What happens when intellectuals from the banking, information technology and education sector brainstorm together? Thought leadership – it brings the best minds together, which come up with innovative ideas capable of transforming challenges into solutions! That’s exactly what happened when Manipal Prolearn conducted the “Digital Transformation Thought Leadership Series on Cybersecurity: Challenges and the Road Ahead” on January 18, 2017.

Digitization – Great step ahead, but marred by challenges

Inaugurating the event, Mr. Bhaskaran Srinivasan, Academic Director at Manipal Global Education Services, quoted, “The subject of cybersecurity is especially relevant to India at the present time with the nation going digital.” Digitization is a great step ahead. But it is also accompanied by

several security challenges, which India as a country needs to be equipped to handle.

Dr. Shastri T. R., Joint Director, Manipal Academy of Banking got the session rolling by stressing how the banks are available in our pockets today, but this comfort comes at a price. He further delved into the subject explaining how simple it is these days to get access to someone’s personal details like their email ID, date of birth and PAN card and misuse this information. He mentioned the infamous data breach of September 2016, wherein sensitive data of about 3.2 million MasterCard and Visa card holders was compromised in India.

Emerging trends in cybersecurity

Dr. Robin Ram Mohan Doss, Deputy Head of School, Deakin University threw light on the top five industries targeted widely by cyber criminals, which include Healthcare, Manufacturing, Financial Services, Government agencies and the Transport sector. He highlighted that 2015-2016 saw an 80% increase in the cybercrime incidents in the financial sector.

On an average a single data breach incident can cause a loss of $4 million to a business”. This cost is only likely to rise in the coming years, increasing the significance of cybersecurity. He added,

“Cybersecurity is real and you cannot assume it to be someone else’s problem. That is why more and more companies are investing in it. It is estimated that by 2020 about 1.5 million jobs will be available in this space, and it will be a challenge to fill this gap.”

Lastly, Dr. Robin also revealed that about 60% of cybercrime is carried out by ‘insiders’. It is something that we have to take care of immediately.
Need for a fool proof system

Taking the discussion further was Dr. Anand Kumar, who is the Global Integrated Delivery Leader for IBM Security BU. Dr. Anand pointed that the common phrase ‘In God we trust’ has now changed to ‘in screen we trust’.

While discussing some of the biggest global cyberattacks, he mentioned, “Organisations don’t want to spend on security as each area of operation comes with well-documented vulnerabilities, which result in additional cost to the company. However, it is time to design a system that is fool proof and offers reliable solutions. Otherwise, the only option left with people would be to go back to the old, traditional methods. But it will be a huge step backwards.” Lastly, he also recommended the book ‘Future Crimes: Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable, and What We Can Do About It’ by Marc Goodman as a must-read for anyone interested in the subject and eager to learn more about it.
Further…

The last speaker for the day was, Mr. Vikram Dhar, Global Integrated Delivery Relationship Manager – MEA, Asia Pacific, Australia, New Zealand, IBM Security Services IBM Security BU. Mr. Vikram spoke about the present-day security drivers and challenges. He distinguished them as Advanced Attacks, Human Errors, Innovation, Compliance and Skill Gaps.

Mr. Vikram explained how hackers hacked into India’s top-secret submarine mission and questioned if India is ready for complete digitization. He concluded by establishing that the Healthcare and Financial sectors are among the worst-hit areas. He added, “The extent of hacking in the healthcare sector has grown ten-folds in the last couple of years”. Hence, it is a huge matter of concern. Furthermore, Vikram suggested that a simple way of overcoming cybercrime is to be cautious. He also said that we must stay aware of what’s happening around us. Prediction analysis can also help to some extent.
IT shift

Anand Ramabhadran, Senior Vice President, Manipal Global Education Services summarized the session accentuating how far we have come in terms of technology and digitization. He reminded how agriculture was the main occupation of India just a few decades ago. However, today we are experiencing an IT revolution, which is only going to get bigger in the coming years. He stated that, ‘Everything that is happening in today’s automated world is hitting us twice over”. He added how terms like ‘rat’ and ‘fishing’ have transformed into RAT (Remote Access Trojan) and Phishing.

Focusing on Manipal Global’s role in this sector, he mentioned that, ‘The major challenge for Manipal Global is to understand and learn about these cybersecurity challenges and impart the same knowledge to our learners. That would be our biggest contribution in this field.”

The session helped the audience learn about the challenges in the cybersecurity space and why it is one of the hottest topics across the world today.

Want to know what happened at our earlier Thought Leadership Series on Talent Imperatives in the field of Data Science and Analytics? Read more about it here:

About the Author:
Vishnupriya Raghavan
Head of Programs
Manipal Global Academy of Data Science (MGADS)

Vishnupriya Raghavan has a PhD in Information Systems and Operations. She also holds Master’s degrees in Mathematics and Information Systems. Further, she has served as the Director of Programs at Institute of Product Leadership, Program Head for MBA and MSc programs affiliated to Edith Cowan University – Australia, Asia Pacific University – Malaysia, Cardiff Metropolitan University and Anglia Ruskin University – UK, Bangalore University and Visveswaraya Technological University – Belgaum.

She has spearheaded the development of Masters in Science (Information Technology with specialization in Mobile Apps) curriculum in collaboration with Anglia Ruskin University and Cardiff Metropolitan University, UK, Masters in Business Administration (specialization in Information Systems) curriculum in collaboration with Edith Cowan University, Australia. As the Director of Academic Programs Office at the Institute of Product Leadership, she was instrumental in shaping the curriculum and crafting the combination of content, instructional methods and assessments for the Masters in Business Administration program in Product Leadership.

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