Sunday, April 25, 2010

(Don't) Go Green!

Will explain the title in few moments...

Yesterday, I attended CyberSecurity Conference organized by CII (Confederation of Indian Industries, Southern Region). I must say it was one of the useful conferences that I attended in the recent past. The reason is that the conference was not organized just for techies/IT companies but for the complete ecosystem of corporates, industries and Government representatives. Its pretty interesting to see that these conferences throw some light on real-life problems that are currently faced by the Government, Corporates and Individuals in using Internet services [and not typical sales pitches or IT solutions looking for problems].

My Technical white paper on the title "Cloud Security" was published as part of the conference proceedings to the participants. Dear Readers - Please contact me in Linkedin with a message for your copy of the paper. I would be happy to share!.

I wanted to post my takeaways from the conference. I have a long list but I will try to capture few important points.

Tamil Nadu Government is collecting close to Rs.1400 crores on commercial taxes via online. Indian Railways is hugely popular in recent days because of online booking facility. Income Tax Return filing is enabled via web. And more and more Government departments are going online in the coming months for not just information sharing but to host applications/transactional services.

The Generation X and Y may not be able to imagine banking without online banking facility. Lots of people that I know don't even visit Banks to perform their transactions. So does insurance companies - Premium collection, Insurance Renewal, Investment updates - all getting done from the convenience of armchair.

More and more - Internet is becoming a public infrastructure like railways, road and electricity/water - on which wide variety of personal, commercial, social services are being offered. When I equate Internet to electricity/water, People are increasingly becoming dependent on the Internet infrastructure for their day-to-day personal and business operations. Do you see the significance now?

And the next generation of apps that we foresee in the Internet are - Internet Services (SaaS) that are connected to Hardware devices/controls - take for example - Internet services that are connected to Home energy meters and Security controls.

Now, We are talking something serious. The usage of Internet usage is moving from convenient/comfort zone to Highly critical/safety and security zone. With the significance of Internet and its services increasing day-by-day, Can anybody afford to overlook the security risk implications?. They better dare not...

And this whole conference is centered around this very theme.

Now, coming back to the title of this post - Don't Go Green. Someone in the conference mentioned that - As the Go Green campaign gets momentum across the world, people and their ecosystem are moving from physical/transactional ecosystem to offline/web-oriented ecosystem. This is good because it will save energy from various perspectives. But, at the sametime, going green should not be seen just as one-dimensional. It has serious implications..and sometimes even dangerous on other dimensions.

The conference had some eminent personalities from Government like Senior Leadership from Tamil Nadu Police and Indian Military. And one of the speakers went on to say - The next war will not be based on bombs and bullets but on Bytes...!. May sound little fictional or unrealistic to believe!. But, its undeniably true..And We already have several indicators in the World that affirms this direction.

We have enough evidences on cybercrimes happening in Banking/Corporate world and at Individual level.

The question is - Are we prepared?

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