Dr. Sharma has over 25 years of international experience, having worked for several years in Israel, UK and Australia. She has specialized in Education and Psychology with a particular focus on learning, developing cognitive abilities as well as Leadership Development. She has done an MBA from London Business School and has rich experience in management. In the last eight years she has worked in India and has focused on Learning and Leadership Development. In her current role she is responsible for the establishment of the Webel Fujisoft Vara CoE- both Business Development as well as Academics.
The global cybersecurity market, which was valued, at $139.77 billion in 2021, is projected to grow at a CAGR of 13.4% rate to a staggering $ 376.32 billion by 2028, according to Fortune Business Insights. In India too, the cybersecurity market is poised to grow to $2.6 billion in 2022, an increase of 9.4% from 2021, according to Gartner, Inc.
So what is driving this rapid growth in the cybersecurity market?
The answer can be summarized as the exponential proliferation of digitalization and interconnectedness- both in the Corporate world as well as in our personal lives. Technology has facilitated collaboration across geographies and enhanced productivity. We also have COVID to thank – it has been one of the biggest catalysts of even more rapid digital transformation. Our handheld devices, and the internet have transformed the way that we live, work and relate to the world around us.
There is no doubt that the increasing degree of digitalization comes with huge and inimitable advantages. However, a sinister and troubling consequence is the risk of cyberattacks- which makes the need for cybersecurity ever more essential and is a key factor in driving the growth of the industry. The details of the key drivers are summarized below:
- Rapid adoption of new technologies which increase vulnerabilities are driving need for Cybersecurity services. These include:
- Increasing Cloud and SAAS adoption
- Disruptive technologies such as IoT
- Mobile applications
- Remote working and outsourcing also leads to increase in vulnerabilities. Seamless exchange of data is required however it comes with its own risks, necessitating the need for cybersecurity
- Increased online data and transactions lead to a large amount of personal data is shared online. This includes:
- Financial transactions like banking, insurance, online ticket booking, etc., performed online where sensitive information is exchanged. The data shared is vulnerable to breach
- E-commerce and online stores require shoppers to share confidential data such as credit card details, etc. This data is vulnerable to cyberattacks in the absence of secure payment gateways
- The use of social media platforms has increased dramatically during the pandemic. These platforms require users to share their personal information to create accounts. Social media posts by users also reveal data that can lead to cyberattacks.
- Increase in sophistication of methods used by hackers to commit cybercrime. This means that IT professionals and cybersecurity experts need to constantly upgrade skills, tools, monitoring and safeguarding methodologies. The rising instances of cybercrimes have made cybersecurity an area of priority for most businesses.
- Statutory and regulatory requirements in the past few years that are aimed at data protection and prevention of cybercrime is another factor that has driven the growth in the industry.
The demand supply mismatch in workforce in Indian cybersecurity industry and how to solve the problem
Cybersecurity professionals are experts who monitor cyber threats, prevent data breaches, and respond to attacks. They are responsible for protecting devices, networks, IT infrastructure, and data. As hackers get more sophisticated and find new ways to access data, the number of cybersecurity professionals required by an organization will continue to rise. More cybersecurity specialists will be needed to develop advanced security solutions to mitigate risk.
There is a huge shortfall- currently estimated at 3.5 million- in the number of skilled cybersecurity professionals globally. The global situation is also reflected in the Indian cybersecurity industry. There is a vast gap in the demand and supply of cybersecurity professionals in India. India is not only short in numbers, but also, faces the problem of a lack of required skill-set among professionals. As per the latest survey report by ISACA, 60% of Indian organizations have unfulfilled cybersecurity positions. The report also indicates that 42% of the organizations are understaffed. According to 62% of the India-based respondents in the survey, it takes 3-6 months to find cybersecurity professionals for their organizations.
These figures are a cause for concern in India because India is home to some of the top IT companies that have global standing. Besides, India stands second only to the US in the number of cyberattacks on the cloud. So, there is an urgent need to address the demand-supply imbalance in India for cybersecurity professionals. One of the challenges that organizations face while hiring cybersecurity professionals is the skill gap. Most organizations in India face the problem that the professionals they hire are under qualified.
Organizations are taking steps to address this gap which include the following:
- training professionals, introducing re-skilling programs, etc., to address this issue.
- Outsourcing cybersecurity needs to consultants and companies who specialize in cybersecurity to manage critical areas is a good option.
- Implementing automated solutions powered by technologies such as Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence can minimize the monitoring workload.
- Enterprises can also consider hiring employees with complementary skill sets to support cybersecurity activities.
- A thrust in providing education and training to develop cybersecurity skill-sets is the need of the hour.
Career prospects in cybersecurity / need of skilled manpower
The demand and supply mismatch in the cybersecurity landscape has created huge scope for careers in cybersecurity.
One can pursue a career in cybersecurity in a variety of roles such as Cyber Security Analyst, Network Security, Engineer, Security Architect, Cyber Security Manager, Cyber Information Security Officer, Ethical Hackers, Cloud Security Engineer, and more. Specialized training by experts is required to pursue a career in any of these roles. Due to the high demand for cybersecurity professionals, various private and government institutes offer training programs customized for different roles.
As organizations and government agencies adopt a digital-first approach, the risk of cyber- attacks will only increase thereby raising the demand for cybersecurity professionals. A career in cybersecurity has tremendous growth potential for individuals with the requisite knowledge and skills.