Dire need of prioritizing cybersecurity in the age of AI

Dire need of prioritizing cybersecurity in the age of AI

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The dire need of prioritizing Cybersecurity in the age of AIIn the age of information technology when almost everything is going digital, it becomes imperative to prioritize cybersecurity. Be it confidential data or discreet user information, it is stored online in centralized servers and data security is essential to safeguard that and prevent it from falling in the hands of online miscreants who can commit a gamut of crimes from identity thefts to faking financial transactions to selling a person’s private information to shady bidders who could further use it for malicious purposes.

With the risk of hacking, viruses, malware, and trojans looming large, cybersecurity needs immediate attention. And this is the main reason why organizations these days lay equal emphasis on keeping data secure and expansion in digital potential.

At the 26th Convergence India 2018, New Delhi, Anup Pandit, Global Marketing, Microsemi, said that “still the biggest challenge in India is setting something up and initiating quality research in hardware.”

For developing indigenous AI software to monitor cyber threats and increase the security over the internet, a hardware that would be compatible with AI would be needed. And for popularizing it and ensuring that it is used massively, what would be needed is India-developed software and hardware.

Apart from this, another dark underbelly of the Internet is the easy accessibility of violent and explicit content that generally requires discretion and is not suited for minors. For Instance, video games replete with blood and gore are making kids more aggressive and violent and this should certainly ring alarm bells. This is undoubtedly a vital aspect of cybersecurity.

Rakshit Tandon, Executive Director, Council of Information Security, rightly pointed out that “Sanitizing the young generation to become responsible netizens should also be a key priority which can be only ignored at our own peril”.

He also added that “There is a cat-and-mice chase between hackers and those who maintain internet security. For the purpose of online security, we have OTPS(one-time passwords), but hackers have even found ways to directly read OTPs. And this makes them one step ahead of developers. In this scenario, AI is needed to develop smart systems that won’t be vulnerable to the ploys of sinister hackers”.

A proactive, assertive and unflinching cybersecurity approach is the need of the hour. And only then the AI component can be added to it.

India has made tremendous strides in digitalization and information technology in the past decade as technology reaches even isolated places. But this is no excuse for the nations to slow its pace as we are still to catch up with the developed west in cybersecurity.

Alok Gupta, CEO, Pyramid Cyber, said, “India has certainly come a long way in the last 10-15 years when cybersecurity laws were newly enacted. But there is still a lot that needs to be done, especially in digital forensics.”

In the nutshell, we cannot harness AI for cybersecurity unless we first enhance our digital infrastructure and spread awareness about cybersecurity and the repercussions of not paying attention to the risk of hacking.

Alok Gupta suggests some ways to modernize cybersecurity at all levels throughout the country, saying that “We need capacity building and specialized police training at regular intervals to keep them updated about the new developments. And for this purpose, a dedicated cadre would be very helpful.”

He also believes that “As a nation, we need to shun the knee-jerk attitude regarding cybersecurity and the government should establish dedicated centers of excellence that focus on an advanced level of analysis and scrutiny”.

Saket Modi, CEO  & Founder, Lucideus, said that” The time is over when cybersecurity was something to be deliberated only in corporate boardroom discussions and there wasn’t any consensus on it. These days most companies have a dedicated cybersecurity division and there is a willingness to invest more in research related to cybersecurity”.

For cutting age innovation in cybersecurity and its overlapping with futuristic technologies, a talented pool of trained professionals is needed. And this naturally means quality institutions that impart knowledge of cybersecurity to students. But, like in other streams, the issue of quality, the relevance of curriculum and practical training, shows a tangible gap.

Kishore Kar, Chief Business Officer, Cyber Security Integrators, said that “Cybersecurity training centers are mushrooming and this means they are not adhering to the quality requirements. And this is something which draws our immediate attention”.

Overall, changes are happening, albeit at a slow but steady pace. And if we address the elephant in the room than we can be hopeful of bolstering our cybersecurity capacity and power it with AI.

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