Making Cities Safe and Secure : Sanjay Bahl, Chief Security Officer-Microsoft India

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Sanjay Bahl
Chief Security Officer-Microsoft India

Where do you see India in public safety in security?

India has been making rapid progress in the areas of public safety and security. While this wasn’t much prevalent during mid 90s, the space has undergone tremendous change over the last 6-7 years. India has some unique challenges in terms of the size and existence of various languages. The government has its focus on ensuring collaboration across agencies that will enable seamless sharing of information and facilitate creation of an effective emergency response or a disaster management system.

How is Microsoft positioned in public safety and security market?

Today technology from Microsoft is helping organisations across the globe to transform information technology architectures and procedures, sur-veillance, improve collaboration and information sharing, refine operational situational awareness including visual views of situations based on role, help in building capacity, providing and refining intelligence analysis to prevent acts of terrorism and crime and preparing and responding more effectively to natural disasters and aiding rapid recovery.

For more than 30 years, government agencies and international organisations have trusted their most essential functions to Microsoft solutions. We are helping public sector agencies enhance their effectiveness by cutting complexity, costs, risk and helping maximise their existing technology investments.

What are your offerings in the security domain and the key projects you are working on with the government in India?

As part of our core strategy, we make huge investments in Research and Development. We closely listen to our customers and follow trends in this space such as increased mobility and globalisation of crime. No source is irrelevant ranging from those in the physical space to the cyber space, requiring a multidisciplinary investigation and response.

Let me cite a recent example from a disaster management perspective – with great concern and sadness we’ve all watched the people of Haiti deal with the aftermath of the devastating earthquake on January 12. Apart from various other support that Microsoft offered Haiti, Microsoft also donated software to ensure better connectivity and digital collaboration tools to organisations like NetHope, a consortium of 28 leading international humanitarian aid organizations involved in the relief efforts, as well as to support the American Red Cross, World Vision, and CARE. Through our technology and our people, we played a very active role in Haiti.

Within 24 hours of the earthquake, Microsoft online collaboration portals were launched to support information exchange and situational awareness among aid organisations and civilian and military agencies Bing maps were updated within 72 hours with post-earthquake data to help with search and rescue The first ever Haitian Creole Machine Translation system was deployed to help aid workers and volunteers (’s Integrated Security Solution shows firsthand how customers can leverage Microsoft products “off the shelf” and remarkable ways to reduce operational costs and improve their customer service worldwide.

Using our own technology the three Microsoft Global Security Operations Centres (GSOC), located in US, UK and India, monitor more than 700 sites worldwide, along with 186,000 active personnel access accounts, 10,000 video cameras and 5,000 other devices, such as duress alarms, biometric security systems and environmental alarms.  The GSOCs are central support centers designed to serve as communications hubs with all Microsoft assets world-wide.  Our model enables Global Security to react quickly and precisely to incidents monitored from the other side of town— or the other side of the globe. In addition, should any one of the GSOCs be taken offl ine, monitoring loads can be transferred to another GSOC within minutes.

Our goal is to take the lessons and apply them in ways that facilitate collaboration and information sharing and help others build collaborative strategies for the future in every country. We will continue to build breakthrough technologies that revolutionise the ability of agencies to respond and serve, provide software solutions that connect and empower people, help deliver secure data through many screens using the cloud. India needs a comprehensive security infrastructure and we believe that public-private sector collaboration is the right and cost effective track to achieve this.

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