THIS is a time unlike any other. We live in the age of digitalisation where astonishing opportunities emerge when people and devices connect. Digital services such as e-government, digital wallets and collaboration are increasingly commonplace in our daily lives. Digital devices are found in all walks of life: From civic video cameras for our safety to indicators showing how transportation flows through a city to sensor grids determining air quality to when soil is prime for planting and produce is ready for harvest.
Globally, we connect 30 million new devices to the internet every single week. In India, every second three more Indians connect to the internet and four devices connect to the network for the first time. Today, connected devices are generating almost 300 times more data than all the people connected to the internet. These connected devices are impacting our lives on a daily basis—from the way we provide healthcare to how we manage our cities to how we run our manufacturing facilities and other critical infrastructure.
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As we have witnessed with India’s transition from cash to digital financial services, a digital economy requires a secure digital network that enables business innovation, generates insights and creates customer experiences. From retail banking to digital payments, companies that seize the digital opportunity need security everywhere—from the network to the endpoint and from the cloud to every corner of their operations—to limit the risk of sensitive data compromise.
The potential risk of loss from cyber threats can be staggering for customers—upwards of $575 billion globally. As many as 79% of chief information officers plan to increase their spending on network security over the next 12 months, according to a Citigroup study. Cyber attacks on Indian companies doubled in 2015 according to PwC.
Digitalisation provides organisations with opportunities to grow and innovate but it also brings a new world of risks. According to a Cisco study globally, while 64% of senior business leaders recognise that cyber security is a vital foundation for their digital growth strategies, 71% said concerns over cyber security are impeding innovation in their organisations. Again, 39% said that their organisations had halted a mission-critical initiative due to cyber security fears.
Digital transformation and Digital India require a strong cyber security foundation—a foundation that will enable companies and governments in India to have the confidence to implement digital processes and technologies that fuel innovation and growth. Without it, business and government leaders may hesitate to start digital projects—stifling their innovation potential and opening the door to digital disruptors. As India digitises, cyber security needs to be our shared responsibility because we must all be responsible, accountable, and work together to improve our online safety and security.
At Cisco, we have nearly 200,000 networks that we protect every single day, which extrapolates to hundreds of thousands of customers in businesses, governments, universities and other organisations with tens of millions of users. We block about 20 billion malware, spyware, virus, and other attacks per day.
To secure our digital economy and succeed in the digital world, our industries, government and educational institutions must embed cyber security purely into the fabric of their organisation. It has to be a fundamental part of every organisation’s purpose and strategy.
As per a Cisco report, there are more than 1 million unfulfilled security jobs worldwide. This is our opportunity to make sure that we give people the necessary skills to make the leap into the security market, and this is why we announced earlier this year a new $10 million Global Cisco Security Scholarship. In India, Cisco Network Academy programme has trained 122,000 students and is committed to training an additional 250,000 students by 2020.
I firmly believe cyber security is our shared responsibility. Cyber security needs to be a core consideration for those who will bring new ideas, innovation, and answers to the new challenges we need to address. Since the internet 30 years ago, I believe this is the most critical time that this industry has ever faced and we need to put money, people, and time into doing cyber security differently.