News Column

Firm on Frontlines in War Against Cyberattack

Oct. 9, 2012

Steve Tarter


The U.S. Secretary of Defense has warned that the next Pearl Harbor could be a cyberattack.

Girish Seshagiri doesn't take that warning lightly. The founder of Peoria-based Advanced Information Services Inc. believes it's time for the United States to take the lead in developing safe, reliable software that could not only thwart such an attack but create jobs and stimulate the economy.

The AIS CEO isn't just talking about that concept. His company has demonstrated it. Last year, AIS successfully completed the modernization of the U.S. Selective Service System for the Department of Defense.

"While there's no longer a draft, citizens still have to register with the Selective Service," said Seshagiri.

"It's the first time that the government gets information on citizens (when they turn 18). We had to take an old system and modernize it," he said, referring to software developed to simplify the registration process.

With the nation's defense involved, the new system had to be secure, said Seshagiri. "It was a case of government using technology to upgrade itself," he said.

The company's efforts didn't go unnoticed by the government. "The migration off the Department of Defense main frame after a three-decade-long partnership is the most significant undertaking by the agency in recent memory. I am pleased that AIS completed the initiative ahead of schedule. Most impressive," said Selective Service director Lawrence Romo.

In addressing a software symposium at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pa. last month, Seshagiri talked about the importance of making a commitment to quality.

Better quality software means fewer defects which translates into a more secure system, he said.

"The number of cyberattacks is increasing each year," said Seshagiri. providing government and business with a cybersecurity assurance will become a trillion dollar industry in the future, he said.

Flawed software is like securing your home but leaving the front door open, said Seshagiri.

"Software defects cost the government $10 billion to $15 billion a year. We need to have quality built in," he said.

Distributed by MCT Information Services

Source: (c) 2012 the Journal Star (Peoria, Ill.)

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