Unleashing skills to defeat cyberattacks

Published : 01 Aug 2023 08:19 PM
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The threats of cyberattacks are alarmingly increasing at a time when the world is on the verge of the fourth industrial revolution. No country is out of the looming threat to its cyberspace and assets even as the entire world embraces the digital transformation. 

The statistics given out by the Computer Incident Response Team (CIRT) of Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC) brings out the nature of cyberattack threat the country faces. There were 4,900 instances of cyberattacks on Bangladesh between 2015 and 2022 in which the CIRT had to step in for help. Upon investigation, the CIRT team has pinpointed the vulnerabilities present in the websites of some organisations, and it appears that these weaknesses can be attributed to the implementation of a strong firewall during the development phases. Furthermore, it has been observed that a significant portion of the cyberattacks directed at these websites originated from foreign sources, beyond the confines of the country’s border. This underscores the importance of bolstering our cybersecurity measures to safeguard our digital assets from external threats. Against this backdrop what could be the effective way to face the fast-growing cyber attacks and threats? 

In response everyone will agree with me that the most effective approach to confront the fast-growing cyberattacks and threats lies in recognising the undeniable truth:  acquiring knowledge and skills is paramount to combat these vexing problems. Priority should be given to providing cybersecurity education and training to individuals or persons responsible for safeguarding their digital assets and privacy effectively. Enhancing cybersecurity awareness and expertise will forge a robust defense against cyber adversaries, ensuring a safer and more secure digital landscape for everyone. In this article I would like to put emphasis on enhancing cyber skills through providing training.

We have no option but to go for creating skilled human resources on cybersecurity as the government has set its eyes on building Smart Bangladesh by 2041. There is no doubt it that ICT based automation and innovation will play a vital role to achieve the goal. Hence, the Smart Bangladesh programme’s emphasis on building up skilled human resources on cybersecurity to ensure security and safety of its digital assets. The government has already undertaken numerous initiatives through various projects to enhance the cybersecurity skills of the persons involved in safeguarding their digital space and assets while also creating awareness among the people. One such project is the `Enhancing Digital Government and Economy (EDGE), which is the flagship Project of Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC) under the ICT Division. As part of this initiative, a programme has been launched with the goal of providing cybersecurity training to 5,000 government officials in phases. 

The training is being provided on many issues including ethical hacking, operating system architecture, network and its security, hacking wireless networks, enumeration, vulnerability analysis, foot-printing and reconnaissance, malware threats, social engineering, denial of device, evading IDS, firewalls and honeypots, session hijacking, cloud computing, cryptography, vulnerability assessment and penetration testing, scanning networks, SQL Injection, hacking web services, system hacking, IoT Hacking, sniffing, Introduction to Computer Forensics, Computer Forensics investigation process, understanding hard disks and file systems, data acquisition and duplication, defeating anti-forensics techniques, operating system forensics, network forensics, investigating web attacks, dark web forensics, hacking mobile platforms, cloud forensics, malware forensics, investigating email crimes, mobile forensics, IoT forensics.

Finally, the world is being shaped by the fourth industrial revolution’s offshoots AI, 3D printing, robotics, big data, IoT and other futuristic technologies which are ensuring the transition from human labour to human intelligence. Bangladesh cannot lag behind by not embracing these cutting-edge technologies at a time when it started journey toward Smart Bangladesh. Our dependency on cyberspace will enhance day by day. Number of cyber attacks and threats can also be increased as the hackers are very active in the cyber world. So, the cybersecurity skills of the individuals responsible for securing their cyberspace and assets is a must to address cyber attacks. 

The proactive approach taken by the government towards creating cybersecurity human resources and its keeness to consistently updating policies and guidelines to align with the ever-evolving digital landscape are truly commendable. 

Such endeavours are vital in creating a resilient cybersecurity workforce and fostering a secure environment for our digital infrastructure.

The writer is project director, BGD e-Gov CIRT and Deputy Project Director of Enhancing Digital Government and Economy (EDGE) Project