More skilled talent needed to repel 5G cyber threats | The Financial Express

More skilled talent needed to repel 5G cyber threats

While 5G creates new use cases, it also ups the attack surface

Parag Khurana (left) and Abhishek Mitra (Right)
Parag Khurana (left) and Abhishek Mitra (Right)

The advent of 5G is further widening the gap in cybersecurity talent who can design security systems for the network. While the launch of 5G network in India will significantly boost the internet speed, it will also open the gates of security vulnerabilities like massive botnet attacks.

“The launch of 5G services will trigger a further spike in security-related employment. 5G rollout has been eagerly anticipated in India, and businesses have already begun employing to develop 5G-specific technology and benefits,” said Abhishek Mitra, founder and CEO, Indian Cyber Security Solutions. “With enterprises looking at 5G adoption at an accelerated pace, we will probably see an uptick in hiring for these roles in the next few quarters. This also means a hike in the employment rate and that there will be an increased need for skilled talent that can design security systems and strengthen network architectures to adjust to the new technology,”.

But, the demand for niche cyber security skills outstrips the supply. The global cybersecurity workforce gap increased by 26.2% in 2022 compared to 2021, with 3.4 million more workers needed to secure assets effectively, according to the (ISC)2 2022 Cybersecurity Workforce Study.

“Cybersecurity is foundational to realising dependable and resilient 5G services. While 5G creates new opportunities and use cases with emerging technologies like IoT, cloud, edge, and metaverse, which enables a connected future, it also disproportionately increases the attack surface,” said Anand Bhaskar, managing director, Service Provider Business, Cisco India & SAARC.

Cisco believes developing a skilled workforce is critical to fuel the growth of the 5G network. Cisco has attempted to bridge this skills gap with Cisco Networking Academy which offers in-demand digital skills such as networking, infrastructure automation, and cybersecurity and has trained over 1 million learners since its inception in India. “In addition, Cisco has pledged to train over 25 million people globally over the next decade in cybersecurity and other critical digital skills,” said Bhaskar.

As per some reports, more than 60% of Indian organisations have unfilled cybersecurity positions, out of which 42% report their organisation’s cybersecurity team is understaffed. “This is majorly because the candidates lack a range of skills including cloud computing, security controls implementation, and other soft skills required in ever-evolving cybersecurity professionals,” said Parag Khurana, country manager, Barracuda Networks India.

“Application Development Security and Cloud Security are among two of the fastest-growing skill areas in cybersecurity as we see the rapid move to cloud adoption and SaaS application. With threat actors probing for different vulnerabilities, security professionals need to stay up-to-speed to the changing threat landscape in order to keep businesses secure and meet compliance requirements. The talent gap can be addressed by retaining the organisation’s existing talent, diversifying hiring practices, and building in-house skills,” added Khurana.

While industries across sectors are vulnerable to cyberattacks, some industries which carry higher risks are financial services, healthcare, education, energy and utilities, and government agencies.  

The number of attacks targeting the government sector has increased by 95% in the second half of 2022, as compared to the same period in 2021, according to data from CloudSEK, a contextual AI company that predicts cyber threats. In 2022, attacks on the Indian government intensified to the point where it became the country that was most frequently targeted in this sector.

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First published on: 05-01-2023 at 02:45 IST