Moneycontrol PRO
you are here: HomeNewsBusiness

IBM plans to train 500,000 Indians in cybersecurity over the next five years

Cybersecurity is a major investment focus and growth vertical for IBM in India the rest of the Asia-Pacific. Earlier this year, the technology giant launched its second global cybersecurity hub in India. India is home to three IBM development facilities that build software and security products exported to IBM sellers and clients globally.

November 29, 2022 / 12:22 PM IST
Chris Hockings, Chief Technology Officer, IBM Security APAC

Chris Hockings, Chief Technology Officer, IBM Security APAC

Technology giant International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) intends to train around 500,000 people in India over the next five years, equipping them with specialized skills related to cybersecurity, a top company executive said.

IBM continues to invest heavily in its cybersecurity vertical -- one of its fastest growing businesses in the Asia Pacific (APAC) and India, said Chris Hockings, Chief Technology Officer, IBM Security APAC.

The company plans to achieve the goal of training 500,000 Indian citizens in cybersecurity by working with an ecosystem of partners, industry associations and the government.

This comes at a time when India is increasingly becoming crucial to the growth strategy of IBM’s cybersecurity offerings. Several of IBM’s key software and security products are built in India, which are then exported globally to IBM sellers for distribution.

In a multi-million dollar investment, IBM had launched its first Cybersecurity Hub for the APAC region in India earlier this year; it is the second such hub after one in Boston.

According to Hockings, the India hub is  unique as it consists of three core elements including a cyber range, an operational command centre and development security – all under the security brand.

“India is the first cyber range we have put in the Asia Pacific; it's side-by-side with command centres. There are nine command centres globally. From a development perspective, there are development facilities in Taiwan, Australia, Singapore, and three locations in India, that build software that we export globally to IBM sellers...,” Hockings said in an interview with Moneycontrol.

“Cybersecurity is a major investment focus and growth vertical for us in the Asia Pacific and India. In India, we have got three locations for development of security products. In addition to that, IBM Security Command Centre and IBM’s Security Operations Centre are the latest multi-million-dollar projects from IBM. Drawing on this breadth of expertise and capabilities, IBM is ready to do its part to help India strengthen its digital defences,” he said.

Training through simulation 

A cyber range is a simulation- based training model used for imitating various types of real life security risk situations to ensure that everyone within the business knows their roles and what to do in that risk scenario.

According to the US National Institute of Standards and Technology, a cyber range is an interactive, simulated representation of an organization's local network, system, tools, and applications connected to a simulated Internet-level environment.

“It provides a safe environment to gain hands-on cyber skills and a secure environment for product development and security posture testing,” Hockings explained.

The simulation is created through IBM’s Command Centre facilities, recreating the environment and pressure realistically, to put those skills to the test in a variety of gamified challenges based on real-world cyber attacks.

“The new Cyber Range in Bengaluru is the first dedicated facility for this type of training in the Asia-Pacific, allowing IBM to bring this crisis response training model to an even wider international audience,” Hockings added.

Temptation Score 

According to IBM’s Security X-Force report, Threat Intelligence Index for 2022, Asia is now the most targeted region for cyberattacks, representing 26 percent of attacks analyzed in 2021.

Among the most attacked countries in the Asian region, India ranked second after Japan and Australia, according to IBM’s report.

In the past couple of years, Indian organisations were most impacted by ransomware and phishing attacks. According to Hockings, IBM has developed a zero trust solution that provides a ‘temptation score,’ tracking the attacker’s intent even before it invades a computer system.

“The attack is like a game of psychology. They're trying to break you and tempt you and get you to click on a link, whatever they need to do. Because as soon as you click that link, it's game on. Tempting you to do it by sending orchestrated email campaigns, analyzing your emails, content to understand where this person is at on their behaviour. So, we interconnect all of these experiences, and then work out whether the attackers are actually targeting you, that is the other important part.”

“Globally, through our global threat intelligence, we know that certain gangs are doing certain things that are targeting certain industries. It becomes critically important for us to know that if an attacker is attacking a bank in Australia, that the India bank might be next and therefore, we should provide some protection for that. So, it's an integrated piece,” he added.

In India meanwhile, IBM is also actively working on its quantum computing strategy. The company unveiled its whitepaper in September, charting the roadmap ahead on India's opportunity to build capacity in quantum computing.

Debangana Ghosh
Debangana Ghosh
first published: Nov 29, 2022 12:22 pm