Online access an integral part of work today

We are currently experiencing exponential growth in technology, and the Internet has become a necessity rather than a luxury in the quest for productivity.

Hence, the move by the Government to cut off Internet access on all computers used officially by public servants must surely be considered a regression into the past, as rightly pointed out by Mr Aloysius Cheang, Asia-Pacific executive vice-president of global computing security association Cloud Security Alliance ("Public servants' computers to have no Net access"; yesterday).

One cannot deny the fact that the Internet has become an integral part of our work today.

More often than not, one has to frequently search for information and carry out a multitude of tasks involving the Internet. This process certainly aids productivity.

Granted, there are risks involved in the use of the Internet, especially with hackers becoming more sophisticated, and cutting off Internet access may seem an easier option.

But the Government must not take the easy way out.

Instead, greater emphasis must be put on security measures to combat hacking and unauthorised access to computer systems.

Let's stretch the argument a bit further - say all banks decide to cut off online transactions and revert to having customers queue up at branches to carry out all forms of banking transactions.

Yes, this would protect banks' computer systems from being hacked into. However, would banks be able to survive in such conditions?

I strongly urge the Government to carefully think through its decision and take time to make it a wise one.

Rajasegaran Ramasamy

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 09, 2016, with the headline 'Online access an integral part of work today'. Print Edition | Subscribe