Irish companies face increasing pace of tech change and demand for services
The pace of technological change facing Irish organisations, increasing demand for sophisticated cloud services and further disruptive influences, such as wearable technology, were themes addressed by the various speakers and panels at the European Tech Summit in Cork, organised by it@Cork.
Magnus Ternsjö, CEO, UPC Ireland, reported that significant growth in the company’s Irish business was a direct indicator of the developing usage of broadband by Irish businesses. Ternsjö said that increasing demand for existing services, as well as for new services, such as its recently introduced 500Mbs, showed that when such infrastructure and services are made available, businesses will use them and extend their own capabilities as a result.
The issue of shadow IT was raised by Richard Munro, hybrid cloud service technical director, VMware. Munro said that shadow IT was the IT department’s problem as it not only constituted a security issue, but also that there were needs among its users that were not being addressed.
Munro added that managing complex infrastructures was not always easy and that chasing after the fabled ‘single pane of glass’ view may be somewhat short sighted, and could result, if badly implemented, in what he termed the ‘single glass of pain’.
The ongoing revelations around state-sponsored surveillance and hacking were a topic of discussion for the cybersecurity panel. Simon Walsh, enterprise security director, TrendMicro, said that these stories are rightfully prompting discussion, but also they were part of bigger story concerning our relationship with data in general and the right to privacy in the twenty-first century. The story is far from complete, said Walsh, and is part of an ongoing narrative as people and businesses struggle to define what is private, what is public and how those definitions must determine how information is treated. Simply put, said Walsh, cybersecurity is big news now because affects everyone.
A key point that emerged from the panel discussion was the shared view that the actions of agencies such as the US National Security Agency (NSA) was weakening the security posture of consumers and businesses by discovering and not publically disclosing vulnerabilities, further damaging perceptions of such organisations.
As regards the future of cybersecurity, the panel, which also featured Denis Kennelly, VP technology and security IBM, and Duren Dexter, CEO, Xanadu Consulting, offered these warnings. There are likely to be more targeted attacks, more high profile data breaches, some of which will feature vulnerabilities being exploited in now unsupported operating systems and applications, such as Windows XP, but also older version of mobile platforms such as Android and iOS. There will be further use of the ‘Deep Web’ and cloud by criminals , all to the backdrop of continued distrust among the technology using public at large.