January 18: “I want to see the young citizens of India become aware netizens. It is my goal to make the children of India cyber empowered today to reduce the likelihood of cybercrime tomorrow” – Anuraag Singh.
Anuraag Singh is the Founder & CEO of SysTools, a Delhi-based IT company, and a renowned Cyber Expert and Digital Forensics Trainer. He lives in New Delhi, but his cyber expertise is recognized all over the world.
Anuraag’s father is a retired Air Force Officer, and since his childhood, he dreamt of walking in his father’s footsteps. However, even after days and nights of hard work, luck did not favor him. But, this did not come in the way of his dream to serve his country.
During the pandemic, there were several threatening cases of cybercrime concerning the students of universities & schools that came to his notice. And it was at this point when he realized, it’s time to give back to society what he has learnt so far.
Even before the pandemic, Anuraag and his team held several cyber awareness seminars and workshops. However, it was during the crisis, that he realized the urgency of equipping the young minds with advanced analytical skills, intellectual capacities, and critical thinking related to cyber empowerment.
Anuraag Singh emphasizes that like Physical Education, English, and other subjects taught in schools, a separate class for “Cyber Awareness” should also be made mandatory, given the rise in cybercrimes all over India.
Anuraag does not sit back and wait for the next cybercrime to take place and then fix it. Instead, he believes in empowering the young brains with cyber awareness now to teach them the responsible use of technology and can spot any type of cyber-attack in the future.
As, Jawaharlal Nehru, our first Prime Minister of India, has said:
“The children of today will make the India of tomorrow. The way we bring them up will determine the future of the country.”
Why is Cyber Awareness Important for Educational Institutions?
Because of the crisis, schools & colleges were left with no option but to conduct classes online. This leads to increased risks and vulnerabilities in the digital sphere. Unlike large organizations, educational institutions are not completely aware of the threats posed by cyber-attacks, whose advantage the cybercriminals are taking.
Cyber-attacks and crimes in educational institutions have made headlines on the news channels several times. No other industry in the market has been hit as hard as the educational sector. Do you know why? It was the lack of cyber awareness and practice of cyber hygiene among the students and the faculty of these institutes that made them victims of such heinous crimes.
How can educational institutions overcome this problem? The first approach, which nearly everyone follows, is to install several layers of firewall protection and comprehensive antivirus software. They are effective but only up to a certain point because everything beyond that depends on the person using them.
Throughout his work, Anuraag Singh has learnt that humans are more targeted by cybercriminals than technologies because of the high level of vulnerability.
Considering the prevalence and new ways of cyber-attacks, educational institutions need to integrate cyber empowerment into their daily lives. This can be done by not only including cyber awareness as part of the syllabus but also through cyber empowerment programs that cover all aspects of information technology.
Training and Workshops in Educational Institutions to Defeat Cybercriminals
Creating a cyber-safe environment should be a priority for educational institutes not just to avoid financial loss or disruption, but to protect the students from any kind of harm.
Through his cyber empowerment programs, Anuraag Singh covers not only students but also the teachers and staff of educational institutions.
Currently, the syllabus of schools and universities focuses solely on technological concepts. However, if we want to educate our children on proper internet etiquette, it is required to think outside the box and equip them with information that is not even found in books.
To achieve that, Anuraag Singh has launched his own Cyber Empowerment Program that covers all the aspects of information technology along with hands-on experience. Students of most of the Government and few Private schools and universities were fortunate enough to be a part of this program.
Through these sessions and workshops, Anuraag aims to uncover all the gaps and issues in the Indian cybercrime systems and thus fill them.
His Cyber Empowerment Program to create Cyber-Smart children consist of:
- Classroom level learning
- Digital transformation & cyber revolution via education, practice & implementation
- Advanced cyber lab setup with international standard technologies at every school.
- Learning through artificial intelligence integrated animated videos.
- Providing a platform for students to share innovative ideas.
- Sessions on cyberbullying, social media fraudsters & the latest phishing mediums.
- Opportunity to explore and learn the latest trends & practices in the cyber world.
- Workshops, Posters, and Seminars related to CyberSpace.
- For students aiming to pursue a career in cyber security, job-oriented training, practical exposure, and real-time case studies are provided to them.
He has even included several topics in his cyber empowerment program for the students keeping in mind the covid-19 Pandemic.
These topics cover the basics of data protection, shoulder surfing, email security, mobile device security, password security and protection, an up-to-date rundown of the tactics and strategies frequently used by cyber-criminals, etc.
It is also important to remember that cyber awareness training is not a one-time thing and must be repeated regularly. Since online criminals are not taking a vacation, we must not too!
Where There Is A Will, There Is A Way!
No success can be achieved without any struggle. Anuraag has decided to bring a change in the Indian education system &enlighten schools and colleges about the importance of cyber awareness in order to make it a mandatory subject in schools. During the lockdown, it was an easy call to discontinue the cyber awareness sessions that he was providing already. But, he did not let the Covid-19 be a reason to stop him. Instead, Anuraag took this as an opportunity and moved his sessions to the online platform. This proves that the person having a will to do something will always find a way to do it, while others are busy searching for excuses.
Along with providing training sessions in Schools and colleges, Anuraag Singh has also assisted the Law Enforcement Agencies since 2007 in solving cybercrime cases. Providing training to the police officials to make them proficient at handling cybercrime-related cases was a long time practice for him.
“It was my parent’s dream to see me as an Indian Airforce Officer. They are, however, much more proud of me for teaching & empowering the future of India to be the next generation of cyber experts.”