Good morning friends
It is indeed an honor and privilege to be invited to deliver this keynote address. My respects to the distinguished Chief Guest and the organizers; greetings to the participants.
Information is entering the center-stage of all our human activities across government, education, industry and media. With the electronification of processes across the spectrum, the issue of information security assumes further importance. It is in this context the 12th Annual Karnataka Conference of ISACA assumes importance.
I am indeed sorry I could not be present personally; I would try to meet you all on Saturday after the UGC Committee visit is over.
As part of this keynote address let me bring three key issues to your attention
1 The banking sector is going through a tremendous transformation, thanks to technology introduction through core banking software. Internet-banking, tele-banking, SMS-banking and ATM are supplementing the traditional channel of bank branch. These new channels pose unprecedented challenges in terms of security; often the issues are not fully addressed. The tech-savvy youth of India are “lapping up” the new generation of services looking at the convenience aspects; the under-served rural population too is equally enthusiastic. While such a development is definitely welcome (particularly when several users in many countries display techno-phobia), it is a definite challenge that must be fully addressed. We should not get into situations that other industries faced – fire accidents in cinema halls or escalator accidents in shopping malls – introduction of technology without due attention to safety aspects.
2 The government sector is seeing large-scale introduction of technology, thanks to National E-Governance Plan (NEGP) with a budget running into tens of thousands of crores. Once again, it is a welcome development; for the first time, millions of citizens will have direct, easy, friendly and affordable access to government. Projects like e-Sewa in Andhra Pradesh or Bangalore One in Karnataka are stellar examples. Care must be taken to ensure that government services are delivered fast without compromising on privacy or security.
3 Healthcare is another area where there is large-scale induction of technology. Tele-medicine is taking “fancy” hospitals in major cities to far-flung rural India (India and Bharat are getting “bridged”). This is once again a welcome development. The privacy and security aspects of the health information of individual citizens should not be compromised in our enthusiasm to “reach out”.
These are just three instances I want the outstanding information security professionals assembled here to address, over the next two days. For a large and diverse country like India, security of information in the delivery of services is as important as hygiene is to the delivery of healthcare.
Thanking you once again for giving me this honor and apologies for not being physically present amongst you and learn from the stimulating deliberations over the next two days.
(Keynote Address at 12th ISACA Karnataka Conference in Bangalore during July 24-25, 2009; I had to get it read out as I got sucked into UGC Review Committee that was visiting IIIT-B during July 24-25, 2009)