DEMAND FOR TALENT GIVEN THE INCREASED FOCUS ON REGAINING CYBERSECURITY CONTROL | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

By Kapil Joshi

From nimble start-ups to established enterprises each of these entities are embracing cloud-based solutions to streamline operations, enhance scalability, and reduce costs.  According to EY, India’s overall public Cloud services are projected to reach US$13 billion by 2026. However, Cloud adoption comes across as a double-edged sword. While it fosters agility and innovation, it also creates a larger attack surface for malicious actors. This widespread adoption of Cloud therefore necessitates robust security measures to protect sensitive data and applications. Data shared by Check Point, a global IT security firm showed that India ranked second in the Asia-Pacific region (APAC) in 2023, experiencing a significant 15% increase in cyberattacks compared to 2022. Organizations in India faced an average of 2,138 weekly attacks, second only to Taiwan’s 3,050 incidents.  However this raises the question if India has the requisite talent to tackle these threats.

The Cybersecurity Talent Gap: A Looming Challenge

According to the information shared by the Head-Industry, Cybersecurity, World Economic Forum (WEF) in January 2024, there is a shortage of 8,00,000 cybersecurity professionals in India and this highlights the critical need for organizations to prioritize cloud security. Here’s where the demand for skilled cybersecurity professionals comes into true focus.

Unfortunately, the fast shift to the cloud has exposed a critical talent gap in the cybersecurity domain. Organizations are in a quandary to find qualified professionals with the expertise to secure their cloud environments. This talent shortage is further exacerbated by the constantly evolving nature of cyber threats. At the same time, hackers are continuously reinventing new methods to exploit vulnerabilities, making it imperative and difficult for organizations to have a team of skilled professionals who can stay one step ahead.

The Quest for Solutions: Bridging the Cybersecurity Talent Gap

In India, the specific skill sets in demand within the cybersecurity domain are constantly evolving to address the ever-changing threat landscape. However, some core competencies consistently top the list:

  • Cloud Security Architecture:It is paramount to design and implement secure cloud architectures is paramount. Professionals with expertise in cloud security frameworks like Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) and knowledge of leading cloud platforms (AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform) are highly sought after.
  • Cloud Security Operations:Organizations need skilled professionals who can manage and monitor their cloud security posture. Expertise in tools like Cloud Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) and Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response (SOAR) is essential.
  • Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing (VAPT):Identifying and mitigating vulnerabilities is crucial for cloud security. Professionals with expertise in VAPT methodologies and tools are in high demand.
  • Identity and Access Management (IAM):Controlling access to cloud resources is vital. Professionals with expertise in IAM solutions and best practices are crucial for preventing unauthorized access.


Interestingly,  the areas mentioned earlier look for professionals who can fulfill specific roles such as that of a Network Security Engineer, Cyber Security Analyst, Security Architect, Cyber Security Manager, Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) Information Security Manager, Cybersecurity Engineer -Application Security Engineer, Ethical hackers, Incident Manager, Cybersecurity Consultant and Cloud Security Engineer.

Beyond Technical Skills: The Soft Skills Advantage

While technical skills are essential, soft skills also play a vital role in the success of a cybersecurity professional. Strong communication, analytical thinking, and problem-solving abilities, besides working effectively within a team are crucial for navigating complex security challenges. Moreover, a strong desire for continuous learning is essential, as the cybersecurity landscape is constantly evolving and metamorphosing.

The Road Ahead: A Collaborative Approach to Cloud Security

In recent times, the three areas in India that rely heavily on the services of Cybersecurity experts are the Healthcare, Consumer and Retail sectors as well as the GCCs that cater to the BFSI space. Healthcare is the other vulnerable sector that in recent time has come under severe cyber-attacks. According a report by Indusface an application security SaaS company, Indian healthcare organizations were targeted by 2,78,000 cyberattacks – second only to the US.


The retail sector complies with privacy regulations across jurisdictions, requiring effective data security and governance practices with increasing reliance on technology and data, focusing on robust cybersecurity measures to protect sensitive customer information and prevent cyberattacks.


At the same time, Consumer Goods companies are increasingly adopting cloud security solutions, such as cloud access security brokers (CASBs) and data loss prevention (DLP) solutions, to protect data from unauthorized access, both on-premises and in the cloud.


GCCs working in the BFSI sector invest heavily in cybersecurity solutions to protect customer data, including data encryption, intrusion detection systems, and incident response plans.

BFSI GCCs ensure compliance with data privacy regulations such as GDPR and CCPA, which require them to protect customer data and give them control over its use.

As cloud adoption continues to grow at a fast pace, the demand for skilled cybersecurity professionals will only intensify. By investing in skilling and development initiatives, organizations can address the talent gap and ensure the security of their cloud environments. Here are some key strategies to consider:

  • Partnerships with Educational Institutions:Collaborating with universities and colleges to develop specialized cloud security programs can help create a pipeline of skilled professionals.
  • Upskilling and Reskilling Programs:Investing in upskilling and reskilling existing IT staff in cloud security can help organizations bridge the talent gap. Quess IT Staffing offers a range of training programs designed to equip IT professionals with the latest cloud security skills.


(The author is Kapil Joshi, Deputy CEO for Quess IT Staffing, and the views expressed in this article are his own)


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