IT Technologies Don’t Have Nationality

7 February 2014

Belarus Hi-Tech Park Administration expresses its surprise by free interpretation of facts given by journalists from and concerning the software allegedly developed in Belarus. Even more surprising is the fact that the publications triggered further politically driven remarks.

In HTP Director s interview broadcast by the radio station “The Voice of Russia” on June 25, 2013 which the American journalists referred to in their publications there was not a single word about the project. It said that some of Belarus Hi-Tech Park residents were involved in implementation of a number of IT projects for medical and insurance institutions which participated in the US healthcare system reform.

However, interpretation of these activities as a threat to the US or any other government is completely misleading and shows lack of understanding of the modern global software delivery processes and practices.

Engineers in dozens different countries may participate in the development of a complex IT solution. At the end of the project customers receive documentation and all the source codes. Modern software delivery standards dictate very serious acceptance procedures, including security testing and verification, and the most importantly limit any direct access to production environment only to a very special personal with high degree clearance permit and primarily located in the country, where system planned to be deployed. Specialized groups or companies conduct internal and external audits if there are any concerns about specific issues.

System vulnerability to cyber-attacks is, therefore, determined by the professionalism of the parties involved and not by the geographical location of programmers. 

Just think for a minute what would happen if governments throughout the world assumed that some products of such American companies as, for example, Microsoft or Oracle which are widely used today, both in the public and private sectors, had some “tabs or hidden opportunities“ allowing to insert “malicious code that could be used for cyber attacks“. Those who have concerns use special procedures to feel safe.

Resident-companies of the Belarus Hi-Tech Park actively cooperate with international corporations interested in doing business in Belarus, including such brands as IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, HP, and Cisco, among many others. Together with their American partners, they have been involved in serious international cooperation to deliver many complex and innovative projects around the world, including in the US and in the EU. 

The HTP resident-companies are proud of the cooperation with their US partners. We hope that the American companies which work with the HTP residents and open their own development offices in Belarus, are satisfied with the level of expertise and knowledge of Belarusian software engineers. So far, to our best knowledge, none of the entities, which had any real hands-on experience of dealing with the HTP resident-companies, have never raised an issue similar to the one we faced last week and which, we have to conclude, was largely politically motivated.