New Delhi, India, November 27, 2019 —
The Indian Prime Minister greatly encouraged technology trends in the country with the Digital India campaign. But India has always been a tail-ender when it comes to cybersecurity, globally. The number one target of cybercriminals, India still ranks 15th in terms of cybersecurity according to recent estimates. The availability of cheap, insecure devices, burgeoning piracy industry and lack of awareness are some of the biggest reasons for lousy cybersecurity protocols in the nation.
But India is not hopeless when it comes to cybersecurity. Individualistic measures by Indian cybersecurity experts are being noticed on the global platform by experts. Samuel Bocetta, a veteran US Navy cyber defense analyst, appreciated Khushhal Kaushik, a globally renowned figure in cybersecurity domain and founder of Lisianthus Tech Pvt. Ltd. on his efforts in bringing India to the global cybersecurity superpower table.
“One key player who’s working hard to put a new “Digital India” on the map is Khushhal Kaushik. An ethical hacker, it’s partly his passion to turn the perception of India as a cybersecurity liability around, that is moving the cybersecurity technology sector in the country forward,” writes Samuel, in his special column on cybersecurity superpowers in The Pioneer.
Referring to Khushhal as the Future of Indian cybersecurity industry, Samuel has quoted Khushhal several times for his recommendations and insights in the field of cybersecurity. Being referred by a global figure doesn’t come as a surprise at a time when Khushhal is been invited to global universities for guest lectures and is the first Indian to be published in UNESCO’s annual magazine on cybersecurity.
Khushhal has been working strategically to shed off the perception of India when it comes to Cybersecurity. Being the first ethical hacker to be acknowledged and published in UNESCO’s annual magazine, he insisted on including his nationality in the magazine on publication.
On the professional front, he is a staunch proponent of public-private partnership for dealing with growing cybersecurity threats. He believes that the Indian government should work with local cybersecurity experts instead of giving preference to foreign firms. At the same time, he is all for introducing effective measures at the grassroots level, first of which he believes should be introducing cybersecurity as a subject in the school curriculum.
If India must become a cybersecurity superpower, the time is ripe for listening to experts such as Khushhal Kaushik. He has been quite active in promoting cybersecurity awareness among smartphone users and the general public in recent years.
“One of the biggest misconceptions people have is that their data is secure irrespective of the device they use. People think that when they are using a Chinese mobile, they are safe. I want to tell them that if you are using a foreign-made handset, there are high chances that your data is being transmitted to the source country without your consent. As Chinese smartphone makers don’t have data centres in India, they are not bound to keep your data in your country, posing a significant threat not only to your personal data but to the security of the nation,” informs Khushhal when asked about the simplest cybersecurity tip he can give to a common man.
He also requests celebrities not to engage in the promotion and advertising of Chinese gadgets without any safety and data privacy assurance from the smartphone markets. In the long term, such engagements would harm the image of a public figure, if such devices are transmitting information out of the country.
Another area of concern, he believes, is the penetration of free, public Wi-Fi hotspots in the country. He suggests that a person should never use such networks to access their bank accounts or other critical information, online. As such hotspots score poorly when it comes to security measures. Mostly, such networks and hotspots are unsecured, which make them an easy target for hackers and cybercriminals. There are several ways a person can take control of critical information and use it against someone’s will, without being traced for a long time.
It is time that the government should pay heed to the concerns of such experts who are recognized globally for their efforts if India wants to become a global cybersecurity superpower. Without active partnership and collaboration, the dream of a cyber-secure nation cannot be fulfilled.