Technology cos have a key role to play in cybersecurity: Smith

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The global challenge around cybersecurity needs a multi-faceted solution with tech companies playing a bigger role, while bringing in a larger pool of security professionals and applying best practices are crucial, Microsoft president Brad Smith said on Tuesday night at the Raisina Dialogue, India’s premier conference on geopolitics and geoeconomics.

He noted that recent incidents like the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica event were “tipping points” that impacted how people think about technology more broadly.

“It (cybersecurity) is an extraordinarily important issue. I think the recent spate of cybersecurity attacks underscored that even more clearly. I think the solution has to be multi-faceted. (As a tech company), we have to ask ourselves how can we change our practices, how can we make our software and our services more secure and what more can we do to help customers around the world,” he said.

Running solutions on the cloud are more secure than when it runs through on-premise servers as it is easier to keep a watch on the data and the attacks, and the upgrades can be done, he said.

Smith said that national deliberations are going on with people asking about the obligations that tech companies running social media sites should have around the removal of unlawful content.

He also noted that the “changing relationship” betw-een China and the US, and China and other countries is one of the most significant geopolitical developments of this decade.

“We are definitely seeing an impact on hardware supply chains, in terms of many companies… moving hardware manufacturing out of China. That has been underway for the last 18 months, even though it’s not always discussed by companies publicly,” he said.

Smith said hardware manufacturing capacity is shifting to Vietnam, South Korea or other parts of South Asia. “From a long-term perspective, this creates potential new opportunities for, say India as well as others, to make themselves more of a location for hardware manufacturing,” he said.

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