates that India will need one million cybersecurity professionals by 2020.

In an interaction, Gaurav Vohra, Co-Founder and CEO, Jigsaw Academy, spoke about the evolving landscape of cybersecurity, what offensive cybersecurity entails, AI's role in the future of cybersecurity among other things. 

Here are excerpts: 

Cybersecurity as a career: How many professionals would the industry require by 2020?

Cybersecurity is a hot topic today and so is a career in cybersecurity. Cybersecurity as a career is counted among the top 5 most in-demand jobs in the world and the reason is quite evident; growing concerns of cyber threats. Around 58% of organisations believe that the absence of a cyber expert is worse than not having proper security. It is essential to cultivate a strong base of cyber experts who can resolve the issues of the cyber world. If we talk in figures, according to Cybersecurity Ventures, the number of unfilled cybersecurity jobs has increased by 350% in the past eight years. Today, the gap is around 3.5 million. So, by 2020, we would require around 4 million cybersecurity professionals globally. 

Demand vs Supply gap for cybersecurity professionals

Cybersecurity skills shortage is a growing concern and the demand vs supply gap of cyber experts has led to several cyber threats and DNS malware attacks in the past few years. There are many reasons for such a massive shortage. People are not yet aware of the severity of cyber threats that makes them less interested in cybersecurity. Students are not interested in taking up cybersecurity as a career choice because they do not possess adequate knowledge about the opportunities. Even if students are willing to set foot in this profession, there is a dearth of qualified and credible cybersecurity courses to mould their talents.  

What is offensive cybersecurity and what does it entail? 

There are plenty of cybersecurity courses out there that address different cyber threats. Offensive cybersecurity is a form of cybersecurity that enables the student to think like a hacker. This course teaches the student to place themselves in the shoes of a cyber attacker who wants to intrude into the system. It is merely a form of ethical hacking that uses some indigenous techniques to get the details. Rather than using pure analysis and being reactive, an offensive cybersecurity course teaches the candidate to exploit the security vulnerabilities ethically and eliminate the guesswork that is involved in predicting a cyberattack. With an offensive cybersecurity course, students can get an edge in their profession as it is the most refined way to detect cyber threats. By thinking and working in the same way as a hacker does, will allow the cyber expert to decode the hacker’s strategy before its execution.  

AI’s role in the future of cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is ever-evolving. There is always something new to learn in this industry. Artificial intelligence and cybersecurity are often correlated as experts believe that AI will be the future of cybersecurity. AI will be needed to respond to the major cyber-attacks and make an efficient prediction that will help in making potent strategies. Around 69% of enterprises believe that bringing AI into the cybersecurity realm makes things better in terms of uncompromised security and unaltered reliability. According to a recent tech survey, the budget for AI in cybersecurity will skyrocket to 29% by 2020. Organisations are already testing use cases for the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) into their cybersecurity network. 

Why is it important that companies invest in cybersecurity?

To ensure comprehensive security and integrity, a majority of businesses have already shifted to cloud storage. It is true that cloud computing and storage offer superior security but it is still vulnerable to cyber threats as all the data is stored over the internet. Cybercrime is a prominent threat in the business industry. Irrespective of size, structure, and objective, businesses can be vulnerable to cyberattacks. Hence, entrepreneurs should start investing in cybersecurity to prevent data breaches and cyber crimes. With increased data comes increased risk of data leaks. Revolutionary technology like Big Data where all the data is stored in internet-dependent devices makes the company more vulnerable to cyber threats.

What is the cumulative financial risk that India Inc. is exposed to as a result of lack of cybersecurity?

Cyber threats are everywhere and they are not yet completely inescapable. When it comes to data breaches and cyber threats, India is the second-most affected country in the world, according to the Data Security Council of India. The average cost for a data breach has risen 7.9% in the past two years. As per 2018-19 data breach reports, the average cost per data breach has come to Rs 4,552. The increasing risk of cyber threats has encouraged companies to take cyber insurance policy and invest in stringent cybersecurity. According to statistics, around 350 cyber insurance policies have been sold in India since 2018. 

Are future wars going to be fought in cyberspace and what does India need to do to prepare itself?

With the current advancement in cyberspace, it can be predicted that cyber wars will be a reality in the future, where global cyber powers will combat each other to gain the upper hand. The next massive war will take place in cyberspace and we all need to be prepared for a gigantic cyber explosion. A cyberwar can destroy a nation and be more harmful than a physical war. India needs to deploy a potent cybersecurity platform and cultivate a battalion of cyber soldiers to guard against this threat. 

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