Security in India urgently needs transformation


Over the last week, I have spent my time traveling across India with my team visiting MongoDB partners . It is amazing to see how much SI industry has changed , and also how much has not changed . More on that in another blog post at another time .

The one thing that consistently was a pain in the neck for me was the security process at companies , hotels and airports . It is the most cumbersome , inefficient and ineffective process one could design .

Let’s start with hotels . Hotels in India take security seriously from the looks of it – and after the terrorist attack on Taj in Mumbai , it is understandable that they stepped up the effort . However the mechanics of the exercise is where it is borderline stupid . When a car carrying a passenger arrives at the gate , they search in the trunk of the car and under the car – but not inside the car . What happens if a bad guy is holding a weapon in his hand while sitting inside the car ? Nothing – he will make his way to the hotel .

In some hotels they have sniffer dogs checking for explosives . It is clear to me at least that these dogs are over worked and most probably have no drive to find anything half way through a long shift . I do appreciate the opportunity to pet those dogs on my way in whenever I can .

Then there is a metal detector when you get into the hotel lobby itself . I watched multiple people walk through it with their wallets and phones in their pockets and the thing never beeped once . What exactly is the point here ?

Moving on to large enterprises – many of them huge multinational companies . They have armies of security personnel and access to technology . Yet the process to admit a visitor is nearly 100% manual and ineffective . They write visitor info in thick ledgers – often multiple ones which clearly can’t be fully reconciled easily or at real time if there is a breach . These companies one way or other are at the forefront of “digital transformation” , “big data” and “internet of things” movement today – and hence they should have no problems fixing it . I suspect there are legal issues that are beyond their control that is stopping them . I really hope that this issue is taken care of swiftly – it will not only improve security , it will also tangibly improve customer satisfaction . What is more – if they can design an elegant solution, they might even be able to sell it to others for a profit .

And finally there are airports . Honestly Indian airports seem to have the best security of all places I have been to . The only sore sight here is the sheer number of people needed for a single task . Just to board a small regional jet in Bangalore , I counted more than twenty young people at the gate with walkie talkies and multiple printed documents . That is roughly the job of three people elsewhere . It is not an IT problem – it’s a management problem . Fix it please

That apart , everything else has been fine and dandy in India so far .

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3 thoughts on “Security in India urgently needs transformation

  1. The reason of indifferent security in Corporates is simple. Outsourced security contract employees paid a meagre salary. If they engage ex.service men, it costs 2-3 times more and they would do a better job. Also most security offices are small and poorly done and gives poor impression. There are numerous visitor entry pass systems available. But less educated security staff are not trained to use computer effectively and you would see funny spelling mistakes regularly, that irritates the visitors even more.

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