Cy­ber­se­cu­rity Jobs Now At A Pre­mium as In­dia Goes Dig­i­tal

The Economic Times - - Careers: The Fast Track - Prachi.Verma @times­ Dig­i­tal Drive

New Delhi: In­dia Inc., fac­ing a scarcity of cy­ber­se­cu­rity professionals, es­pe­cially at the lead­er­ship level, has in­creased salaries of­fered for such roles by 25-35% over the past year.

Hack­ing and cy­ber­at­tacks are com­pelling firms to hire tal­ent at a pre­mium, with com­pen­sa­tion pack­ages for top roles at up­wards of ₹ 2 crore, and in some in­stances, close to ₹ 4 crore, in­clu­sive of vari­ables. In ad­di­tion, last year’s de­mon­eti­sa­tion and the gov­ern­ment’s push for Dig­i­tal In­dia have pushed de­mand for cy­ber­se­cu­rity tal­ent.

Given the grav­ity of the job, top cy­ber­se­cu­rity ex­ec­u­tives are now even re­port­ing to their com­pany boards in­stead of chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cers. Search firms in­clud­ing Hunt Part­ners and Transearch said the boards of most of their clients have formed com­mit­tees for cy­ber­se­cu­rity in the past year.

“Till 18 months ago, cy­ber­se­cu­rity was looked at as man­ag­ing IT ser­vices risk, but now this has reached the com­pany boards as the en­tire busi­ness is de­pen­dent on this,” said Atul Gupta, part­ner and cy­ber­se­cu­rity lead for KPMG. Tax and ad­vi­sory firm KPMG it­self has dou­bled its team to 320 in two years and its lead­er­ship te- tal­ent have risen 25-35% over the last one-and-a-half years

com­pelling firms to hire tal­ent at high com­pen­sa­tions of 2-4cr

Dig­i­tal In­dia drive have fur­ther pushed the de­mand for cy­ber­se­cu­rity tal­ent

lead­ers are re­port­ing di­rectly to their com­pany boards

am has al­most tre­bled in the same time, Gupta said.

Lead­er­ship searches have risen by be­tween 25% and 100% over the past year, ac­cord­ing to some search firms.

“There is a de­mand for cy­ber­se­cu­rity professionals at the lead­er­ship level and also at lower lev­els. It has shot up in the last one year,” said Korn Ferry In­dia’s man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Navnit Singh. He said the an­nual com­pen­sa­tion for cy­ber­se­cu­rity heads ranges from ₹ 2 crore to ₹ 4 crore.

“Com­pen­sa­tion for top tal­ent in the cy­ber­se­cu­rity space is any­where be­tween ₹ 1.5 crore and ₹ 4.5 crore,” said Gupta of KPMG.

Korn Ferry closed at least three search man­dates for cy­ber­se­cu­rity heads in the past six months, Singh said. “Com­pa­nies are now vulne- rable to cy­ber­at­tacks and es­pe­cially with the gov­ern­ment’s ini­tia­tives like Dig­i­tal In­dia and de­mon­eti­sa­tion, al­most all com­pa­nies across all sec­tors are go­ing dig­i­tal to some ex­tent,” said Ashok Pamidi, se­nior di­rec­tor of Nass­com.

De­mand for cy­ber­se­cu­rity professionals is driven mostly by con­sult­ing firms, banks, the gov­ern­ment, re­tail, BFSI com­pa­nies and IT com­pa­nies. To en­sure a sup­ply pool of cy­ber­se­cu­rity spe­cial­ists, Nass­com has rolled out a cur­ricu­lum on the sub­ject with 10 spe­cialised cour­ses, said Pamidi.

Transearch In­dia is look­ing for cy­ber­se­cu­rity lead­ers for four com­pa­nies.

“In the last 12 months, we did not have any man­date from our clients in the cy­ber­se­cu­rity space. This is a new trend for us,” said Uday Chawla, man­ag­ing part­ner at Transearch.

Re­cent ap­point­ments in­clude Man­dar Patil as di­rec­tor of sales at Smoke­screen Tech­nolo­gies, a cy­ber­se­cu­rity startup. He was pre­vi­ously a se­nior ex­ec­u­tive in the BFSI ver­ti­cal at IBM.

CrowdStrike, a US cy­ber­se­cu­rity com­pany that re­cently opened a de­vel­op­ment cen­tre in Pune, ap­pointed Ra­manand Kam­bli as re­gional sales di­rec­tor of In­dia and SAARC and Jhilmil Kochar as man­ag­ing di­rec­tor. Kam­bli was ear­lier with Sy­man­te­cowned Blue Coat. Vikas Arora joined IBM in March as cloud busi­ness leader (In­dia & South Asia) from Dell EMC Asia Pa­cific (global ser­vices). Magesh Ra­machan­dran joined as global head of cy­ber­se­cu­rity at Di­a­geo from PwC in April.

Hunt Part­ners has com­pleted over half-a-dozen man­dates for cy­ber­se­cu­rity ex­perts in the past nine months.

“We have seen a con­sis­tent in­crease in de­mand for se­cu­rity professionals across the board for roles in­clud­ing chief se­cu­rity of­fi­cer and chief in­for­ma­tion se­cu­rity of­fi­cer and head of cy­ber­se­cu­rity,” said Suresh Raina, man­ag­ing part­ner at Hunt Part­ners. “There is a sup­ply con­straint and it is a nascent mar­ket, lead­ing to sourc­ing from all av­enues, in­clud­ing out­side In­dia.”

Fi­nan­cial ser­vices in­sti­tu­tions in­clud­ing banks, pay­ment gate­ways and ecom­merce or­gan­i­sa­tions are the big­gest em­ploy­ers in cy­ber­se­cu­rity, ac­cord­ing to Su­nil Goel, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor at Glob­alHunt. The job pro­files in cy­ber­se­cu­rity in­clude in­for­ma­tion risk au­di­tors, fire­wall and se­cu­rity de­vice de­vel­op­ment professionals, se­cu­rity an­a­lysts, in­tru­sion de­tec­tion spe­cial­ists, com­puter se­cu­rity in­ci­dent re­spon­ders, cryp­tol­o­gists, vul­ner­a­bil­ity as­ses­sors, lead se­cu­rity ar­chi­tects and chief in­for­ma­tion se­cu­rity man­agers.

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