The Covid-19 pandemic has catalysed the urgent need for cyber security professionals

The Covid-19 pandemic has catalysed the urgent need for cyber security professionals
With most businesses having gone digital the playing field for cyber criminals too has grown as have concerns as businesses struggle to protect themselves against hackers.

Amidst the rising cases of cyberattacks, India is expected to have over 1.5 million unfulfilled job vacancies in cybersecurity by 2025.

There is new type of virus that has been going around during the pandemic, one that is active only in the cyberspace. While the world has been busy fighting the coronavirus pandemic, cyber criminals have been busy targeting businesses and individuals around the world.

With most businesses having gone digital, the increase in digital financial transactions and most employees working from home, the playing field for cyber criminals too has grown as have concerns as businesses struggle to protect themselves against hackers.

Most businesses do not have adequate cybersecurity practices in place, making them especially vulnerable to attacks. According to a report by Deloitte, the increase in remote working calls for a greater focus on cybersecurity, because of the greater exposure to cyber risk.

A survey conducted by Tessian found that nearly 47 per cent of individuals fall for a phishing scam while working at home. Cyber-attackers see the pandemic as an opportunity to step up their criminal activities by exploiting the vulnerability of employees working from home and capitalising on people’s strong interest in coronavirus-related news.

Going phishing

Video conference bombing, which surfaced at the start of the pandemic was just another example of cyber attacks. Between February and May 2020 more than half a million people globally were affected by breaches in which the personal data of video conferencing users was stolen and sold on the dark web.

Credential stuffing is another form of cyberattack whereby hackers use previously stolen combinations of username and password to gain access to other accounts

According to Deloitte, hackers often use credential stuffing techniques to gain access to employees’ credentials and the stolen data is then sold to other cybersecurity criminals. One of the consequences is a serious disruption to businesses that rely heavily on videoconferencing platforms.

Another cause for alarm is that the average cost of a data breach resulting from remote working can be as much as $137,000.

According to police data, analysed by cyber security company Nexor 3,445 UK businesses fell victim to cyber scams during the period September 2019 to September 2020. Of those cases, 1,740 were reported since lockdown was enforced. UK businesses also lost over £6.2 million to cyber scams over the past year - with a 31 per cent increase in cases during the height of the pandemic (May-June 2020)

In June last year Swissinfo.ch reported figures from the NCSC (National Cyber Security Centre) showing that there were 350 reported cases of cyberattacks in Switzerland in April, compared to the norm of 100-150.

In India, the story is no different, according to a report by professional recruitment services firm Michael Page India, titled "The Humans of Cybersecurity", cybercrime in Asia Pacific went up by 600 per cent, with about 19 million ransomware and phishing attacks identified in Asia in February-May 2020.

While countries around the world saw most sectors forced to furlough much of their workforce the cyber sector had about 3.1 million unfulfilled positions around the world, with most of them being in the Asia-Pacific region.
While countries around the world saw most sectors forced to furlough much of their workforce the cyber sector had about 3.1 million unfulfilled positions around the world, with most of them being in the Asia-Pacific region.

Calling all cyber experts

The irony lies in the fact that while countries around the world saw most sectors forced to furlough or let go of much of their workforce the cyber sector had about 3.1 million unfulfilled positions around the world, with most of them being in the Asia-Pacific region.

According to report compiled by Michael Page India, the cybersecurity field is currently experiencing a 43 per cent talent shortage with skills such as application development security, cloud security risk management, threat intelligence, data privacy and security being most in demand

"The demand for roles such as security engineers, cybersecurity analysts and cybersecurity engineers is on the rise," said Varsha Barooah, Director of Michael Page India.

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India Global Business
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