Today, Cyber Security and Information Security skills are in high demand in India, with the government giving an estimate of 4.7 Lac professionals required by 2015. Shiv Shankar Menon, National Security Advisor (NSA), GOI, recently addressed a concern on the lack of cyber security professionals in India. The Government of India recognizes the increased reliance of businesses on IT and the threat to critical information stored in the IT infrastructures and related systems. While there is a scramble to locate and employ skilled professionals, the threats continue to mount resulting in losses, estimated to be in trillion dollars.
To address the gap, Mahindra Special Services Group (MSSG), a key Strategic Risk Consulting firm launched the Information Assurance and Homeland Security (IAHS) Academy at the IIT Mumbai TechFest 2013 on 3 January 2013. By defining an innovative and path-breaking Information Assurance Skills Framework, the Academy aims to create a structured next generation workforce for the Information Security domain in India. The Framework establishes the baseline of the essential knowledge and skills that Information Security practitioners should have to perform specific roles and responsibilities.
"We believe that capacity building should start at an entrant level after an individual completes his/her under-graduation", says Sameer Saxena, Head of IAHS Academy. He emphasises "We are introducing courses suitable for final year students of Computer Science/Application diploma/degree programs. There could be no better occasion than IIT Mumbai Tech Fest 2013 to launch our initiative. Just as IIT educates and creates the foundation of our techno-managers, we will address the specific skills these individuals need to succeed in Information Assurance industry." These courses will prepare the individuals for entrant level roles such as Information Security Analyst, Consultant, Engineer, Administrator who are typically recruited by consulting, end-user organisations. There are no holistic training programs in India that address these job roles. Individuals who are in the professional line and are looking to enhance their skills/upskill for career advancement also have a range of courses to choose from.
"As a key industry service provider, the IAHS Academy will endeavour to develop skills of the next generation and create employment. Indian Defence organisations also need to develop and enhance their current cyber warfare capabilities in order to counter the risks and threats they face on an hourly basis on their networks. We are currently working on developing an integrated capability delivery framework for the Defence establishments also" adds Dinesh Pillai, CEO Mahindra SSG.
MSSG and IAHS Academy also have the distinction of being the only Indian organisation to Partner with the International Telecommunications Union (UN Agency) for their Child Online Protection (COP) Initiative. The Academy will also highlight the importance of cyber education in schools and colleges as part of its drive to create the next generation of cyber security professionals.
Manish Advani, Head Marketing and Public Relations, Mahindra Special Services Group, +91 9820085094, [email protected]