By Roy Zur, CEO, ThriveDX SaaS
India and other countries can play a key role in addressing the cybersecurity skills and talent shortage.
Cybersecurity has grown in importance around the world over the past two years. With new and advanced threats emerging in cyberspace every day, staying safe online is a matter of concern. Hackers are able to exploit even the smallest security holes in the network and can steal data or funds in seconds. In just one second, a hacker can wipe out millions of dollars without leaving a trace. Using malware or social engineering, hackers can gain access to valuable information, such as credit card numbers, customer personal identification numbers, login details, and credentials issued by the government. According to a World Bank document-
“… from 2019 to 2023, approximately US $ 5.2 trillion in global value will be threatened by cyber attacks. 10.5 million records are lost or stolen each month; 438,000 every hour, and a single large-scale attack can cause $ 53 billion in economic losses. Among developing countries, Africa has been one of the fastest growing regions in terms of cybercrime activity, with World Economic Forum declaring cybercrime one of Africa’s biggest threats in 2019. . Nigeria’s and Kenya’s losses in 2019 are estimated at US $ 650 million and US $ 210 million respectively, and overall losses of US $ 3.5 billion in Africa.
Cybercrime in developing countries
In several developing countries, cybercrime is a growing problem as the majority of users who use the Internet access it through insecure means that are not designed to protect communication. And because most of these countries do not have an IT response team or IT protocols to manage, hackers can easily escape. The lack of cybersecurity awareness and skills among the general population is a major cause of the increasing frequency of attacks.
Cybercrime is on the rise on the African continent. The boom in broadband access has resulted in an increase in the number of Internet users. Thus, Africa has become a âsafe havenâ for online fraudsters. African countries are concerned about pressing issues such as poverty, the AIDS crisis, the fuel crisis, political instability and ethnic instability. As a result, the fight against cybercrime is lagging behind. The public’s lack of computer literacy and the absence of suitable legal frameworks to tackle cybercrime at national and regional levels have compounded the problem.
In 2021, several cases of targeted malware attacks raging in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa were reported. South Africa was the country most affected by targeted ransomware in the first quarter of 2021. Subsequently, Egypt was the second worst affected country with a similar profile of targeted ransomware detection.
Latin America has a very high internet penetration rate but appears largely ill-prepared to tackle cybercrime. This means that, as governments impose stricter quarantine measures to combat the coronavirus pandemic, individuals, businesses and critical infrastructure are vulnerable to attack. They have the money, a huge population and are adopting new technologies quickly, but at the same time these countries are lagging far behind the rest of the world in implementing cyber defense mechanisms, regulations and compliance policies. at all levels.
Brazil is one of the most attacked countries in cyberspace, according to a 2020 Eset Latin America Security Report. The survey of Brazilian businesses found that a third had been victims of cybercrime, with combined losses totaling millions. Many Latin American countries have yet to publicize the dangers of the Internet. Private industries also frequently believe that they are not targets, so they have not made prevention programs a high priority.
The rapid growth in Internet use in Asia, coupled with a tenfold or more increase in access in China, Indonesia and India since 2002, has also been accompanied by a substantial increase in cybercrime. Due to the lack of proper regulations and the lack of emphasis on cybersecurity training in many Asian countries, criminals thrive and can continue to earn millions from their fraudulent means.
According to a UN report in 2020, a growing number of criminals in Southeast Asia are using the dark web to engage in the full range of illicit activity available. This includes buying and selling drugs, cybercrime toolkits, fake passports, fake currency, online child sexual exploitation material, stolen credit card details and information. Personally Identifiable From Breaches. Countries like Bangladesh, India and China have become hotbeds of cybercriminals due to their large populations and lack of cybersecurity protocols.
Cyber ââsecurity education for a safer future
The trend towards cybercrime in developing countries is growing rapidly and there is no doubt that criminals are exploiting these regions specifically due to a lack of digital security and hygiene among the public and disregard for education in cybersecurity in society in general. In a study conducted by IBM in 2019, it was found that 95% of cybercrimes or breaches are caused by human error. This implies that cybersecurity is not about installing firewalls and other software or hardware upgrades, but about best practices followed by users operating on networks.
Where is India and what can it do?
In India, there are a limited number of colleges offering specialized programs in cybersecurity, many of which have become obsolete with their old programs which have not changed with the new trends and technologies emerging in cyberspace. There are very few programs that put the practicalities of cybersecurity front and center and focus on training students with real abilities instead of just textbook knowledge.
Skills like malware analysis, cybercrime, and network architecture have become crucial as there is a growing need for cybersecurity professionals and not just hobbyists. Updated courses adapted to modern trends are needed as cybercrime evolves rapidly. And unlike traditional subjects, cybersecurity needs hands-on training, and institutes need to focus on application-based teaching methodologies.
With the global cybersecurity crisis affecting everyone, India can play an important role in solving the cybersecurity talent shortage. As an emerging nation India needs to develop adequate resources to create cybersecurity professionals and with a large student body India may soon become a hub for cybersecurity professionals.
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