India has the third highest internet users, around 16 crore users, in the world after China and the USA, but there are only 556 cyber specialists positioned at various levels in the Government departments.
The country is considered as an information security powerhouse, but a closer examination reveals a stark reality. Minister of State for Telecommunications, Milind Deora, accepted that cyber security attacks rose to 22,060 in 2012 from 23 in 2004.
The deficiency in cyber security manpower can be measured by the overwhelming difference when compared to other countries - China has 1.25 lakh experts, the U.S. 91,080 and Russia 7,300. There is an immediate need for 5, 00,000 information security professionals in India to combat the sophisticated threat that the country is facing, as laid out by National Cyber Security Policy, 2013.
The alarming shortage in the official information security workforce has led the Union HRD and Telecom Ministries to chart out a road map for safeguarding India's cyber security architecture.
According to MoS HRD Shahshi Tharoor, based on the recommendations of the Task Force on the National Security System constituted on the direction of the Cabinet Committee on Security, the introduction of this subject will be taken up at all the technical institutions and colleges across the country.
In an attempt to generate information security awareness, with a view to plug the gaping hole, quite a few players have emerged and are providing training to aspiring students. Appin Technology Lab (ATL) is one such training ground which certifies individuals in various information security and e-business skill with its centres in Delhi, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar, Jharkhand, Punjab, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Assam, Odisha, Tripura and West Bengal.
ATL spokesperson Neha said: "Teaching computer-age or industrial-age courses in colleges will not help students get job in the information-age. Our vocational programs are geared towards preparing the Facebook denizens for careers that will shape our society in coming decade."
While Cyber Security and Information Security (CS & IS) is all set to be introduced as a subject in higher and secondary education in the country, the Government plans to hire around 5,000 information security experts who would impart training to create a larger dependable force of cyber experts across the country, top Government sources said.
The recent spate of cyber attacks on Indian installations is another cause for extreme concern. Interestingly, cyber warfare is fast emerging as the fifth domain of warfare and India's preparedness to deal with it is wanting. With a view to plug the gaping hole, quite a few private players have emerged and are providing training to aspiring students and turning them into talented information security professionals from across India and ATL is one such training ground.
Apart from imparting new-age Information Security tools, ATL also delivers hands-on technical workshops. Powered by expert consultants from the industry, who pool their intellect & resources to formulate a comprehensive security study material, this new-age entity provides great opportunity for students who are looking to fashion a career in the InfoSec domain.
Aimed towards the development of Human Resource in the area of Information Security at various levels, ATL, among other offerings, provides expertise in the field of Cloud computing, Internet reputation management, Embedded robotics, Mobile Application Development, Human resource management, Secured programming in Microsoft .net and java.
Praful Singh, Appin Technology Lab, +91 9873557017, singhpraful.gmail.com