In an inter-connected world of technologies, applications and devices, cyber security or rather cyber insecurity, has come to hang like the proverbial albatross around our necks. And in recent years, India has been one of the worst victims of ever-growing cyber-attacks. Yet, giving up internet technologies is simply a non-starter. So, the only way out is to fight the battle head-on and take it all the way to the enemy’s camp. And there is one man who is doing just that. Meet Khushhal Kaushik, the Founder-CEO of Lisianthus Tech, a Gurgaon-based cyber security firm that offers a range of highly specialized cyber security services – from security audit services to security assessment to training and certification.
But make no mistake. Khushhal is not your regular tech prodigy with a romanticized dream-like personal story who makes that initial splash, but often vanishes into obscurity in no time without a trace. Khushhal belongs to a different pedigree, a different league altogether. After all, it is not easy to getting selected as the first Indian cyber security expert to be featured by UNESCO back in 2018. And for his achievement, the Andhra Pradesh government had honored him at a special function held at the iconic Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi. But Khushhal hasn’t stopped. The same UNESCO is featured second expert research paper by Khushhal in feb-2021. And that is not all. Khushhal has been recognized and profiled as the future of cyber security in India in prominent media publications by a former US Department of Defense veteran and navy analyst with over 30 years’ experience in cyber security.
Consider this. How many Indian cyber security experts get to have a personal interaction with no less than the former Head of the Technology Department in the National Information Security Authority or NISA, a subdivision of the Prime Minister’s Office in Israel. We all know Israel as one of the most technologically-advanced countries in modern era. And that’s not enough. Impressed by our desi expert, the veteran Israeli cyber security man had even invited Khushhal to come to Israel and set up a cyber security R&D lab at one of the leading universities in his country. Speaking of universities, not all Indian cyber security experts get invited by top foreign universities to lecture, collaborate and share knowledge on a wide array of issues surrounding cyber security. But Khushhal has again been an exception. Northwestern University in Chicago is one such university which had invited Khushhal for a detailed presentation on ways to address cyber security and also to get his insights on starting a course on Ethical Hacking & Cyberspace Security. Notably, the university counts among its alumni Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex and George RR Martin, the celebrated novelist-screenwriter whose work was adapted into the blockbuster web series Game of Thrones. Within India, Khushhal has been invited by several universities to pick his brain on the subject with Punjab University being one among many.
True to his global fame as a cyber security expert, Khushhal has rubbed shoulders with the who’s who of international politics, industry and science and technology. From Prime Minister of Canada to Deputy Prime Minister of Uganda to Minister for Innovation, Science & Economic Development, Canada, Khushhal has been personally recognized and acknowledged by each of these global figures 1. In a major development marking yet another global milestone for Khushhal, he has been appointed Advisor-Cyber Security by BRICS CCI, the collective commerce and industry body of BRICS, a prominent politico-economic voice on the international diplomatic arena. That a powerful body such as BRICS which contributes to nearly one-third of the world economy and one-tenth of global trade has placed its trust in Khushhal for cyber security says a lot of the latter’s personal credibility and standing. Very recently in November 2020, Khushhal was duly given a letter of appreciation by the Republic of Panama for solving an e-mail hacking case in less than half an hour!
Notwithstanding these professional attainments, what has concerned Khushhal the most is that despite India being a considerable software power, our country is reckoned in relatively modest terms when it comes to cyber security. Khushhal wants to change precisely that perception through his ventures and initiatives on global platforms. And within the country, it must be remembered that as a starry-eyed young Information Technology graduate pass out from a top engineering school, Khushhal had turned down innumerable lucrative offers from top multinationals. Opting to take the road less travelled, instead he had founded Lisianthus Tech. However, for Khushhal, Lisianthus Tech is not a company. It is a dream vehicle which would help him translate his vision of making cyber security a common conversational subject around the world and India into a reality. For this, he expects the government and the Indian private sector to collaborate with special focus on research, innovation and above all, training for all. As such, he wishes that cyber security be made a part of primary, secondary and senior secondary school level curricula. At the same time, he also suggests the nurturing of local developers only which would make India a self-reliant cyber secure nation. During his journey, he and his firm have become a partner of choice for countless government organizations, agencies and private corporations.
For his exemplary professional achievement and contribution to nation-building, Khushhal has also been honored with the Glory of India Award 2020 by the Indian Achievers’ Awards Forum, an award which in the past has been bestowed on iconic Indians such as Kiran Bedi, former IPS officer and Lt. Governor of Puducherry, and Sushil Kumar, the Olympian, besides many others.
However, Khushhal is not done yet. Still in his early 32, he still has a lot to offer. After all, putting India on the global cyber security map is an ongoing endeavor. India needs him.