Q. Any thoughts on cyber security in the smart retail space, how vulnerable do you think are smart retail devices? This is vital as smart retail is catching up fast in India (with the emergence of new startups in this domain).
A. In general, security is an afterthought especially in not so regulated verticals like retail. As we move towards a cashless society, explosion of digital payments like e-wallets, payment apps and other methods are being adopted by retailers – regular and online – in a rapid scale.
Many of the modern malware infect point-of-sale terminals, vulnerable API interfaces and malicious advertisements online. A more proactive approach, responsible security development practice, state-of-art security control adoptions are needed in the retail space as it touches the lives of billions with potential access to large volumes of personal information.
Q. How do you think the need, to structure the Indian academic curriculum to include cyber security, is now? Any solutions that you can offer?
A. Most of the cyber security topics are introduced as optional at Bachelors Level or available as advanced courses at Masters Level. Often such topics are found to be outdated. Therefore, the need of the hour is to immediately update our curriculum with the latest cyber security trends.
Another issue we have identified over the years’ is the problem of working professionals who are not able to upskill themselves due to their professional commitments.
As far as solutions are concerned, we have developed an exclusive Manipal Global cyber security program in association with Deakin University, Australia. This program offers will offer advanced courses viz. Advanced Digital Security (deals with how IT security control mechanisms are implemented in the cyber space, that includes access control mechanisms, identity management, system security, biometric security, and the latest safety and security issues of cyberspace).
There is also the Advanced Digital Forensics that deals with a variety of different computer forensic frameworks including exploitation techniques such as shellcode, DLL hooking, and authentication eavesdrop.
To add to the above, a practical project will be offered as a part of this curriculum. Students will identify a potential problem or technical gap and experience how to solve it using methods, algorithms and techniques pertinent to the field of IT.
Q. Finally, for digital growth, what do you think is the need to build cyber security capability, and the need to create a more dedicated pool of cyber security experts?
A. As per industry estimates from Cisco and Symantec, by 2019 there is a global shortage of 1.5 million cyber security professionals at all levels. It is imperative for specialized training academies to develop and deliver flexible and scalable programs that are targeted at filling the gap of cyber security professionals and experts.
Explosion in digital growth need to be complemented by increase in talent pool to meet cyber security talent requirements.