Need for data security in the growing digital landscape of India


Reports claim that there has been a stark increase in the rate of cybercrimes in the country due to reasons such as increase in online traffic, lack of awareness, lack of technical knowledge among police and people, and difficulties in investigating cybercrime cases. As per a Norton report, India faced over 18 million cyber threats in the first quarter of 2022. October is celebrated as Cybersecurity Awareness Month. To celebrate the occasion and create awareness of securing the virtual world TimesTech interacted with Mr. Keshav Kaushik, Assistant Professor, School of Computer Science, UPES to get many of your questions answered.

TimesTech: What is the current scenario of cyberattacks and ransomware?

Keshav: An important activity of our contemporary twenty-first century has undergone a metamorphosis in the age of globalization thanks to Internet banking or electronic transfers. People have created a variety of means of communication for sharing knowledge, which is crucial for them as social creatures. The development of e-banking technology makes the process very simple, which also speeds up financial operations to a click. Daily banking is quick and easy with online and mobile banking. Cybercrimes on a national and worldwide scale were born due to the misuse of information technology in cyberspace. There are more hazards and difficulties involved with it overall. Online and mobile banking, however, is never completely secure. In 2020, cyberattacks were ranked as the fifth greatest danger and have now established themselves as the standard in both the private and the public sectors. As IoT cyberattacks are anticipated to increase by 2025, this dangerous business is projected to continue expanding in 2022. The COVID-19 epidemic has caused a 600% increase in cybercrime, which encompasses fraud or embezzlement to data tampering and destruction. Each sector has had to adopt new technologies, which has compelled businesses to act rapidly to adapt. If you are one of the many who manage a growing business, you are aware that the environment is always evolving and that, to put it mildly, 2020 saw several changes.

Ransomware saw a surge in popularity in 2021 as the cybersecurity attack vector caused misery for people and businesses worldwide. This pattern will last until 2022 and beyond. While ransomware isn’t a brand-new cybersecurity problem, it has recently drawn attention from the most senior levels of government. People’s access to medical treatment, gas for their cars, and grocery shopping were all impacted by ransomware. In 2021, the financial repercussions of ransomware will also become more noticeable. Attacks that target supply chains result in more extensive harm than those that target a single person. Government agencies and IT companies have also attempted to stop the spread of ransomware assaults.

The latest security study indicates that most businesses have weak cybersecurity procedures, leaving them open to data theft. Businesses must integrate cybersecurity knowledge, mitigation, and best practices into their culture to successfully combat bad intentions.

TimesTech: Why is there a need for data security especially in the growing digital landscape of India?

Keshav: India’s data security ecosystem is experiencing a rapid shift as companies get ready to employ cutting-edge technologies like AI and ML. A significant amount of data is being produced due to this transformation. Although the data flood may enable organizations to produce better outcomes, it may also lead to increased data theft and attack incidents. A 2019 survey found that 69% of Indian organizations faced a data breach risk and that 44% had already experienced one. Consequently, it will be crucial for enterprises to better safeguard and handle their sensitive data by implementing comprehensive data protection solutions as they vigorously adopt digital transformation in the future.

Companies must continually update their policies and procedures because of the growing sophistication of cyberattacks and the prevalence of zero-day vulnerabilities. Data breaches might have negative effects, and there are usually many losses, including those to reputation, finances, and proprietary information. The stock price is virtually always affected by data loss, which reduces investor value. Cyberspace is just as important in the current world as a person’s virtual area. Even while the common individual lives and does business online just as effortlessly as they do outside, they are not subject to the same regulations and accountability standards.

Every jurisdiction has established its data protection and security regime and practices in an interconnected world. India, nevertheless, has not yet introduced specific laws addressing the issue despite its rapidly growing internet population, which several participants have aided in the telecom business. In the absence of such, we must look to the compiled architecture of Indian data security and cyber security legislation and existing court declarations.

TimesTech: What is the relevance of educating today’s youth about digital security?

Keshav: Cybersecurity has grown significantly in relevance with the abrupt transition from offline to online working; it is now a must rather than a choice. India is one of the top 10 nations targeted by hackers, making cybersecurity knowledge even more essential. Cybercrime now poses a greater threat than more conventional forms of crime. Although burglars have developed a new method of breaking into our homes via our displays, allowing them access to far more than what is physically in our homes or our wallets, crimes like robbery, larceny-theft, and even violent crime have substantially decreased in the previous ten years.

The day when using antivirus and firewall software was your only form of protection is long past. Nowadays, it is difficult for anyone to give cybersecurity experts their sensitive information. Given that cyber threats can appear at any time and from any location, educating your child about straightforward social engineering frauds like phishing and other security threats like ransomware and other spyware intended to steal personal information or intellectual property is crucial.

Cell and the internet have grown to be significant components of modern life. Teach the youth about the value of privacy, computer security, and social media now. They must be educated on online dangers, including phishing and cyberbullying, and their possible effects.

TimesTech: What courses can one opt for if one wants to make a career in cyber security?

Keshav: Cybersecurity, which is classified as a branch of computer science, is a specialized area of information technology that concentrates on defending businesses against online assaults and maintaining the security of their networks and private data. Even without enrolling in a degree, those fascinated by new technologies might find work in the field of cyber security. Nevertheless, people with a cybersecurity degree or certification have a wide range of work alternatives and are capable of achieving their professional objectives. If someone wants to pursue a career in the domain of cybersecurity, then the student can enroll in courses like B.Tech in Cybersecurity and Forensics and B.Sc. / M.Sc. in Cybersecurity. Such specialized courses focus more on the technical skills required for cybersecurity professionals.

Numerous cybersecurity programs, including diplomas, certificates, and degree degrees, are available in India. A degree, certificate, or certification program can be pursued by anyone interested in a career in cyber security. In India, students are highly interested in the B.Tech. in Cyber Security. Numerous colleges and universities also offer cybersecurity courses. Students enrolling in cyber security courses learn the information and abilities to protect computer networks, operating systems, and data against cyberattacks. Cyberspace is a shared platform that anybody may access from anywhere globally, and its breadth is equally distributed globally.

TimesTech: What are the career options available to the student as a Cyber ​​Security Specialist?

Keshav: Think about a career in cybersecurity if you want a profession that requires a lot of technical analysis and data analysis. Although many cybersecurity careers entail safeguarding crucial data and networks, their precise function differs in this industry. You may assess your suitability for a job in cybersecurity by being familiar with the many employment opportunities accessible in this area. Cybersecurity has become a significant resource for almost every sector thanks to the internet. As a result, there are many employment options accessible.

For individuals who are interested in a career in cyber security, there are several job opportunities accessible. By learning about your choices, you can choose which one is best for you. Your particular interests, skill set, and long-term objectives will determine your ideal match. Select a cybersecurity topic to concentrate on if you are new to the field. As an entry-level applicant, having a specialism can help you land the positions you’re most passionate about. Once you’re working in the cybersecurity industry, study more about various aspects of cybersecurity to broaden your skill set and expertise. Below is the list of career options available to students as a cybersecurity specialist:

  • Security Engineer – Computer system vulnerabilities and dangers are found by cyber security engineers, who then create countermeasures. Cyber security engineers occasionally collaborate with other team members to find and fix flaws.
  • Ethical Hacker – Penetration testing is one profession in which an ethical hacker may work. A simulated cyberattack is used in penetration testing to identify and patch potential attacks. A company may do this in person or online to see what a cyberattack would look like and prepare for future attacks. Some penetration testers go so far as to conduct field testing using black hat or in-person social engineering methods to compromise an organization’s network.
  • Digital Forensics investigator – A branch of computer science called “digital forensics” looks into digital evidence. It is a step in investigating cybercrimes and entails gathering, examining, and retaining material that can be used as proof by law enforcement or in court. After a cybercrime has occurred, digital forensic specialists might look into it, gathering information and trying to link the assault to a particular hacker or group of hackers.
  • Network security engineer – Network security engineers create and manage different network and security software and hardware elements. Switches, virtual private networks, and firewalls are a few examples of this. They aid in resolving current security concerns, check systems for flaws, and guarantee that everything functions properly.
  • IT security specialist – IT security experts evaluate possible security risks to a computer system. They assist develop and execute network security solutions, give new hires login information, and keep an eye out for security lapses on the company’s system.
  • Security consultant – A variety of clients are served by security consultants’ security services. They might help with internal security as well. For their customers, security consultants discover and develop security solutions. They review security protocols a company or customer uses, look into any security holes, and supervise the deployment of security precautions.