Cyber security – still an 'ethical' concern?

Definitely, with the advent of internet – many tasks have become easy – “knowledge” is easily assimilated in formation of our thoughts, conducting fruitful conversations, supporting writing/ publishing, to enable discovery, decision making, creating business intelligence, data sharing, behaviour modelling ( sounds weird?) – to the extent that it’s utility cannot be contested. But, I am still wary to use my credit card information for transactions over the internet! It may sound silly but I have reasons for not doing so.

Precisely, because there is no sufficient cyber security to confirm ethical practices, by default.

Now, the Indian government has woken up to reality – and have proposed to fine any telecom operator that installs any equipment of doubtful (ethically) or of malicious capability! This is a welcome step though much more needs to be done to safeguard our data networks that has all kind of infrastructure details: to list the major ones – energy, commerce, transport, governance, education, healthcare, finance and even elections. I agree that ours is a developing country and we cannot compare ourselves with the first world. But, data theft is of critical or immense concern. Firstly, the cyber law needs to passed in the parliament – that will create a comprehensive strategy covering most of the aspects that go into data mining, transactional websites, banking, networking data etc.

The new ‘government’ step taken may ensure that ethical standards are regularised by asking the operators to submit source codes and design of equipment installed in the network. But then, compliance has to be ensured. Definitely, a creative ‘virtual ‘ (read internet based) programmer does not think of security all the time as he does not want to limit his prowess!

Private players and public understanding should lead to sufficient legislation creating ‘cyber security’ as part of the system, infrastructure and day to day application. Such security would enable us to reap the rewards of cloud computing, virtual documentation, modular office suites etc. Just a thought – inventions will have to accommodate security concerns too – so that we can safeguard the purpose of internet based programming.

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