The digital economy is the new productivity platform that some experts regard as the third industrial revolution. This is also known as ‘The Internet Economy’ or Internet of Everything (IoE) and expected to generate new market growth opportunities, jobs and become the biggest business opportunity of mankind in the next 30 to 40 years. The momentum that ‘Digital India’ has given to our technological progress is noteworthy indeed.
There are several pillars of opportunities that are going to be built to escalate public behavior and expectation in digital way:
- Broadband Highways
- Digital Locker
- Mobile connectivity
- Information for all
- Scope with Foreign Universities
There are several questions that hit our thoughts regarding “Digital India” week. Firstly, why are we using the term ‘week’? If we are in a mission to accustom every single Indian to digitally literate, then it might take years or rather decades. In order to keep the momentum at par and mission fruitful, we could have termed it as “Digital India” year.
A Digital India Year would make sure that each and every aspect of the program is pushed to show results on the ground and not go into hibernation after one week of enthusiasm. Considering that most of the nine pillars of the Digital India programme face serious challenges in implementation since the question of continuity is always at stake, thus it is crucial that focused and persistent attention would be given to each of its pillars so that it does not embarrass at the end of the day.
We would like to highlight few challenges of the ‘Digital India’ program:
Implementation: The entire program is designed as a top level model on the technological front. There is hardly any guidance on how to implement the same on the ground level to make it successful. To be precise, most of the nine pillars of the program are directly related to high-end consumers and not for 70 pertcent (almost, according to 2013 – 2014 survey) of the rural population in India.
Deploy W-Fi Centers &Hotspot: BSNL’s (Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd) mass deployment of Wi-Fi hotspots across the country. If the government pushes BSNL to ensure at least one hotspot per village, it can do wonders andexperience the positive outcome. However, if the selection of the hotspot locations were those populated by mostly tribals, backward castes, minorities and geographically difficult areas, then the impact can bring a new era in our country.
Improve IT Literacy: Improving IT literacy is very important because the entire mass who is using internet should know how to secure his/her online data. Providing proper usability guidance of Anti-Virus software and its role in securing the records should happen simultaneously.
Data Vulnerability: Each and every citizen of India would have all the personal details online including bank details, Income tax details, PAN details which might be vulnerable if not secured properly. In case this is breached, then any individual would lose the privacy of the data and would be compromised.
Excessive server Hits: If majority of the population start using online, then definitely the Government portal sever will start getting more number of hits day by day. This is limitless and the IT team needs to be prepared enough to tackle the situation where the possibility of crash would minimize.
Man-In-The-Middle Attack: It is a type of cyber-attack where a malicious actor intrudes him/herself into a conversation between two parties, imitates both parties and gains access to information that the two parties were trying to send to each other. A man-in-the-middle attack allows such intercepts of the data meant for someone else, without knowledge of either of the party until it is too late.
It is necessary to overcome all the challenges mentioned above with the help of a proper security solution. With so many people connected to such numerous networks, data security will definitely become one of the priorities of the Government. Since all the departments like Income Tax, LIC, Election Commission, Passport Department – will have ample sensitive data of citizens, there is a high possibility of data breaches once majority of the population become digitally literate. The herculean task of securing all the W-Fi hotspots and data centers should be seriously taken into consideration. Major security solution vendors for Anti-Virus products for home users, small and medium business and even corporates are offering complete protection to the networks and successfully materializing the dream of an ideal “Digital India”!
Govind Rammurthy, CEO & MD, eScan