India is an information security powerhouse, but a closer examination reveals a stark reality. The country's official information security workforce consists of merely 556 specialists positioned at various levels in the Government, and this fact is supported by Minister of State for Telecommunications, Milind Deora, who accepted that cyber security attacks rose to 22,060 in 2012 from 23 in 2004.
The deficiency in cyber security manpower can be measured by the overwhelming difference when compared to other countries - China has 1.25 lakh experts, the U.S. 91,080 and Russia 7,300. There is an immediate need for 5, 00,000 information security professionals in India to combat the sophisticated threat that the country is facing, as laid out by National Cyber Security Policy, 2013.
Though cyber attacks on information technology infrastructure of government organisations rose marginally, Deora said in the Lok Sabha that cyber attacks, malware infection and targeted denial of service, are being increasingly reported by private users and government departments.
The mid-2000 marked the transition of computer/IT age to information-age with the advent of facebook and Google's IPO, with that came requirements for manpower to counter the cyber security threats.
Around the same time, Appin Technology Lab started training students to gear up for these new-age careers in the information-age. Its flagship course was a 6-month diploma program in information security that enabled students to be 'appin certified security expert'. It came up with centres in Delhi, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar, Jharkhand, Punjab, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Assam, Odisha, Tripura and West Bengal to fulfill the country's immediate need for cyber security professionals.
ATL spokesperson Neha said: "Teaching computer-age or industrial-age courses in colleges will not help students get job in the information-age. Our vocational programs are geared towards preparing the facebook denizens for careers that will shape our society in coming decade."
While Cyber Security and Information Security (CS and IS) is all set to be introduced as a subject in higher and secondary education in the country, the government plans to hire around 5,000 information security experts who would impart training to create a larger dependable force of cyber experts across the country, top Government sources said.
The recent spate of cyber attacks on Indian installations is another cause for extreme concern. Interestingly, cyber warfare is fast emerging as the fifth domain of warfare and India's preparedness to deal with it is wanting. With a view to plug the gaping hole, quite a few private players have emerged and are providing training to aspiring students and turning them into talented information security professionals from across India and ATL is one such training ground.
Apart from imparting new-age Information Security tools, ATL also delivers hands-on technical workshops. Powered by expert consultants from the industry, who pool their intellect and resources to formulate a comprehensive security study material, this new-age entity provides great opportunity for students who are looking to fashion a career in the InfoSec domain.
Aimed towards the development of human resource in the area of Information Security at various levels, ATL, among other offerings, provides expertise in the field of Cloud computing, Internet reputation management, embedded robotics, mobile application development, human resource management, secured programming in microsoft .net and java.
Primary job opportunities that are available for students on completion of the courses, range from entry to mid-level positions not only in Information and communication technology industry, but also in Automotive, ITES, Banking, Insurance, Oil and Gas, Consulting, FMCG, Manufacturing, Construction and Power sector.