The e-Government initiatives are really perking up the competitiveness of the enterprises in the commercial and industrial sector. No better example will illustrate this, than the new initiative of Ministry of Company Affairs, which has announced its intention to reduce the processing time for incorporation and liquidation of companies in India.
It is learnt that the ministry is reportedly planning to put in place a system for allowing electronic filing of stamp duty. This will help in setting up a company in as little as three days. At present, under the MCA-21 governance system, companies can fi le almost any information electronically, barring stamp duties. About 20 states have reportedly agreed for e-Filing of stamp duties, with the rest expected to join soon.
Incidentally, the World Bank report—Doing Business 2007, indicates that India noting that it takes over 10 years and 14 processes to close a business in India. The new changes on the anvil may certainly add new energy to corporate governance and raise the investor confidence.
However, the whole talk of effective e-Governance is infructuous, if due attention is not paid to the aspect of network security or information security. Loss of trade secrets, loss of stakeholder goodwill, and regulatory penalties are stark realities before all enterprises who are too lax about protecting their data or investing in their networks.
The damage to balance sheets, brands, and competitive advantage can be unthinkable and unpardonable if poor management of customer data and intellectual property assets are the reasons to it. As a matter of fact, most security programmes till date concentrate on limiting unauthorised access. They mostly try to fend off external attacks with traditional data security measures including firewalls, intrusion prevention, and anti-spyware and rely more on identity and access controls and, in some cases, data encryption to limit exposure of sensitive information. A new approach to this issue is certainly called for, as the current protections are insufficient as there is no data loss coverage.
With a whopping 46 per cent of the government of India’s revenues being spent on governance, closely followed by defence at 24 percent, there is a good case for a state level initiative in addressing this issue. To deliver good governance with augmented security for the public domain, there must be better investments in the governance projects in public and private domains to safeguard security. This will bolster the efficacy in service delivery and indirectly strengthen the hands of the tech industry as well.
The current issue of the magazine has Network and Information Security as major theme, and it will be leading the readers through a slew of perspectives and learnings on cyber security. We wish the profound articles would provide a good read to all concerned and alert them about protecting their data and in raising the bar of competitiveness.