The pandemic has led to an expansion in the digital ecosystem in each and every organisation across the globe, including India. As many companies had gone online in their operations, there has been an urgent need for companies to protect the digital assets such as applications and the data from external attacks or risk of theft. All these have also led to an ever felt need to have qualified cyber security experts who have the capability to deal with different and advanced security threats. It has been estimated that as of 2020-end, it is estimated that India faced a shortage of 1.5 million cyber security professionals.
Experts feel that with technology adoption being fast forwarded over the last few quarters and the demand for technology-driven products having gone up multifold, cybersecurity jobs are amongst the fastest growing careers globally.
“Many skill sets such as application development security, cloud security and risk management amongst others. The challenge in getting a skilled professional on cyber security is also because for each of the roles the individual needs to have the right combination of multiple security skills along with technology, business and interpersonal skills as cyber security jobs have been morphed into hybrid roles as more and more businesses start to adopt digitization and digitization as part of their business scale,” remarked Neeti Sharma, Co-Founder and President, TeamLease Edtech.
Increasing cyber-attacks on large economies, including India, have highlighted the need to focus on cyber security skills. It has been found that, unfortunately, neither the corporate nor the customer were willing to pick the tab on continuing costs associated with cyber security making skill development a low priority leading to severe shortage of skills in India.
“Going by the quick turn around with regard to work from home owing to the pandemic, I am sure India will gear up to produce more cyber security professionals, which is a very attractive career option given the compensation and growth today. At the same time, government allocation of funds for enabling skill training in this field as a policy will make a big difference in ensuring reduction of the skill gap,” observed Subramanyam Sreenivasaiah, CEO at Ascent HR.
Rising cases of data breaches, protection of data from external attacks and theft have to be continuously managed and monitored by cyber security experts who are skilled and also continuously reskill themselves. “Due to the sudden increase in the digitisation and cloud-based applications, there’s a sudden increase in demand for cyber security skills. Professionals are learning and getting certified. Companies are running skilling programmes for their existing workforce to address this gap in demand and supply,” pointed out Aditya Narayan Mishra, Director and CEO of CIEL HR.
According to the US Bureau of Labour Statistics, the demand for Information Security Analysts alone is estimated to rise to 31 per cent by 2029. The Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) and the ISSA survey conducted in July 2020 shows that 70 per cent of the participants believe their companies have been impacted by the global cyber security skills shortage.
“The pandemic has brought to the forefront the key issues every organisation faces in the realm of security. It is now imperative for cyber security companies to do a radical overhaul and ensure their product or service fits in seamlessly into their customer’s system and is fully secure. With more people working, shopping, and banking remotely during the pandemic, the FBI has reported a corresponding spike in cyber attacks, up 400 per cent from before the pandemic,” said Bimal Gandhi, CEO, Uniken.