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Security stumble in digital leap

Calcutta, Nov. 19: Use of information technology (IT) to improve upon business processes and use of internet and dedicated lines for faster communication is a boon. But in the absence of a well-laid down information security system, the losses could outweigh the gains.

“Just 40 per cent of Indian firms are aware of the threats to an information system that’s not secured. The revenues from this industry is hardly Rs 300 crore,” said Srikiran Raghavan of RSA Security. He was here to take part in Infocom 2003, organised by Nasscom and Businessworld, an ABP Group publication.

According to the India head of the $280-million global company, only one of five companies have a well-documented security policy plan. Only a small portion of the IT budget — in most cases not more than 15 per cent — is spent on security systems. However, companies like ITC, HLL, Infosys and ICICI Bank have invested heavily in their security infrastructure.

The scene is bad in government departments too, except defence services. Without secured information systems, the delivery of e-governance — initiated by various states — will suffer.

“Except for a few states like Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, most others are yet to put in place a security system for their e-governance modules. Recently, Maharashtra and Gujarat have taken a few steps, but they are way behind,” said Raghavan.

Strategies, like installing anti-viruses and complex passwords, won’t work in countering the cyber threat, he added while stressing on the need for a proper identity management system. With increasing focus on offshoring, where the service providers access the data of a company from a remote place, the importance of information security systems will only go up. “A proper system will help companies in raising business volumes as firms abroad are very sensitive about the security of their data and processes,” he said.

Infocom 2004

The dates for Infocom 2004 were announced today as the curtains came down on Infocom 2003. Next year, the show will be organised in the city on a larger scale between November 28 and December 1.

During the past four days, a distinguished panel of speakers deliberated on promoting IT and ITES industries in the eastern and Northeastern regions during the 16 discussion sessions. The event drew over 600 delegates from 75 top-notch companies.

Over 30,000 visitors visited the fair ground in Maidan, where 80 stalls were set up as part of the event.

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