A spate of recent ransomware attacks such as WannaCry and Petya has led corporate India scrambling to hire cyber-security experts to protect their IT systems.
Demand for graduates specialising in cyber security has shot up to an alltime high, and universities and educational institutes are introducing these programmes to cater to the growing requirements.
Students from the 2017 batch of the Gujarat Forensic Sciences University in Gandhinagar with degrees such as M. Tech in Cyber Security & Incident Response and M.Sc. in Digital Forensics & Information Assurance received 70 offers from companies such as Reliance Industries, EY, KPMG, Deloitte, PwC, Adobe and Axis Bank. Last year, only 30 students were placed.
“The demand for cyber-security specialists has shot up so much after the recent spate of cyber-attacks that six companies have already rolled out about 30 pre-placement offers to batch 2018,” said Digvijaysinh Rathod, training and placement officer at the university.
Ransomware attacks typically lock down computers until money is paid to free them. The Petya strike earlier this week came after the WannaCry attack in May, shutting down thousands of computers globally and in some cases, crippling company operations. Analysts said cyber-attacks are now common and India requires more than just traditional network specialists.
“We need advanced malware analysts, incident response analysts and specialists who are post-breach experts,” said Rajpreet Kaur, a senior research analyst at Gartner. To feed into this demand, colleges are rolling out cyber-security courses. The SP Jain School of High Technology in Mumbai started a cyber-security and data security specialist programme this year. Two months of this six-month course will be spent interning with various companies.