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  • Post-Budget Story for Cybersecurity : Forescout, Barracuda, SCS Tech and Others

    Published on February 3, 2023

    Subbu Iyer, Regional Director, India & SAARC, Forescout Technologies Inc.

    “As announced by the Hon’ble Finance Minister in the Union Budget 2023, the government shared its exemplary vision of ‘Amrit Kaal’ which includes a technology-driven, knowledge-based sustainable economy. The government appears to cover a vast gamut of sectors and some of the priority areas are Digital India, 5G services, upskilling and building a cyber resilient nation. This is expected to drive the next phase of cybersecurity infrastructure in the country thereby bringing in focus around solutions providing stronger compliance, data privacy, IoT security, advanced detection, and response.

    Government is fast tracking 5G adoption with focus on application development, training, smart transport and healthcare. The combination of 5G and IoT would result in massive growth in the number of connected devices. Hence it will be critical for organizations to protect their IT, IoT, IoMT and OT device landscape against growing cyberattacks.

    The initiative of setting up CoEs for artificial intelligence (AI) with a vision of “Make AI work for India” will further boost the government’s aim of “Digital India.” AI is critical in every sector today and more so in cybersecurity where there is a growing need to improve visibility, compliance, detection, and response through automation.

    While automation is important, the government has rightly placed equal emphasis on development of manpower. The “Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana” clearly outlines the need to upskill the youth to develop competency of functionaries and professionals in upcoming areas like coding, automation, and IoT. It also highlights the need for key partnerships in developing courses and enabling on-job training. This will act as a catalyst to address the skills gap in cybersecurity by providing better means for training and upskilling of resources.

    Government is also leading from the front in terms of allotting investments towards cybersecurity response and projects. This clearly indicates the importance of cybersecurity to build a strong nation and will definitely inspire businesses to follow and invest in protecting their ever-expanding digital infrastructure.”

    Mr Parag Khurana, Country Manager, Barracuda Networks India

    “Cybersecurity has for long been a critical matter of concern, especially in light of rapid digitization. With the rollout of 5G and cloud migration, there has been a significant uptick in cyberattacks across the country. In 2022, we have seen the rise of ransomware against critical infrastructure, with education (15%), municipalities (12%), healthcare (12%), infrastructure (8%), and financial (6%) being the five key targeted industries according to research. The Union Budget announcement today paints a favourable picture for the sector with the introduction of the National Data Governance policy will help academia and start-ups gain access to anonymised data by the government.

    Provisions like the establishment of three centers of excellence for Artificial Intelligence in top educational institutions noting that ‘Make AI in India’ and to ‘Make AI work for India’ will support the creation of a stronger technology infrastructure in the country. This will further boost the government’s vision of ‘Digital India’ and ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’. That being said, Budget 2023 amply highlights the greater focus that the government has placed on string digital infrastructure and technology at large. And, we are hopeful that today’s announcement will have an inherently positive effect on the sector.”

    Sujit Patel, Founder and CEO, SCS Tech

    “Centre’s focus on AI: Threecentres of excellence for artificial intelligence to enable ‘Make AI for India’and ‘Make AI work for India’, says FMAs the nation advancesto the next level of technology and with the introduction of 5G, the governmenthas expansive plans to establish a Centre of Excellence in ArtificialIntelligence. India will transition to a digital society and for that, itbecomes important to focus on digital transformation and cyber securitysolutions.The budget report evaluateshow AI will be used to boost India’s economy, along with proposals for numerousfields where AI can be deployed. Not only this will increase the effectivenessand productivity of the industry but also optimize the process to complete thetasks.Additionally, thiswill create new jobs and avenues for numerous start-ups and businesses toprovide solutions in industries like utilities, education, health, agriculture,and smart cities.”

    Nitin Varma, Managing Director, India & SAARC, CrowdStrike

    The 2023 Union Budget holds immense promise for technology development and skilling. Today, developing new skills is essential for various industries with new and emerging technologies. In particular, cybersecurity is a field that is constantly evolving and requires regular upskilling through advanced training programs. In recent years, we have seen a significant rise in cyberattacks, however, many organizations are struggling with skill gaps and resource crunch. It is encouraging to see that infrastructure and investment as well as youth power are main priorities as these are closely aligned with dynamic industry needs. Investments in infrastructure will have a large multiplier impact on growth and employment, leading to ramping up the virtuous cycle of investment and job creation.

    The government’s decision to formulate the National Education Policy, focused on skilling will facilitate job creation at scale. The digital ecosystem for skilling will be further expanded with the launch of a unified Skill India Digital platform for enabling demand-based formal skilling. The proposed Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana 4.0 meant for skilling youth shall entail new age courses for Industry 4.0 like coding, AI, robotics, soft skills etc. It is a great incentive keeping in mind the importance of skilling, upskilling and reskilling in the present scenario. Another emerging technology today is Artificial Intelligence.

    The three proposed centers of excellence for Artificial Intelligence too is a good opportunity for industry players to partner in interdisciplinary research, develop cutting-edge applications and scalable problem solutions.  These initiatives will pave the way for building a workforce that will be skilled and ahead of the curve in their respective industry.”

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