Formal education in Cybersecurity will create a new workforce


HEIs may invite cyber security, computer or IT qualified faculty as well as industry experts to take the lectures, practicals and tutorials
In an era of increased digital dependency, the threat in cyberspace has increased the importance of cybersecurity. A key requirement to prevent cybercrimes is maintaining cyber hygiene. Till now, few HEIs and EdTechs offering short-term courses on Cybersecurity. However, UGC has recently launched the syllabi for undergraduate (UG) and postgraduate (PG) courses in the subject, which emphasises the course as a fruitful higher education option for students.
Charting a new course
M Jagadesh Kumar, chairman, UGC has recently launched the syllabi of Cybersecurity at the UG and PG levels. “As a subject, Cybersecurity needs to be incorporated at both UG and PG levels across all streams. The aim of formal education in the subject is to create more aware, responsive, and responsible digital citizens. For giving lectures in this subject, HEIs may invite cybersecurity, computer, IT qualified faculty or industry experts,” he says.
The proposed syllabus gives broad guidelines to faculty so that they have enough flexibility to strike a balance between time and depth of coverage, adds Kumar.
Need for formal education
Consumers have increasingly started feeling hopeless about their safety against cybercrimes. This was revealed in a consumer cybersecurity research by ISACA. The international study of more than 3,000 consumers across the UK, Australia, US, and India, found that 41% consumers in India have had their personal information stolen by cyber criminals. Nearly half (47%) do not think there is anything they can do to protect themselves from cybercrimes. Interestingly, more than half (53%) believe they are unlikely to be the victim of cybercrimes.
These figures indicate that there is an immediate need for a strong cybersecurity workforce with cutting-edge skills in new technologies to help companies avoid cybercrimes, ensure the safety of their consumer data, and build digital trust.
Bringing a change
Tathagata Datta, director (Cybersecurity), Praxis Business School, says, “Up until now, training in Cybersecurity was clubbed with IT education. Today, with the advancement of technology, our entire infrastructure is gradually becoming dependent on cyberspace, which has made cybersecurity the central mechanism for all our online dealings.”
Datta adds that the government’s focus on digitisation has enabled all important information related to our key sectors to be kept in the cyberspace. Due to this, the need for cybersecurity experts has risen manifold. Thus, formal education in the subject that provides hands on training in core aspects of cybersecurity is the need of the hour. “For around five years, we have been offering a nine-month long certificate course in Cybersecurity that trains students in cyber laws, cyber supply chain risk and similar subjects. Also, few of our management programmes also offer a module on Cybersecurity. However, a complete UG and PG course in the subject will definitely help deal with the immediate issues related to cybercrime in a better way.




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