Will NEP Enable Better Cybersecurity Professionals?

Cybersecurity is one of the most daunting challenges of 2020, and both businesses and individuals have struggled to cope up with the growing sophistication of cyberattacks.

“Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think” - Albert Einstein

We are living in an era where technology is at the centre of life, but how many of us have received any formal education on how to appropriately and safely use technology? Students are willing to enter the world of cybersecurity but do not have the basics of digital conquered. It was always believed that understanding digital security begins with digital security. 

For example, my inquisitiveness about digital and security was recognized early on during my university period. I undertook multiple projects for my university and helped them better their digital infrastructure, and in the process realized the void of knowledge that exists in the cybersecurity industry. Not many have the privilege of such understanding and they often turn rogue early on- germinating cybercrimes to earn quick money and fame. 

In 2020, the average cost of a data breach is close to $4 million and as we head into the future, this number will only rise. According to Cybersecurity Ventures, there will be 3.5 million unfilled job positions globally by 2021, and that is just in the field of cybersecurity! 

Not just cybersecurity, if you look at the emerging technologies and the skill gap there, it’s significantly higher than it should be, especially as the world has already seen the advantages of technology, for decades now. But, why is this so?

The answer lies in our form of education and learning. Take the example of the pandemic which has rattled traditional schooling and education approaches. Online or e-education has grown exponentially in the pandemic alone and is opening new doors for teachers, students, job aspirants, and professionals globally. 

National Education Policy 2020 is a step forward in the right direction

India is steadily becoming a technology powerhouse, 34% of India’s population comprises millennials.  The 2019 8th Annual Millennial Survey by Deloitte shows that Indian millennials and Gen Z are the brightest spots among their global peers. As the job market shifts dramatically, and technology skills become central to every job, it was imperative for our education modules to adopt the new way of communication, business, and living.

Including digital literacy, coding and computational thinking is a welcome move and will prepare our students not only to stay attuned to what is happening in industries but also play a pivotal role in filling the huge gap in talent in emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Data Science and cybersecurity amongst others. With the explosion of ‘digital’ and the Internet of Things, every field and industry will be dependent on ‘cyber’ for functionality, and preparing the next generation is our responsibility.

The impact that the NEP 2020 will have on the world of cyber

Cybersecurity is one of the most daunting challenges of 2020, and both businesses and individuals have struggled to cope up with the growing sophistication of cyberattacks. One of the major challenges businesses and individuals face is lack of awareness. “Turn-on multi-function authentication”, “never click on suspicious emails”, “never share your bank details, or OTP or any other financially sensitive information with anybody”, have been some of the most popular security tips that come from experts, businesses, and novices, and yet these continue to be few of the top-most ways you get hacked. 

Right now, the aim is to upcycle the habit of analytical thinking and good cyber hygiene from the grassroots to the top tier. As the current generation, trained in the basics of ‘cyber’, grow up to become leaders- the habit will then reverse and trickle downwards - creating a collective society that is one step ahead of cyber threats. In this new era, the black hats will have to twist their hats to stay ahead, contrary to how we might have functioned to date.

I always like saying - Looking at your smartphone rather than an analogue wristwatch to check the time has become second nature. Similarly, cyber- awareness too has to become a part of everyone’s consciousness. Then, and only then will we be able to collectively counter cybercriminals.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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