‘Accelerate investment in telecom infrastructure to beat security blues’

Aadhaar data breaches stories boil down to the fact that robust telecom infrastructure is needed to keep security blues at bay. Sanjay Motwani, Regional Director, Raritan APAC, expresses his views on data breaches and why it is important for telcos to step up investment in data infrastructure.

Voice&Data: What is the current scenario of data center infrastructure in the telecom sector?

Sanjay Motwani: The mobile technologies like 3G and 4G are increasing the bandwidth for end consumers in terms of using more videos or applications. This has undoubtedly led to data explosion. There are two aspects to the data center side in the telecom sector. First, there is an increased requirement for bandwidth or data management and the second is data security.
4G has increased the number of subscribers and the volume per average subscribers. In terms of managing this data and moving it from Point A to Point B, the data needs to be processed at the point where it is generated. This concept is hugely talked about and it is called moving from ‘core to the edge’ where more data centers need to be set up closer to the consumer.
Another trend that can be foreseen is the concept of condominiums and smart cities that will further lead to increased use of connected devices in the near future. There will be a need to set up micro data centers in each condominium. Thus, the telecom sector needs to move from centralized data centers to mini/micro data centers that will be set up closer to the end consumer.

Voice&Data: How security can be taken care of?

Sanjay Motwani: The telecom infrastructure has to gear up in the context of edge computing in India. However, this will create big challenges with respect to security. With the linking of Aadhaar, security is of paramount importance as the telecom infrastructure plays a vital role in maintaining the security aspect of the heavy day to day financial transactions that take place on these networks. Besides, the government is promoting digital transactions which will increase the volume of transactions at the retail end of the stores. All these cross terminals through which we do transactions are basically telecom networks like 3G, 4G and moving forward 5G.
The processing and security of these financial transactions will be the most important area where the telecom infrastructure needs to strengthen itself. Security should be taken care of at every level from data management, bandwidth or network security, web security, ensuring firewalls etc.

Voice&Data: What are the security measures taken by your organization when it comes to warding off security concerns?

Sanjay Motwani: Raritan helps understand the data center environment and infrastructure better. Our tools help the data center manager to keep a tab on the power, space and air conditioning usage in the data center. Essentially, our tools also help in monitoring the behaviour of certain devices. For example: If you are running a certain application on a server and there is a security breach due to that application, then our monitoring device picks up the behaviour of the application that is causing the security breach and raises an alarm.

Another level of monitoring comes when our tools raise an alarm at the time of high usage of power by a certain device which can be further investigated by the data center manager. At times, the high power usage occurs due to a security breach and other times it’s a genuine burst in the workload. Therefore, our tools sense the environment in a data center and record any abnormality happening in the data center.

Voice&Data: Can you throw some light on what is happening at the backend with technologies like IoT, AI, Big Data?
Sanjay Motwani: If we take the simple example of Amazon’s product Alexa, which is an AI/IoT device with an inbuilt speaker, we can understand how these technologies are been taken care of at the backend. When we pass a command like ‘play Kishore Kumar’s song’, first the device picks up our voice/accent and then it searches for matching keywords. Then, the device opens its music library to play Kishore Kumar songs for us.
In case this device is connected to our phone or home theatre, then the songs will play on that particular device. Hence, it is interesting to note that how such a simple command makes these different technologies work simultaneously at the backend to process it in real time.
Eventually, we will witness another development in India which is already happening in other countries that will allow the song to be played on the TV when connected with the device. This will be the impact of IoT in the coming years. It will connect our rooms, its devices, etc. Now for a condominium there will be thousands of devices connected in each floor of the building. The data that will be generated through these connected devices needs to be processed and stored in a data center or a small computer server room which should be housed inside the building. This at the backend has to be taken care of by the telecom sector. The Telecos need to provide seamless high speed bandwidth connectivity for these technologies to function.

Voice&Data: Some key trends for this year…

Sanjay Motwani: There will be largely two to three trends that we can witness in the coming year:
IT Automation in the data center- The increasing backend processes is simultaneously increasing the work in the data center. Therefore, 2018 will see a lot of automation of routine tasks within the data center. This will help the data center managers cut down the cost of human labour at the backend and circumvent human error.
Entry level Artificial Intelligence: Data centers will have Artificial Intelligence coming into play but at the entry level. The tasks like identifying useless and useful data in a data center will be taken care of by AI.
Security of IoT devices: At the data center backend, security issues due to IoT will be of major concern. For example-The employees of an organization will bring more than one device with themselves and each of these devices will have to be identified on the network. Any device which is connected to a network is potentially a threat to the security. Therefore, the data centers of these organizations need to strengthen their backend security challenges with regards to IoT and the issues it has brought to the data center.

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