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February - 2005 - issue > Editor's Desk
Your security is always at stake
Pradeep Shankar
Wednesday, February 16, 2005
It’s a sunny day in Bangalore and we are heading to Chennai to meet Sify CEO Rajsekhar Ramaraj. Our flight has delayed and my colleague and me had to wait for two-hours. Reason: Foggy weather blocking all take-offs in Kolkata—from where our flight had to arrive.

Thoughts kicked off and one of them started to rack my brains. Isn’t fog detection in a sense like a security threat? Flights cannot take off until the fog gets cleared. Likewise enterprise cannot operate under virus attacks. Work comes to halt and network goes down until the system administrator gets to the fix the jinx. Is there any panacea?

Security concern among Indian corporate is very high. Information security spending, though low, is increasing. The manufacturing sector plans to invest in elementary security systems, while the banking, financial, BPO and IT services sectors continue to invest in intrusion prevention systems, firewalls, network monitoring tools and system audit tools.
However, we should note that most organizations avoid spending money on security unless there is a compelling business reason. It is more so the case in large number of small and medium enterprises. Many organizations wait until an incident hits them before placing counter-measures.

Last year, a leading software services firm, came under attack from an unknown computer virus affecting all network-dependent work of thousands of IT professionals for couple of hours.

In our own small little office, our system administrator spends a lot of time fixing problems on individual systems. In most of the cases the problem is virus or Trojan related. Even having the best of anti-virus tools hasn’t addressed our concerns, or anyone’s. And every day you will have to deal with junk mails, which choke the inboxes.

For every one-rupee spent on product we spend two to four rupees on services. This opens up a great opportunity in the areas of security monitoring, and security hosted and managed services, which will continue to grow. Indian companies can tap on this potential and build the backend infrastructure in India with sales and marketing in America.

In this issue, you can delve into the latest trends in the security space and also learn how you can draw up metrics to justify your security spending. For now, we aren’t quite sure what is the ultimate security solution—it seems like a chicken and egg scenario.

Great security products are also being built out of India too. Mumbai-based Microworld is a good example. For almost two-decades now, the founder has believed in making it big in the security space. The company has kept a good stead and struck major partnerships across the world.

Away from security, Delhi-based Beehive Systems has developed a suite of products for the broadcast industry—proving again what could be done out of India. In yet another vertical, Bangalore-based Ittiam System has carved a niche for itself in the global market. All told, they are great examples of how Indian entrepreneurs are executing global strategies.

It is interesting to see how three players—Hero Honda, Bajaj Auto, and TVS Motors—in the same vertical are using similar technology and yet trying to differentiate themselves in the marketplace. It drives home the point that the “catch” is in the way technology is deployed and how it is used for improved business processes.

Technology for competitive advantage is what the CIO of Madura Garments is betting on. The company, first to deploy apparel module of SAP’s ERP solution, took such bold steps that it showed its industry how to take due place in the global economy.

Last but truly rendering your verdict is the overwhelming response to our inaugural issue. Good or bad, your words of appreciation are truly a motivation to keep our adrenalin high. As always, it’s pleasure for us when you as a reader share your view about technology, business, quality of our content, and what would you like us to cover. Please write to me at pradeep@siliconindia.com

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