Revisiting the Panel Discussions at CSAM 2021 – Deeksha, Yash, & Vaibhav

Each year, Cyber Security Awareness Month (CSAM) is celebrated by Symbiosis Centre for Information Technology in association with ISACA (Information Systems Audit and Control Association). This event is organized to shield everyone from cyber-attacks and inform others regarding various aspects of security. CSAM’21 is the flagship event of Team Matrix who came up with an interesting theme this year which is: “CyberVor(Cyberspace Survivor) – The Evolving Model of Rectitude” along with the Panel Discussion on, Day 1“Redefining the Ways of Cyber Regulations: Protecting Individuals and Organizations from Ever-Evolving Cyber Crimes”. The main aim of which is to prepare organizations for taking proactive measures to safeguard their data and recover from any attack.

Dr. Dhanya Pramod, the Director of SCIT inaugurated the event by warmly greeting and welcoming all the panellists. The Keynote Speaker was Mr. Anirudh Duggal. He is a Senior Software Security Engineer at Microsoft (Azure Cloud and AI). He is also a cyber security professional with more than 7 years of experience in penetration testing, cyber security and product security. Mr. Anirudh shared his views on the topic “The Next Hack”, during which he spoke about people, technology, Cloud security and opportunities in IoT. He also stated that though IoT does give ease to mundane activities, it is still vulnerable to ‘smash the stack attacks’, platform integrity and reverse engineering. He then centred his discussion on how we can learn, understand and safeguard our data and technology usage. Later, he answered several questions of the attendees regarding Cybersecurity.

After this, the much-awaited panel discussion began. The panel consisted of various esteemed experts working across various roles in the security field: Mr. Vikas Kedia (Chief Executive Officer, Mobi Trail), Mr. Shomiron Das Gupta (Founder, CEO, DNIF), Mr. Lalit Popli (Chief Operating Officer, ARCON), Mr. Shyam Sundar Ramaswamy (Senior Research Scientist, Cisco) and Ms. Shivani Sharma (Founder, Kleap Technologies). The moderator for the panel discussion was Mr. Kushaagra Mehra, who is the Senior Solution Specialist at Smokescreen.

The panel discussion began with the concern of the increasing number of cyber-attacks that have been taking place in recent times. They also discussed how people across the globe are falling prey to these vulnerabilities, unknowingly. Mr. Shyam Sundar put forward his views regarding how the bots or trick bots actually work and how they can tempt people to open fraudulent websites, links, messages and emails. Further, he also advised that we should not trust any ads or lucrative content nowadays and also spoke about how the attacks nowadays are happening silently, yet posing a great danger. Mr. Lalit discussed that IoT is a different bargain altogether and organizations are actually not in a stage to implement this in all their systems. Mr. Vikas spoke about different threats that might occur in various levels of the framework such as in the transport layer, application layer etc. Ms. Shivani stated her opinion that Cyber Security is an expansive domain in which human tendencies play a crucial role. She also opined that end-users should be trained and made aware of the possible threats and attacks in the digital world. The panel emphasized the value of proper and effective policies being implemented to fight these attacks and at the same time emphasized that they should be followed by every organization. The discussion ended with an exciting Q&A session.

After the successful completion of Day-1 of the Cyber Security Awareness Month (CSAM), Day-2 comes with the more enthralling event. SCIT started this awareness program, so that, everyone must be cognizant of the repercussions of cyber-attacks and how one can mitigate the risk by following few practices.

Day-2: Passion That Drives Women Leaders in The Cybersecurity World It was held on 10 October 2021. It was dedicated to women leaders in the cybersecurity world. The Speakers were: Juhi Ramani (Senior Technical Program Manager, Dell), Minatee Mishra (Director-Product Security Team, Phillips), Neelu Tripathy (Security Practice Lead, ThoughtWorks India), Shivani Sharma (Founder, KLEAP Technologies) , Shruthi Kamath (Customer Success Manager, Appsecco). Bishakha Jain (Senior Cybersecurity Consultant, IBM) was the moderator.

During the day, conference participants had the opportunity to choose from various topics. The keynote speakers presented their views and gave background information about each discussion question. The panel discussion started with the topic of comfort zone and growth. For this, all the panellists shared their views that comfort zone and growth do not co-exist. They also shared the distinguished character of any leader, which highly motivated participants to grow more. With the discussion of growth, the topic of ‘Imposter Syndrome’ and self-doubt comes into the picture. With the high experience, the speakers gave a definition of ‘Recognition’.  Even if self-doubt comes in the way, one needs to keep working, have faith in themselves and be kind to yourself.

Another discussion came with the topic that charmed participants. It was “One Milestone in all your careers that served as a turning point in your life and made you smile”. The panel was excited to share their experiences how they started their career and where are they today. One of the panellists got an opportunity to do all women’s workshop in 2013. This led to the start of Infosec Girls. Another panellist said that she started as a Unix Developer and she expressed how coming from Financial Security to Cyber security is a big milestone. She hit the road back when there were not many opportunities for freshers in testing and how to be in security was a milestone in itself. She joined when it was not that much in demand and today it is a large community. Her recent milestone was to get into a leadership position and help the organization progress.

Now comes the highlight topic of the seminar: How to stand out in the male-dominated industry? What advice would you give for the next generation of female leaders? Being successful women in the industry, panel speakers augmented their opinions on this topic. They emphasized a gender-neutral work environment. The leader should be seen as a leader irrespective of their gender. They also suggested participants make their own path. They suggested men take responsibility and change such scenarios in the workplace. Men can be observant as a team has both ladies and gents, whether the team member is getting equal opportunity or not. Need to make sure that there are no blockers and that they are comfortable. Being empathetic and be observant.

At last, speakers answered the question: “How to manage work-life balance where there is a constant rat race and fear of missing out on incentives”? It’s okay to miss out on some things as it’s the unknown. One needs to maintain a balance else you aren’t a human. They suggested keeping track of the work and maintain a to-do list. Don’t do something because everyone is doing it. Choose your priorities and what makes you