With rapid technological evolution, there are several concerns, constraints and challenges around cyber security. The biggest challenge is ‘tech-knowledge lag’, says Zaki Qureshey, chairman and founder, E2Labs and HomeLand Security Solutions, and an independent computer security and digital intelligence consultant specialising in curbing cyber crimes and cyber terrorism. He has been credited for starting the first school of ethical hacking in Asia.
Security measures and technological advancements are not keeping pace with the speed and sophistication of cyber criminals, says Qureshey. Organisations need higher preparation levels and better systems to anticipate, detect, fix and prevent cyber attacks.
“Major threats like malware and spear phishing are being employed by cyber thugs to cyberjack computer networks, steal confidential data and gain illegal access to systems. While existing technologies such as endpoint detection response or EDR can help locate and smoke out these dodgy malware, also known as RATs (remote access Trojan), mechanisms such as email gateways are being employed to tackle spear phishing and halt malicious e-mails in their tracks before they reach the inbox to inflict damage,” he says, adding that the key to staying ahead is to invest in research and develop water-tight security systems.
The second challenge is team-work lag. Extensive cooperation between key stakeholders is critical to winning the battle, he says. “Given the frequency and destructive power of cyber attacks, cyber security must be mandatorily pre-budgeted, in fact as top priority to ensure secure information and minimum collateral damage.”
Another challenge is the training lag. “The country faces a shortage of over 500,000 cyber security workers and that number is expected to grow to over two million by 2020,” says Qureshey. At E2Labs, cyber security training is a focus area. “We bootstrapped the firm with initial plans to build a robust foundation in research and training before launching full-fledged IT security services and expanding our market presence. We are supporting the government’s vision to create a taskforce of two million cyber security professionals by 2020 under the ‘National Cyber Security Policy Vision-2013’. We aim to contribute to 20% of that target through our training programmes,” he adds.