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Cybersecurity: Defending The Digital Frontier

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As we move closer to 2024, it is becoming increasingly clear that the world has become more connected than ever before. Businesses are connected; employees in an organisation work collaboratively on a given project sitting in different locations, thanks to cloud computing. The digital transformation wave is sweeping through every organization, with automation as the key to streamlined operations. Data-driven decision-making reigns supreme, with every strategy sculpted from the insights gleaned from meticulously analyzed information. From online shopping to banking to healthcare, our personal and professional lives are increasingly woven into the digital tapestry. In fact, in today’s hyper-connected world, data is the lifeblood of everything we do.  As a result, data has now been elevated to the position of kingmaker.

 

 Yet, this precious resource remains vulnerable, constantly under threat from a growing tide of cyberattacks. Data breaches, the unwelcome eruption of sensitive information into the public domain, have become a grim reality, leaving individuals and organisations reeling in the wake of chaos and financial losses. Some shocking examples of data leaks are the Adhaar card data breach of 815 million citizens, the data breach suffered by the train ticketing platform RailYatri and the infamous MoveIT cyber attack where almost 2000 organisations worldwide including BBC, Shell, and British Airways were affected. Not to mention the Solar Winds supply chain hack,  one of the biggest data breach incidents of the 21st century. The latest news is that the SEC (Securities Exchange Commission) has sued Solarwinds for failing to disclose cybersecurity vulnerabilities. The Russia-Ukraine war was not just physical but virtual where almost 2000 cyber attacks were perpetrated by 98 actors, some against Russia, some against Ukraine and some against 49 other countries!

Scary? Well, in today’s hyper-connected world, cybersecurity and professionals in the cybersecurity space cannot be overstated.

The latest edition of “The People Weekly” will discuss cybersecurity, its importance and future prospects. With a finger on the pulse of current technologies and trends, it is the constant endeavour of “The People Weekly“  to provide our readers with valuable insights so that they can stay ahead of the curve. Whether it’s breaking news, technological innovations, cultural shifts, or expert analyses, we’ve got you covered. Stay informed, stay inspired – subscribe to our newsletter and embark on a journey of continuous learning and exploration.

Understanding the Cybersecurity Landscape

 

What is cybersecurity?

As per Cisco, “Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting systems, networks, and programs from digital attacks. These cyberattacks are usually aimed at accessing, changing, or destroying sensitive information; extorting money from users via ransomwareor interrupting normal business processes.”

Some of the cyber threats are 

  1. Virus: Self-replicating programs that spread and disrupt systems

  2. Spyware: Steals your confidential information like passwords or banking details.

  3. Malware:  Exploits network vulnerabilities to spread rapidly.

  4. Phishing: Mimic trusted websites to steal login credentials or credit card details.

  5. Social Engineering: Manipulate users into revealing personal information or clicking malicious links via emails/text messages or phone calls.

  6.  Ransomware: Encrypts your data, demanding payment for decryption

  7. Trojans: Disguise themselves as legitimate software to trick you into installing them, then give attackers access to your system.

  8. Man-in-the-Middle (MITM) Attacks: These attacks intercept communication between your device and another, allowing the attacker to steal your data or modify it. They can occur on Wi-Fi networks, especially public ones.

  9. Cyber Terrorism: Use of computers and the internet to carry out attacks that cause harm or fear, often to achieve political or ideological aims. It’s essentially terrorism conducted in the digital realm, targeting critical infrastructure, financial systems, or even individuals.

Cybersecurity can be classified into several different categories.

  1. Network Security

  2. Application security

  3. Information Security

  4. Critical Infrastructure Security

  5. Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity 

  6. Cloud Security

  7. IoT security

     

Prioritising a well-thought-out cybersecurity strategy is no longer optional but essential in this interconnected era. Whether private or public, an increasing number of organisations, including government agencies, are prioritising cybersecurity measures. The cybersecurity landscape is witnessing a surge in innovation, with tools powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning rapidly advancing. These technologies can analyse vast amounts of data, detect anomalies indicative of suspicious activity, and automate responses, outmanoeuvring attackers in real-time.

Cyber Security Market Growth, Globally and Nationally

The global cybersecurity market has already reached an impressive 182.86 Billion USD and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 12.3% to reach over 500 Billion USD by 2030. 

Data Source: Statista

The Indian cyber security market is projected to grow from 4 billion USD to almost 10 billion in 2028 as per Statista.

Data Source: Statista

The key growth drivers are BFSI, IT, government sectors, SMEs, widespread adoption of cloud platforms by organisations for IT infrastructure, and also stringent data security and protection regulations. The country faces a high volume of cyberattacks, making businesses and individuals more aware of the need for protection.

 

Cybersecurity and its importance for businesses

 

Cybersecurity is crucial for businesses of all sizes and across all industries. It’s like having a strong lock on your door – it protects your valuable assets from unwanted intrusions and potential harm. Cyberattacks can disrupt operations, causing downtime, system outages, and decreased productivity. This can lead to missed deadlines, frustrated customers, and ultimately, lost revenue. A cyberattack can damage a business’s reputation, making it appear untrustworthy and unreliable. This can lead to customer and investor churn, negative media coverage, and difficulty attracting new business.

Increased Threats: The landscape of cybercrime is constantly evolving with new sophisticated threats emerging. Businesses are prime targets for, Malware and ransomware, Phishing attacks and Denial-of-service attacks

Responsibility for Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is not a one-person job. Shared responsibility across different levels of an organisation is crucial:

  • Executive Leadership: Setting the tone and allocating resources for cybersecurity initiatives

  • IT Department: Implementing and maintaining technical controls and security protocols

  • Employees: Practising safe computing habits, recognizing phishing attempts, and reporting suspicious activity

  • Third-party vendors: Ensuring adequate security practices are in place with any partners handling sensitive data

  • Chief Information Security Officer (CISO): Leading and overseeing the overall cybersecurity strategy

  • Security Awareness and Training Team: Educating employees on cybersecurity best practices

Cyber Security Career Demand & Skills

As per a survey conducted by ISACA 40% of Indian cybersecurity teams are understaffed. The report states that 54% of organisations have lateral positions in cyber security unfilled. This is despite 55% of Indian respondents indicating that their organisations have experienced cyber-attacks. Well, this is indeed a grim picture and shows how much in demand cybersecurity professionals are.  A report by Indeed, a leading global matching and hiring platform, says that there was an 81% increase in demand for cybersecurity professionals from 2021 to 2022 during the pandemic. 

Skills required for a Cyber Security professional are

  1. Networking & System Administration; certifications like CompTIA Security+, CISCO CCNA etc will be good.

  2. Knowledge of Operating Systems and VMs

  3. Cloud Security

  4. Programming Languages like C++, Python, Golang, PHP etc

  5. Threat Intelligence Analysis/Digital Forensics

  6. Penetration Testing/Red Teaming

  7. Risk Assessment 

  8. Cryptography

  9. Knowledge of software like Splunk and Kerberos.

PeopleLogic Opinion

The cybersecurity landscape is constantly evolving, and the demand for skilled professionals is only going to grow. As our reliance on technology continues to increase, so too will the need for individuals who can keep us safe online.  Cybersecurity professionals are the unsung heroes of the digital age, standing guard against the ever-evolving threat landscape in the online world. Their skills and expertise are in high demand, and organisations of all sizes scramble to protect their sensitive data and critical infrastructure from cyberattacks. Technological advancements like AI and automation will reshape the landscape, while human expertise in strategy and analysis will remain paramount. However, this demand comes with a critical talent gap, leaving organisations scrambling to fill crucial positions. Adapting to evolving threats using AI-powered tools and automation will be crucial.

PeopleLogic Business Solutions, with its extensive experience and deep expertise in cybersecurity recruitment, stands as a premier partner for client companies seeking top talent in this critical domain. Through a meticulous vetting process honed over the years, PeopleLogic scours the market for individuals possessing not just technical prowess but also the strategic mindset and unwavering vigilance crucial for navigating the ever-evolving cybersecurity landscape. Their understanding of the specific needs and challenges faced by different organisations allows them to curate a talent pool that seamlessly integrates into existing teams, bringing immediate value and bolstering the overall security posture. By placing these highly skilled and adaptable individuals at the heart of your defenses, PeopleLogic empowers your organisation to operate with confidence in a world rife with digital dangers.

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