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99 percent Indian IT engineers lack secure programming skills
Saturday November 23, 2013 9:18 AM, IANS

Spelling alarm for the country's corporate and defence establishments, a recent survey shows that less than one percent of Indian IT students are skilled in secure programming.

The survey-cum-test "The Talent Crisis in InfoSec" was was conducted by EC-Council, a global leader in InfoSec certifications and training.

Unveiling the findings, EC-Council president Jay Bavisi said that a mere 13 percent of engineering students were found trainable in the InfoSec domain, with nearly 86 percent unskilled even in its basics.

"The world is recognising vulnerabilities, leading to cyber threats and attacks. India holds a key position in the global IT and IT-enabled services map. Every country is taking steps towards building a talent pipeline towards a secure future and we urge Indian industry and academia to address the concerns to retain their leadership in the domain," Bavisi said.

Cyber security has emerged as a top concern for economies the world over, as incidents of cyber hacking, espionage and terror attacks are on the rise.

Recent reports peg the losses of the global economy at around $110 billion due to cyber threats, with India contributing around eight billion dollars to this, he said.

The EC-Council had initiated the research report among 10,000 college students this year to measure the sensitisation towards InfoSec skills and associated risks, he said.

The findings of the report indicate that Indian engineering students have below average understanding of basics of secure programming, a critical part of cyber security.

While the current curriculum has some introductory topics on the subject, it is not provided as a separate subject yet in Indian universities.

A relatively smaller chunk of the talent pool is seen at the more extreme end of the spectrum, indicating advanced understanding of the subject.

The Indian IT-BPO industry is currently sized at around 100 billion dollars, but to continue creating software that serves the world, secure programming holds high importance since it is the foundation of every software.

"Given the fact that 86 percent of students are unprepared and have low awareness of cyber security, the role of industry and academia becomes all the more challenging," Bavisi pointed out.

Incidentally, India declared its first National Cyber Security Policy July this year, with plans to create 500,000 InfoSec professionals by 2015.

As per industry data, currently only around 34 of the roughly 500 Indian universities offer courses in the InfoSec domain.

EC-Counil is collaborating with educational institutions in the country and helping them create a steady pipeline of cyber security professionals in India.

Besides the already trained pool by EC-Council, another 40,000 InfoSec professionals are expected to join the industry by early next year.

EC-Council is certified for ANSI 17024 standard and is creator and owner of several leading anti-hacking programmes.

EC-Council offers its programs in 92 countries and has so far trained 120,000 professionals and certified 60,000 security professionals through a training network of more than 500 training partners worldwide.

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