India short of trained manpower to tackle cyber crime

NEW DELHI: Even as India ranks third in terms of the highest number of internet users in the world after US and China and the number is projected to grow six-fold between 2012 and 2017 with a compound annual growth rate of 44 per cent, it is among the top 10 spam-sending countries in the world alongside the United States.

According to a whitepaper launched by ASSOCHAM-KPMG, highlighted that India has a huge shortage of cyber security specialists with the number of trained manpower only accounting for 556 compared to 1.25 lakh in China and 91,080 in the US. This is despite the fact that cyber crime cases in the country registered under the Information Technology Act last year rose by about 61 per cent to 2,876 with Maharashtra recording the most number of cases.

To check cyber crime and hacking of systems, the government launched the National Cyber Security Policy of India (NCSP) followed by the release of guidelines by the National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre of the National Technical Research Organization (NTRO) in July this year.

One of the key agendas of the National Cyber Security Policy of India is to create a taskforce of 500,000 cyber security professionals in the next five years. Public and private sector partnership (PPP) is also seen as a key step to counter cyber crime.

The whitepaper asserts that there is need for enterprises, SMEs and the government bodies to not only adopt the various guidelines and advisories issued by the security agencies but also to regularly review the implementation of the same. There needs to be a timely review of the IT act to keep pace with the developments and sophistications in cyber crime.

Apart from consulting private sectors and cyber security equipment manufacturers, international coordination is also something that India needs to consider in the days to come to counter cyber attacks more effectively and efficiently. The implementation of all these aspects together will be a challenge that needs to be dealt with precision to secure the critical infrastructure of the country. 

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