Where is your data safer -- Australia or India?

Where is your data safer -- Australia or India?

Summary: Although Western companies may feel hesitant at offshoring tasks involving sensitive information to countries such as India, their fears could well be unfounded.

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Although Western companies may feel hesitant at offshoring tasks involving sensitive information to countries such as India, their fears could well be unfounded.

At a conference it hosted earlier this week on security and global sourcing, the Indian National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom), used the recent UK data breaches to highlight India's strengthening data security abilities, according to Ovum analyst Samad Masood. Nasscom presented research showing IT buyers now rate India on par with Western Europe and the US in terms of data security capabilities, he continued.

"Leading Indian IT and BPO firms by necessity have very stringent security processes in place," Masood said in a research note. "These processes are often stronger than their Western clients."

James Turner, advisor at analyst firm IBRS said it's difficult to measure the comparative security levels as so many breaches go under the radar. "Until you can measure those it's difficult to make claims," he added.

"Let's not forget that Western security standards include people like the NSA (National Security Agency) who have some of the finest security," he said, but continued that those suggesting Western security is definitely better would also not be correct.

"It's not as much that they're as secure as we are, its that we're as insecure as they are," he said. Turner added he had worked in Indian companies which were still running Windows 95, but suspected there were still many Australian companies doing the same.

Australia is, however, approaching data security pretty seriously, Turner said, highlighting the review of Australian Privacy law which, if approved, could mean that small businesses are no longer exempt.

The review is also looking to make Australian firms responsible for the data they send overseas, meaning that Indian companies dealing with Australian companies will have to show they can comply with their clients' data security standards.

Topics: Outsourcing, Big Data, India

Suzanne Tindal

About Suzanne Tindal

Suzanne Tindal cut her teeth at ZDNet.com.au as the site's telecommunications reporter, a role that saw her break some of the biggest stories associated with the National Broadband Network process. She then turned her attention to all matters in government and corporate ICT circles. Now she's taking on the whole gamut as news editor for the site.

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5 comments
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  • Their fears are well founded...

    Just recently 4 sea internet cables where cut around the middle east and India...DOH...
    forget about how safe it is when you cant even access it at times...

    absolutely pointless article about the most evil thing going on...screwing up your own country...otherwise known as offshoring...
    anonymous
  • I'll 2nd that

    We've hired an Indian company to secure servers, however after having to scream at them at how bad a job they have done, with them only to deny, we were forced to cancel the contract as even I, with only 1% knowledge on security, could easily gain access to the systems within a few minutes and gain 100% of the information.

    We also had another Indian company perform an audit on the servers and they concluded it was secure too, until it was proven to them that they weren't.

    It appears they think they are doing it right, but in the end it turned out that they actually don't understand it depsite having all the correct credentials.
    anonymous
  • well... you only get what you pay for...

    yea ofcourse anything can be broken into...
    and you only get what you pay for.... if you dont want to outsource... dont outsource...

    you outsource because you want to get it done cheaply... then you only get the value for that...

    even if you get the job here in australia with a cheaper company.. you might have security issues.

    what i am trying to get at is that, there might be some companies in India where the security might not be that tight, but that does nt mean you are putting your companies/countries data under threat by outsourcing to India.

    If you want to outsource, do your research, find a good company which meets your security requirement and then dont have anything to compain about!
    anonymous
  • Data security in India

    Given that India have no data privacy laws, I'm surprised they are pretending to understand the concept. The 'research' reeks of self promotion to boost the diminishing value of Indian IT off-shoring.
    anonymous
  • do you have a option ?

    either you make more babies so that in 20 years you can manage your own data or you get more immigrants,
    its the new world or a new order. choice is yours
    anonymous