Archive for July 10, 2020

Tata Consultancy CEO Warns The USA On H1B Visa Freeze

Posted in Commentary with tags on July 10, 2020 by itnerd

The chief executive officer of Tata Consultancy Services which is Asia’s largest IT services firm warned that a U.S. freeze on thousands of employment visas by President Donald Trump will only raise costs for American corporations like Wall Street banks, auto manufacturers and drugmakers.

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) CEO Rajesh Gopinathan told Bloomberg News the move has put massive stress on a huge swath of Indian-born engineers that have lived in the U.S. for years and helped support American clients, who will ultimately be the ones hurt most. His remarks were among the strongest public rebukes from India’s $181 billion IT industry since U.S. President Donald Trump’s June decree to halt approvals for a range of visas until the end of the year — including those for intra-company transfers. 

TCS and peers like Infosys have relied for years on the ability to send talent to work alongside their customers overseas, which include some of the largest electronics manufacturers and global retailers. Investors worry that the inability to do so will hurt their competitiveness in the largest international market. “The ignorance around this ruling should be addressed,” Gopinathan said via video conference on Friday. “Playing with the status of people who’ve moved away from families and committed to spending five-six years in a foreign country without immigrant status to deliver value to customers, is a short-term gimmick,” the executive said.

Now there is a bit of self interest at work here. Tata and Infosys are used by US companies because they are cheaper, not because they are better. The IT industry has been replacing competent local staff with less competent and cheaper Indian staff for years now. Every IT type like me has seen this happen. Many of us have seen the disasters these cheaper staff create and are quite happy to see curbs on H1B visas.

Here’s the flip side. This could send tech workers of all sorts running to other countries like Canada. As it stands, Canada was becoming a tech hub thanks to Trump administration policies. Now I have seen an acceleration of this because of the latest move by Trump. That cannot end well for the US.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. My guess is that this is far from over.

Vancouver Coastal Health Gets Hit With A Cyberattack

Posted in Commentary with tags on July 10, 2020 by itnerd

Vancouver Coastal Health fell victim to a cyberattack this spring, saying hackers used a ransomware program to hit a computer system used for its Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP), a counseling and wellness service for VCH workers. According to the health authority, the computer network hosting the EFAP was separate from VCH’s main system and being administered by an independent IT company at the time of the attack.

Here’s a couple of stories on this cyberattack.

The above is yet another example of the importance of reducing cyber vulnerability and level of risk in organizations and navigating the changing security environment.

David Masson, director of enterprise security for Darktrace had this to say:

Security teams in the healthcare sector need to be lucky all the time when defending hospitals and medical organizations, while threat actors only need to be lucky once. Threat actors specifically go after the healthcare industry because they expect to be able to exploit the industry’s duty and drive to provide a service for their patients. Oftentimes, hospital leaders will choose the quickest path back to restoring their services after an attack by paying the ransom. Unfortunately, attackers capitalize on this opportunity for ransom to be paid quickly and pay no mind to possible collateral damage.

This is a reminder that businesses need to be on guard when it comes to cybersecurity, and up their game when it comes to not being the next victim.