Home / Technology / News /  India firms may gain from global shortage of cybersecurity experts

A global shortage of cybersecurity talent could be a boon for smaller companies based in markets such as India.

Enterprises in India have been facing a catch-22 situation with a dearth of cybersecurity personnel at a time when cyber attacks have intensified in line with rapid digitalization since the coronavirus outbreak.

This, according to experts, could bring in more business for the smaller companies.

Prateek Bhajanka, senior principal research analyst at researcher Gartner Inc. said that cybersecurity talent shortage is a perennial challenge in India and worldwide.

As mid-sized and small organizations don’t have dedicated cybersecurity teams and leaders, they are more likely to engage with security services or security consulting firms to strengthen their security posture, he said.

“These organizations would also consider taking the service model as opposed to buying a security product and managing it themselves," he said.

“Capabilities like vulnerability management, detection and response, and security operations centres are commonly consumed using service models from security services firms," he added.

According to a 14 March report by security firm Sophos, 60% of mid-sized organizations in India were victims of cyberattacks in 2021.

Further, smaller organizations in India are also struggling to keep up with the spate of cyberattacks.

The report said 19% of companies having 1,000 to 2,000 workers didn’t even realize they had been hit within two weeks of being compromised, and 22% took three to four weeks.

Issues like these are all the more reason for smaller firms in India to seek help from cybersecurity firms. Saket Modi, co-founder and chief executive of homegrown security firm Safe Security, said the company has been seeing increased interest from small and midsize businesses (SMBs) and startups, globally.

He said that the last quarter was the best in the company’s history, and that Safe Security has been growing at 300% year-on-year.

The company also works with larger companies.

Security firms Instasafe Technologies and TAC Security are seeing similar results.

Instasafe said it caters to large enterprises and SMBs in a 60:40 ratio, while TAC said it has grown over 300% in the last two years and serves tier-2 and -3 cities, along with state agencies, and eGov initiatives.

“With the pandemic, secure remote access needs have accelerated and we were able to help our existing clients with their sudden surge requirement of remote access tools," said Sandip Kumar Panda, co-founder and CEO at Instasafe.

To be sure, hiring security firms and individuals are not necessarily the answer with some experts believing that automation could also be a solution.

Sunil Sharma, managing director, sales, India and SAARC, at Sophos, said enterprises could automate certain tasks by using sophisticated security tools that are driven by artificial intelligence (AI), which could help reduce the workload on in-house teams.

Ravisha Chugh, principal analyst at Garner, said companies, like tech-driven startups, which have most of their infrastructure on the cloud, can cut costs by consolidating security vendors, and procuring solutions from a single vendor that fits more than one need.

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