THE READINESS OF PAKISTAN IT INDUSTRY POST SEPTEMBER 11

The good news is there is a general sense of awareness amongst the public in Pakistan about the security threats

By SAJID KADRI
Apr 05 - 11, 2004

Countries around the world have taken measures to tighten security across the board. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has publicized maritime security regulations that include the installation of technology such as passenger, vehicle and baggage screening; personnel identification; access control; and surveillance equipment. The regulations are designed to protect ports and waterways from a terrorist attack. Similar measures have also been taken at the airports across the globe.

The security measures are not restricted to sea ports, air ports but people all over the world are taking measures to protect their work places, industries and even homes against terrorist threats of all kinds. The reality is anyone anywhere could be a target and a victim.

Suddenly, people have accepted the fact that it will take a global effort to minimize if not eradicate completely any types of security-breech which if not taken into consideration could cost their lives.

The DHS was created with one single overriding responsibility to make America more secure. DHS has unified the agencies responsible for securing American borders to keep out terrorists, criminals, and dangerous material.

Similarly the Patriot Act was introduced to protect the America, enabling the Federal government to better track terrorists, disrupt their cells, and seize their assets but the biggest disturbing aspect of the government's actions has been its attack on the Bill of Rights, the very cornerstone of the American democracy. The War on Terror has seriously compromised the First, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights of citizens and non-citizens alike. From the USA Patriot Act's over-broad definition of domestic terrorism, to the FBI's new powers of search and surveillance, to the indefinite detention of both citizens and non-citizens without formal charges, the principles of free speech, due process, and equal protection under the law have been seriously undermined.

Security has been an ever increasing problem in Pakistan, one can not disregard the recent attacks on President Pervez Musharraf. The citizens of Pakistan are asking if the President with all the security is not safe then who is?

In Pakistan there are several companies that are providing a number of products and services to help homes, institutions, organizations and corporations be better prepared and deal with the unforeseen incidents. Companies in Pakistan are offering a complete solution to the corporations, firms, hotels, hospitals and industries of any size.

ACCESS CONTROL SOLUTION: provides solution for local or distributed PC-based access control, alarm monitoring system and employee attendance. In order to have the complete tracking of employees related to HR and Administration.

Since the basic goal of an access control system is to provide access control to authorize personnel's and to monitor who goes in and out of an area, it is important for the system to observe and annunciate any unauthorized use. These products provide enhanced access control so that system users can be easily identified. Entry is allowed only at given times, and to pre-authorized locations. A record of system activity is kept in an historical journal.

HAND BIOMETRICS SOLUTION: For Access Control, the Hand Readers ensure that the person who enters isn't merely carrying someone else's access card or PIN. Hand Biometrics is a device that recognizes your hand physique where your hand is your card identity to access the security system and is 99% fool proof system. From Access Control perspective, Hand Reader brings the true security and convenience of biometric technology easily within reach of most access control applications.

There are a number of other products that are available in the market.

Let's now talk about an area that has become a part of our life, Kids, Adults, and Seniors all use computers on a daily basis. For many personal computers have become their most reliable and trusted friend. Computers have become a part of our daily living.

But many of us are not doing enough to save guard this friend of ours. Not realizing that this friend of ours is loaded with information, a lot of our personal information that we are not willing to share with any one. This "friend" of ours could be attached and die with all of that information. Such was the case earlier this year, when the MSBlast worm spread worldwide. The worm infected more than 330,000 computers running Windows, according to security experts. The infected computers were vulnerable because many PC users lacked proper security software and left a known Windows flaw un-patched. Unfortunately, millions of well-meaning PC users rely on security software that offers only partial protection from Internet attacks. That's because many personal firewalls check inbound Internet traffic but don't bother to inspect outbound information.

Imagine if a warden interrogated everyone who entered a prison, but didn't bother to scrutinize those who tried to leave. Surely, you wouldn't settle for such lax security in the physical world. Nor should you in the digital world.

That's a recipe for disaster. According to published estimates, more than 30,000 Websites offer hacking software. And it doesn't take a rocket scientist or even a computer scientist to master the tools. Indeed, the typical person needs 10 minutes (or less) to unleash a hacking package's destructive powers, according to these sources.

What to do? A smart first move is stepping up to a personal firewall that inspects both inbound and outbound traffic. Most users know that a firewall stops rogue people and programs from entering a network. But that's only part of a true firewall's mission. With today's sneaky viruses and backdoor programs, inspecting outbound traffic as it attempts to leave your PC for the Internet also is important.

Hackers have penetrated thousands of home and mobile PCs systems much like yours across the Internet. In many cases, they've organized these systems into virtual armies that have attacked many of the world's leading Websites, including CNN, eBay and Yahoo!, notes the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) at Carnegie Mellon University. If your firewall only supports inbound blocking, you've only got half a solution. The other half could be achieved by having an extra layer of security that knocks out hackers who may find their way past your first line of defense. For example McAfee Personal Firewall Plus along with Online Virus scan could be an answer.

The good news is there is a general sense of awareness amongst the public in Pakistan about the security threats post 9/11. What can we do? Here is what I recommend. Having the Awareness is definitely the first step, acquiring the right Knowledge pertaining to different threats is the second on the list. Motivation to check on these threats on a regular basis is the third, Discipline to take measures for secure environment is the fourth, and lastly for all of this a genuine Effort is required!

Sajid Kadri, CEO, CATCOS, Inc. Call Center Solution, Service and Training provider. www.catcos.com