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India has very few cyber security professionals, despite it being an increasingly attractive target for cyber criminals

  • New Delhi, IN
  • 2 September, 2013

SANS Institute, a cooperative research and education organization, and the largest source for world-class information security training and security certification, has stressed the importance of repeatable and sustainable training programs that focus on combatting real-world attacks if India is to successfully secure its critical and most sensitive systems.

With the third largest population of Internet users in the world, India's economic growth and success has made it an increasingly popular target for organized crime and nation state cyber threats. A recent report by Kaspersky Lab indicated that the number of Indian users targeted by phishing attacks more than doubled last year to 3.7 million people. Further, a recent Norton Internet Security Threat Report stated that India saw a 280 percent increase in bot infections in 2012, with more phishing and virus-bearing emails targeting small Indian businesses.

Given the rapid and increasing adoption of mobile technologies in India, these findings present a significant challenge for an emerging IT powerhouse.

Responding to these increasing threats, India's Joint Working Group on Cyber Security recently announced a number of recommendations to address this issue, including the introduction of a cyber security capacity building framework, the establishment of training facilities, and the creation of a multi-disciplinary center of excellence.

"This is a positive development, as one of the key challenges we all face in relation to cyber security is recruiting, training and retaining technical talent to ensure the protection of our sensitive and valuable information," Mr Eric Bassel, Senior Director and Deputy CEO of the SANS Institute, said.

"India is an increasingly attractive target, however, it has very few cyber security professionals," Mr Bassel said. "The number of cyber attacks has increased considerably over the last few years, and the economic impact that these attacks represent poses a significant threat to India's national security given the magnitude and importance of its IT industry".

SANS is working closely with a number of international organizations - including the US military, FBI and NSA among others – to help deliver successful and robust cyber training programs for their elite teams of cyber security professionals.

Chief Warrant Officer Michael V. Gaskin with the US Army recently stated in an interview with SIGNAL Magazine, that these training programs have allowed the Army "to stay on top of what's being trained and to be consistent and on the same curve as commercial industry”. He also stated that by outsourcing these programs, the Army has been able to reallocate valuable resources and manpower that were previously required to develop and maintain their internal training programs. Chief Warrant Officer Gaskin added that "the efficiencies mean we don't have to worry about being behind the power curve".

"Cyber represents an ever-evolving threat landscape, and it is vital that security professionals are provided with hands-on training to prepare them for real world attacks and how to react when a breach occurs," Mr Bassel said. "The only way to ensure the success of these training programs is for Government, Industry and Academia to work together to share knowledge and capability - we all have a role to play in tackling this complex challenge.

SANS will be providing essential cyber security training in India and Asia Pacific at upcoming training events. For a complete list of training events with courses, and to register, please visit:

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About SANS Institute

The SANS Institute was established in 1989 as a cooperative research and education organization. Today, SANS is the most trusted and, by far, the largest provider of cyber security training and certification to professionals in government and commercial institutions worldwide. Renowned SANS instructors teach more than 60 courses at In-Person and Live Online cyber security training events, and more than 50 courses are available anytime, anywhere with our OnDemand platform. GIAC, an affiliate of the SANS Institute, validates practitioner skills through more than 35 hands-on, technical certifications in cyber security. The SANS Technology Institute, a regionally accredited independent subsidiary, offers a master’s degree, graduate certificates, and an undergraduate certificate in cyber security. SANS Security Awareness, a division of SANS, provides organizations with a complete and comprehensive security awareness solution, enabling them to easily and effectively manage their ‘human’ cybersecurity risk. SANS also delivers a wide variety of free resources to the InfoSec community including consensus projects, research reports, webcasts, podcasts, and newsletters; it also operates the Internet's early warning system – the Internet Storm Center. At the heart of SANS are the many security practitioners, representing varied global organizations from corporations to universities, working together to support and educate the global information security community. (