One major step announced by the finance minister as part of budget 2020 involved the proposal for building a national forensic university in India with an emphasis on cyber forensics.
During the recent Union Budget, the finance minister of India, Nirmala Sridharan, stressed on the importance of cybersecurity. This is in tune with the digital thrust the country is going through. At the same time, India is also one of the leading victims of cyberattacks.
India has been considered the most attacked country across the globe, said the National Cyber Security Coordinator Lt. Gen Rajesh Pant during the inauguration of Cyber Security Centre of Excellence (CCoE), which is in fact corroborated by research.
So, the country is required to keep aside resources to make sure that it’s thriving the digital ecosystem and remains protected from hackers, both private and state-sponsored. According to Nasscom, the rising web-based attacks and data protection laws are estimated to create 1 million jobs and $35 billion opportunities for India by 2025. So, this could be an opportunity for individuals interested in cybersecurity.
Today every state has its setup, and some universities have also built out capabilities, but there is no standardisation. With increased cyberattacks, the requirement for a national capability to identify the perpetrators and supporting law enforcement has increased. One major step announced by the finance minister involved the proposal for building a national forensic university with an emphasis on cyber forensics. While there has been no clear cut announcement on cyber forensics or cybersecurity as part of forensics science university mentioned in the budget 2020 speecch, it still rang a bell among analysts and experts.
According to Sanjay Katkar, JMD and CTO at Quick Heal Technologies, “With cyber crimes increasing at a fast rate, the need for cyber forensics has become more crucial than ever for a rapidly digitising country like India. The setting up of a cyber forensics university as part of budget 2020 is a welcome move from the government. This will certainly help in improving India’s expertise to solve advanced cybercrimes.”
How Does The Forensic Science And Cyber Forensics Help In Cybersecurity?
According to experts, the university can help students in getting trained on common threats such as malware, levels of attack, endpoint security, network security and tools like firewalls. The skills gap is serious as many organisations are unable to have adequate qualified people to help build strong cybersecurity and privacy projects. The challenge has become a significant issue with the sudden rise in cyberattacks, covering everything from ransomware, zero-day attacks, and now crypto-mining cyber attacks.
The proposed cyber forensic university in sync with Skill India campaign and digital penetration can help India in generating millions of jobs and also in enhancing national security, said experts.
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Prashant Bhat, MD Cybersecurity & Privacy at Protiviti India, said, “Cyber forensics education was the need of the hour as there is a huge shortage of professionals in this sector in India currently. A dedicated university (announced in budget 2020) would be able to choose the right candidates and train them adequately to the demands of businesses.”
Trishneet Arora, Founder & Chief Executive Officer of TAC Security stated “Union Budget 2020 announcements by the Finance Minister are a beginning to bring about more confidence in the development of the cybersecurity sector in the country. With the allocation of ₹8000 crores for the National Mission on Quantum Computing, the announcement of the opening of Cyber Forensic University, and the government’s proposal for digital penetration to make FTTH accessible to 10 lakh gram panchayat via Bharat Net will help position India against global leaders in the sector. This will also give a big boost to the cybersecurity industry.”
Experts are also optimistic about the government’s move to set aside funds for quantum computing which ties closely with cybersecurity. Pankit Desai, Co-founder CEO of Sequretek, a Mumbai-based cybersecurity startup said, “The finance minister gave us a pleasant surprise by declaring ₹8,000 crores on National Mission on Quantum Technologies. For companies like ours in the cybersecurity sector, it is a good step if it becomes a model for building a replicable cyber forensics establishment.”
As we see quick adoption of technology in all sectors, the government of India has put the country on a digital innovation fast track to achieving a $5 trillion economy. This coming of technology has also led to cybersecurity and data protection, which are becoming important concerns in enterprise and government agencies. Attacks keep getting more sophisticated, and there is a huge scarcity of talent available to manage it. There are thousands of companies on the look for cybersecurity professionals, but due to a noteworthy crunch in the talent in the security market, it is becoming difficult.
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Vishal Chawla is a senior tech journalist at Analytics India Magazine and writes about AI, data analytics, cybersecurity, cloud computing, and blockchain. Vishal also hosts AIM's video podcast called Simulated Reality- featuring tech leaders, AI experts, and innovative startups of India.