Capacity building to secure our cyber future


Col Inderjeet Singh
Chief Cyber Security Officer 
VARA Technologies Pvt Ltd

With the ongoing digital revolution, world has been brought closer.  Inter and hyper connectivity of the network brings the power of connecting more users and bringing them on board, in a secure way. The utmost benefit of the new digital world is interconnectivity, however, at the same time we are living in VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity) world, which entails that businesses must seek new orientations and take renewed methodology of doing business.

We are seeing digital transformation at the forefront of all the company’s digitization plan. In addition, development and deployment of emerging technologies such as 5G, Internet of Things (IoT) and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) are happening at a much faster pace than expected. By 2025, number of IoT devices is projected to reach approximately 75 billion globally, or at an average of eight IoT devices for every man, woman and child on this planet. This significantly enhances the attack surface for hackers to launch malicious cyber activities.

Growth in connectivity and convenience for millions around the world is also causing the risk of being mired in a contestation for digital dominance in cyberspace.  All the digital interactions are always under threat from cyber attackers – both sophisticated state sponsored and non-state actors, and highly capable criminal groups, who seek to disrupt and exploit these data flows and our digital systems. Two challenges – digital dominance and cyber security are reason for tension between nation states for supremacy in the cyberspace.

As the cyberspace is getting blurry, impact of cyber-attacks usually transcends boundaries i.e. attacks are often carried out from outside the territory of the nation that has been attacked. While countries focus on protecting their own critical information infrastructure systems, there are also information systems that all countries depend on for cross-border and international transactions which are to be secured. These supranational systems span many countries and jurisdictions. Some of these established through agreements among participating nations or companies, while others may be operated private sector built and owned but used by many nations.

In the VUCA world, 21st Century Cyber Challenges require 21st Century solutions, amidst escalating numbers of sophisticated Ransomware, APT, Malware attacks. Bringing in robust security and stability to cyberspace would require new and different strategy compared to what has been worked in other domains of conflict, and collaboration across disciplines. Some of the areas that we should focus on are:

  • Readiness to address existing and potential Cyber Threats.
  • Formulate International Law in Cyberspace.
  • Strategy to respect human rights in Cyberspace.
  • Foster Cybersecurity Capacity Building.

Number of cyber-attacks are spirally increasing. However, there is a shortage of cybersecurity skillset and experts in the workforce. Improving the cyber training initiatives at each level of our education system can enable us to scale our cyber workforce to meet the market demand. Today, the competition to hire qualified cybersecurity professionals with skills in areas like Digital Forensics, Cloud Security, Operational Technology Security, SecOps, DevOps, and Virtualization is intense. With the paucity of right skillset and talent, cyber professionals are valued at a premium by employers.

Whether academia, non-profit organisation, industry or government, all have a stake in protecting nation’s information infrastructure. It is imperative that all must work together and strategize to ensure a robust pipeline of cyber professionals that the country needs to endure and overcome the cyber challenges.

For students, who want to pursue cyber security as their career option, have the opportune time to get on the cyber security professionals bandwagon.

Capacity Building to Secure Our Cyber Future