City-based think tank to participate in Munich Security Conference

February 06, 2015 12:00 am | Updated 05:32 am IST - Bengaluru:

Bengaluru  Karnataka  05/02/2015 . Tobby Simon, head Synergia Foundation

Bengaluru Karnataka 05/02/2015 . Tobby Simon, head Synergia Foundation

Are information technology (IT) firms in the city safe from a cyber attack like the one on Sony Pictures Entertainment’s computer systems last year?

No, says Tobby Simon, a city-based cyber security expert who heads Synergia Foundation, a strategic group.

“IT firms are vulnerable. Any breach in the data security of a major company may lead to the collapse of the entire outsourcing industry. Yet, we are unprepared,” he said.

Mr. Simon pointed out that the government’s cyber infrastructure was also left unguarded. “It is no better than private firms. A persistent cyber attack on the power supply line, for instance, can wreak havoc in the city. But, agencies are not factoring in such possibilities in their policymaking. This may leave us vulnerable and exposed,” he told The Hindu before heading to Germany on Thursday, a day before he is to participate in the Munich Security Conference (MSC).

Incidentally, Synergia Foundation is the first India-based think tank to be invited and anchor a workshop at the prestigious conference. The MSC is one of the oldest security conferences in the world. Started in 1963, this year is its 51st conference.

The National Security Advisor (NSA) of the country has been a permanent invitee to the conference since 2006. Apart from the official, no one has been invited for the conference so far.

This year, Mr. Simon will anchor a workshop on ‘Cyber threats to critical infrastructure and its impact on global governance’.

The panel will have Carl Bildt, chair of the Global Commission on Internet Governance; Michael Chertoff, former Secretary, U.S. Homeland Security; Sir David Omand, former Director of GCHQ; and Mathias Muller von Blumencron, Editor-in-Chief, Digital Media, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung . Incidentally, Mr. Simon is also a member of the Global Commission on Internet Governance.

IT firms are vulnerable. Any breach in data security of a major company may lead to the collapse of the entire outsourcing industry.

Tobby Simon,cyber security expert

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