Govt to set up centres for cybersecurity professionals

Govt to set up centres of excellence to skill cybersecurity professionals

Representative image.

In view of the growing cybersecurity threat and scarcity of skilled professionals to deal with the menace, the centre has decided to set up centres of excellence in cybersecurity in engineering colleges across the country. 

The project will be partially funded by the World Bank under the technical education quality improvement programme (TEQIP) implemented by the all India council for technical education (AICTE).

The technical education regulator has invited the Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSE) to submit an expression of interest for the establishment of the proposed centres in select engineering colleges in the country.

In the first phase of the implementation of the project, the AICTE will approve the establishment of the proposed centres of excellence in cybersecurity in 10 engineering colleges.

“With a massive digital transformation taking place in India, there is an urgency to improve protection profile, posture, robustness and resilience of critical information infrastructure (CII) assets against any cyber-attacks and incidents by both state and non-state actors,” the council noted in a concept note on the establishment of the proposed centres of excellence.

The scarcity of cybersecurity professionals exposes businesses and smart cities to cyber-attacks and reduces their ability to quickly respond to complex threats, the council observed.

“In the long run, the cyber risks may discourage companies from implementing new technologies or making new investments in vulnerable smart cities,” it said, adding, “To address this gap, the centres of excellence in cybersecurity must be established to accelerate skill building, capacity building, testing and resilience building for cybersecurity.”

The cost of establishment of the proposed centres of excellence will be borne “equally” by the TEQIP and the Industry, or the sponsors to be facilitated by the implementing CPSE agencies, the AICTE said.

As per the information reported to and tracked by the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), the incidents of cybersecurity breach have been on the rise in India since 2016.

As many as 50,362, 53,117, 2.08 lakh and over 3.13 lakh cybersecurity incidents, which included phishing, network scanning and probing, virus/malicious code execution and website hacking, were reported in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 (till October) respectively, according to the government records.