Enhancing India’s Cybersecurity capability – India Cyber ​​Games way

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Over the last decade, India has moved rapidly on the path of a digital revolution powered by a young population, increasing broadband and Internet penetration, exponential data uptake, and, most importantly, the government’s focus on digitization. In fact, in certain sectors such as fintech, it has already become the global leader. At the end of the calendar year 2022, around 7,400 crores of UPI transactions with a total value of 135 lakh crore were made as per the NCPI, Interestingly, the total UPI transaction value accounted for nearly 51 per cent of India’s GDP in FY22, In FY 2021 itself, 40 percent of all real-time digital payments worldwide took place in India; at 48 billion transactions, it was three times that of China and more than six times that of the US, Canada, UK, France, and Germany combined.

The digital revolution is changing our lives and society at an unprecedented speed while creating both enormous opportunities and great challenges. As companies digitize businesses and automate operations, cyber risks proliferate. The consequences of a successful cyber-attack can be devastating for companies – sometimes, if not managed well, even leading to bankruptcy. In certain situations, it can lead to a national emergency as well.

In a study conducted by IBM, Indian firms lost a whopping 18.6 crore on average in the financial year 21-22 to data breaches, a 33 per cent increase from 14 crore in FY 19-20. The global average cost of a data breach also reached an all-time high of $43.5 lakhs for organizations, with breach costs increasing nearly 13 per cent over the last two years, said the reports,

As citizens and consumers, we are all aware that cyber threats and cyber security don’t see boundaries and borders. As such, no single country can tackle this challenge on its own. There needs to be mutual cooperation and collaboration to tackle such threats in an effective manner. The government of India has been actively approaching this sector and is collaborating with other countries. Last month, the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) conducted the G20 Cyber ​​Security Exercise and drills for 400 participants from more than 12 countries. Delegates from the Quad member nations comprising India, Japan, Australia, and the US, met in New Delhi on 30 and 31 January 2023 to discuss a collective approach to enhance cybersecurity cooperation and resilience.

Despite all these initiatives, there remains a huge gap between the demand for and supply of the cybersecurity workforce. In 2022, an estimated 3.4 million jobs in cybersecurity remain unfilled. The Asia-Pacific (APAC) region alone accounted for around 2.15 million vacancies. Such is the huge gap in demand that governments, academia, and industry need to work hand in hand to impart the necessary skills to our workforce. This is also an opportunity for us to remove the barriers that have limited the participation of women and other minority groups in our workforce.

The mission of ICG is to bring together India’s talented cybersecurity athletes

Given the massive demand for cybersecurity specialists, anyone interested in acquiring cybersecurity skills will benefit in the long run. Although a career in cybersecurity is challenging, it is financially rewarding and presents the opportunity to work on business, policy, and technology issues that have real-world implications.

We are all familiar with the buzz of how growing advancements in the field of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and automation is causing the eradication of the human labor force from various sectors. However, cybersecurity professionals will continue to remain in high demand because this domain requires constant human intervention.

In this context, and with the pressing need for such professionals, India Cyber ​​Games (ICG) has taken up the mantle to train, recruit and launch an elite India Cyber ​​Team as a part of the International Cybersecurity Challenge (ICC) Initiative. The mission of ICG is to bring together India’s talented cybersecurity athletes, coaches, universities, and industry to carve out India’s niche in the cybersecurity universe.

It is well established that using cyber games is the best way to teach and test skills related to cybersecurity. ICG has started a Discord community for community engagement. ICG will be organizing various events during the year for the community members to hone their skills & network with their peers across India. Those new to the field of cybersecurity will receive guidance and resources within this community. By the end of 2023, ICG expects this community to hit 3000 members and aspires to add at least 5000 members every year. Over time, these elite cyber athletes will be an invaluable talent pool for universities, companies, and government cybersecurity teams globally.

ICG will conduct India’s first national-level cyber challenge in February 2024. One of the goals of this event will be to shortlist candidates to represent India at ICC 2024 and other international events. The cyber national challenge will be open to all, even participants outside India. However, only national Indians under the age of 25 & below will be eligible for the final selection to represent India. Once shortlisted, the cyber athletes will receive mentorship and training from experienced coaches to prepare them for international events.

In addition, such events will provide opportunities for the young generation to meet with industry leaders, network, and learn about the vast academic, research, and professional possibilities in the field of cyber security. The broader goal is not just to compete, but to collaborate, gain an international perspective and form long-lasting friendships along the way.

We truly believe that by leveraging its huge youth population and joining hands with like-minded international communities, India can play a major role in making the world a more cyber-friendly place.

Mr. Abhishek Singh, CEO – India Cyber ​​Games Initiative

Mr. Nimitt Jhaveri, Chairman – India Cyber ​​Games Initiative

One-click to join the ICG community https://discord.gg/hGCFSc8vX6

Disclaimer: This article is a paid publication and does not have journalistic/editorial involvement of Hindustan Times. Hindustan Times does not endorse/subscribe to the content(s) of the article/advertisement and/or view(s) expressed herein. Hindustan Times shall not in any manner, be responsible and/or liable in any manner whatsoever for all that is stated in the article and/or also with regard to the view(s), opinion(s), announcement(s), declaration (s), affirmation(s), etc., stated/featured in the same.


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