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No Matter the Industry, Top Executives Must Do a Better Job Prioritizing Cybersecurity

At the start of 2017, many companies across a wide range of industries are looking to digitally transform their business—with good reason. As technology improves, the opportunities for companies to advance countless aspects of their business are seemingly endless. From cloud computing and data storage, to amazing new ways to improve inventory tracking and management, to opening up talent recruitment and hiring due to improved remote work options, it’s pretty cool to be a thriving business in the digital age.

Unfortunately, every rose has its thorn. Just because improved technology is available to businesses doesn’t mean there aren’t major drawbacks to using it. Namely, cybersecurity weak points continue to crop up with every new tech innovation that’s put to use. According to the Breach Level Index, there have been 5,911,205,892 data breaches since 2013, and only 4% of those breaches were “secure breaches”—meaning data stolen by hackers was rendered useless due to data encryption. That means that 96% of data breaches are legitimate issues that negatively impact businesses and individuals, as vital information is stolen. What’s more, a recent study has shown that the average total cost of a data breach is right around $4 million—ouch.

Given These Sobering Stats, Why Are Data Breaches Still on the Rise?

The answer can often be found by looking at top-level executives. The push for digitalization that is happening in business today is getting more intense, and execs are feeling the pressure. While intentions are always good, diving head-first into a new digital transformation or software project rollout, without reinventing their cybersecurity strategy first, is leaving businesses vulnerable.

To better protect themselves, companies need to change the conversation to place a new focus on cybersecurity, and that shift needs to come from executive leaders. So, where’s the disconnect?

The problem is partly a lack of information. The latest cybersecurity best practices improve all the time, and so do the abilities of hackers to find weak points in a business’s security system. As a busy top-level executive, it’s tough to stay up to date. Another aspect of the problem is that cybersecurity and tech developments in a company used to be projects that were passed off to the IT department, and the assumptions were made that everything was just “being handled.” This isn’t an effective model anymore for a lot of reasons, but mainly because technology is the great equalizer.

Technology innovations are no longer “an IT thing,” and neither is cybersecurity. The tech focus has united departments in a company with everyone working towards the greater goal of growing their digital innovation. And while cybersecurity initiatives feel like they’re stopping the forward momentum of digital projects, having company leaders push their importance now will hugely benefit businesses in the long run—both by avoiding a financial hit and reducing risk.

Leaders in the Healthcare Industry Have Already Figured This Out

The healthcare industry has not been immune to the cybersecurity dilemmas faced when new technology is put into regular use. In fact, 31% of major HIPAA data breaches were a direct result of sophisticated attacks, which is a 300% increase since 2013. Industry leaders are taking action.

The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) is focusing on an education-oriented approach. By helping hospitals and healthcare providers understand what threats are out there, and the security strategies that they can implement against those threats to lower their risk, HIMSS is hoping to empower healthcare companies to take action and invest in their security plan. And the results are showing – 85% of healthcare providers have said that, in the last year, cybersecurity has increased as a priority.

Their focus is on making cybersecurity an unintimidating concept for healthcare providers. Only positive things can come from this push for cybersecurity education, and more business executives and leaders from other industries should take note. Education is a powerful tool; taking the fear-factor away from the risk of cyberattack and pushing for innovative cybersecurity plans to match new technology use is the only way to protect businesses against attack.

The more secure a business is, the faster it will be able to continue on the path of technology innovation and growth. And while businesses will never be 100% secure, regardless of their industry, it’s time for executives and thought leaders to take charge of cyber initiatives within their organizations. Changes in corporate culture always do best when they come from the top, and a focus on cybersecurity is a change businesses should look to make.

Karnataka pitches for investments in tourism

Karnataka’s information technology and its youthful start-up prowess is now globally known and acknowledged. “What is not so well known is the strength of its institutions, its industry, its people and places. ,with every Wipro, we have a Mangalayaan, with every Flipkart, we have a Tejas light combat aircraft and sophisticated drones and with every Narayana Murthy, we have a CNR Rao,” said Karnataka Industries Minister RV Deshpande.

Addressing the 14th edition of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas meet, Deshpande pitched for investments in tourism especially to woo youths. “Karnataka is not all (high-technology), we have world heritage sites, deep woods, sandy beaches and some of the widest range of wildlife.”

“We also have India’s best sporting academies and adventure sports. Most importantly, we have the most social and cultured people you will find anywhere in the world,” he added.

Deshpande said “the Karnataka government has embarked on a road map towards improving everything we have and examining and implementing everything that is new and innovative, aimed at enhancing the experience of every citizen in this state — whether you are a Nivasi or a Pravasi.”

Disruptive tech

As IT & ITeS matures as a sector in Karnataka, the government is planning to change its perception and looks at embracing disruptive technologies to reposition itself.

Speaking at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas’ session on ‘Fuelling growth through disruptive innovations: Start-up ecosystem in Karnataka’, Priyank Kharge, Minister for Information Technology, Biotechnology and Tourism, said “People, corporates and government have always associated ‘’ with IT & ITeS. Now, we needed to change that perception because IT & ITeS have matured as a sector in Karnataka and we need to do something disruptive to reposition ourselves.”

“In order to redefine, theme ‘Define the Next’ was chosen after great deliberation as the focus of the state going forward to be creative and disruptive and emerging technologies like Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence, robotics, aerospace, DefTronics, cyber security, Big Data Analytics, machine learning among various other verticals are being explored. We have taken a call to ensure we emerge as the innovation leaders right from agriculture to aerospace,” he added.

As these disruptive innovations are happening very rapidly in India, today we are considered as one of the best ecosystems in the world for innovations that has the potential to catapult the economy, he further added.

Karnataka is home to over 4,900 start-ups as per global start-ups eco-system ranking report of 2015. “Under our multi-sector policy, we are aiming at stimulating growth of 20,000 tech start-ups, including 6,000 product start-ups by 2020. We have established one of the best start-up eco-systems in the country and are confident of achieving the objectives set forth in the multi-sector start-up policy,” explained Kharge.

Your Smart Home Could Also Be a Haven for Hackers

Your phone fitness tracker and home thermostat all will soon have something in common. As time goes on, more of these devices are upgraded for internet connectivity. While they can offer a world of convenience at our fingertips, experts say consumers are in for a world of hurt if they don't take steps to thwart a hacker's attempts to steal data or gain control.
Just two months ago, hackers harnessed internet-connected devices, such as video cameras and digital video recorders, in an attack on a key part of the internet's infrastructure. The attack caused internet outages and congestion across a wide swath of the country, according to the tech blog Krebs on Security.

Experts fear internet-connected toasters, refrigerators and thermometers -- collectively called the Internet of Things -- can be conscripted into a virtual army by hackers if companies continue to create products with weak or no security protections.

It's often impossible to know if your devices are insecure. In mid-December, a researcher posted about a vulnerability in several models of Netgear-branded routers could allow hackers to take control.

The U.S. CERT Coordination Center at Carnegie Mellon University rated the flaw as critical. Netgear began rolling out beta patch updates for the device [earlier this month].

Billions of Devices

There are so many IoT devices they will soon rival the number of humans on planet Earth. Information technology research firm Gartner estimates 6.4 billion internet-connected things exist today, which could more than triple to nearly 20.8 billion devices by the year 2020.

These gadgets can exist on the spectrum of fun to absurd. One device allows users to play with their pets via an internet connected camera and a smartphone-controlled laser. Exercise trackers log our steps and our sleep. If you ever felt the need for a Wi-Fi-connected tray that tells you how many eggs you have in the fridge, that exists, too.

With connected devices, our world can be in the palm of our hands. Check temperatures from a smart oral and rectal thermometer from your phone. At the store and not sure if you have enough cheese? This smart refrigerator by Samsung now takes a picture of the contents every time the door is closed. Online retailer Amazon has offered small, Wi-Fi connected devices that order various products with the press of a button -- these are part of the Internet of Things, too.

Some products are really helpful, said Ashish Gupta, chief marketing officer for Infoblox, a Santa Clara, California, technology firm that acquired Tacoma's IID earlier this year.

"We drive up to Tahoe, which is about four hours away, and our house is freezing cold in the winter," Gupta said. Enter the IoT thermostat, which his wife turns on with her smartphone two hours before they arrive. "When we get there, the house is nice and warm."

But novelty and convenience can come at a cost. Device security is not keeping pace with innovation, the Department of Homeland Security wrote in a paper released last month.

"Because our nation is now dependent on properly functioning networks to drive so many life-sustaining activities, IoT security is now a matter of homeland security," the agency wrote.

Devices, harnessed by hackers, were able to shut down the central heating and water systems last month at two apartment buildings in Finland. Last year, researchers found nine types of internet-connected baby monitors were vulnerable. They were able to view live video feeds, change camera settings and copy video clips stored online.

"When you're dealing with things that stream data, whether it's video or audio, to the internet, you have to look at your comfort level of who you are and what do you do," said Deral Heiland, research lead at Rapid7, a company that in part seeks security vulnerabilities and reports them to product creators.

Jason Hong, an associate professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, said beefing up security costs money, and companies want to maximize profits.

"A lot of people are rushing to market quickly," Hong said. "It's easy to see this product has a beautiful form factor and user interface. It's hard to see if it's got security built in."

Minimize Risks

Users can take a few simple measures to minimize their risks, Hong and others said:

-- Change the device or service's default passwords. Manufacturers often ship products to consumers with what's called a "factory default setting" with the same password. Changing the password makes it harder for hackers to access.

-- Search online for the product name to see if any security flaws have been found.

-- Unplug devices when they are not being used.

-- Install all software updates for your device. Operating software can be a weak spot in device security.

-- Consider why you need an internet-connected device in the first place.

Companies with decades of experience in other spaces are starting to enter the web-connected device market.

"Automobile companies are starting to realize they are also software companies," Hong said. "Some of them don't realize that -- and that's where the danger is."

Security Experts Warn Congress That the Internet of Things Could Kill People

Poorly secured webcams and other Internet-connected devices are already being used as tools for cyberattacks. Can the government prevent this from becoming a catastrophic problem?
A growing mass of poorly secured devices on the Internet of things represents a serious risk to life and property, and the government must intervene to mitigate it. That’s essentially the message that prominent computer security experts recently delivered to Congress.

The huge denial-of-service attack in October that crippled the Internet infrastructure provider Dyn and knocked out much of the Web for users in the eastern United States was “benign,” Bruce Schneier, a renowned security scholar and lecturer on public policy at Harvard, said during a hearing last month held by the House Energy and Commerce Committee. No one died. But he said the attack—which relied on a botnet made of hacked webcams, camcorders, baby monitors, and other devices—illustrated the “catastrophic risks” posed by the proliferation of insecure things on the Internet.

For example, Schneier and other experts testified that the same poor security exists in computers making their way into hospitals, including those used to manage elevators and ventilation systems. It’s not hard to imagine a fatal disaster, which makes it imperative that the government step in to fix this “market failure,” he said.

The problems with IoT devices are worsening because manufacturers lack incentives to prioritize security. Even if consumers wanted to assess the relative security of Internet-connected thermostats and other devices, there are no established ratings or other measures.

There is little disagreement that the government should do something about this, since so many critical systems are vulnerable to attacks like the one that hit Dyn. Exactly how the government should handle the situation, however, is a subject of an intensifying debate in Washington—one that won’t be settled before President-elect Donald Trump takes office. Business groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Consumer Technology Association argue that new regulations on IoT devices could hinder innovation.

Schneier argues that we need a new agency in charge of cybersecurity rules. This seems unlikely, given that Trump campaigned on a broad promise to roll back regulations, and Republicans generally oppose expanding the government. But if something catastrophic were to happen, a frightened public would probably ask that something be done, and the government should be prepared for that, he warned the committee members.

How big is the risk? Massive and growing, says Kevin Fu, a University of Michigan professor of computer science and engineering who specializes in cybersecurity. Not only are IoT devices being added in “sensitive places that have high consequence, like hospitals,” Fu said, but millions of them can be easily hacked and gathered into huge botnets, armies of zombie computers that adversaries can use to debilitate targeted institutions.

Fu, who also testified in the House hearing, believes that without a “significant change in cyber hygiene” the Internet can’t be relied on to support critical systems. He recommends that the government develop an independent entity in charge of testing the security of IoT devices. The process should include premarket testing along the lines of the automotive crash testing done by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, post-attack testing similar to what the National Transportation Safety Board does after car crashes, and “survivability and destruction testing” to assess how well devices cope with attacks, says Fu.

We don’t know yet whether the Trump administration or the next Congress will make addressing IoT-related risks a priority. So what can the government do in the meantime? Last month, the Department of Homeland Security released a set of “strategic principles for securing the Internet of Things,” and suggested that the government could sue manufacturers for failing to “build security in during design.” On the same day, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which publishes industry standards for many areas of technology, issued voluntary guidelines for engineering “more defensible and survivable” connected systems.

Meanwhile, every additional connected computer—whether it is in a car, drone, medical device, or any one of countless other gadgets and systems—is exposed to these risks. That’s why centralized regulatory authority is needed, according to Schneier: “We can’t have different rules if the computer has wheels, or propellers, or makes phone calls, or is in your body.”

AT&T Collaborating with Amazon Web Services to Advance Delivery Solutions

AT&T* has reached a multi-year, strategic alliance agreement with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to optimize delivery of integrated solutions built on the companies' respective cloud and networking capabilities. The collaboration is designed to help both existing and new customers more efficiently migrate to and utilize the AWS Cloud with the AT&T network. The solutions are intended to span cloud networking, mobility, Internet of Things (IoT), security and analytics.

"Customers of all sizes are quickly migrating to the AWS Cloud to reduce their data center footprint, become more agile and take advantage of innovation in areas such as IoT, Big Data and Analytics," said Terry Wise, Vice President of Worldwide Partner Ecosystem, Amazon Web Services, Inc. "Advanced connectivity and network solutions are critical to enabling our customers to get the most out of our services. We are excited to expand our alliance with AT&T and deliver new solutions designed to enable customers to accelerate their journey to the AWS Cloud."

"For many enterprises, the cloud's potential can be equal parts tantalizing and challenging. Emerging technology trends and fluctuating needs mean that a company's plans are dynamic, and can quickly change," said Mo Katibeh, Senior Vice President, Advanced Solutions, AT&T Business Solutions. "Together, AT&T and AWS can help streamline the leap to the cloud. We're helping businesses connect everything and anything to the cloud. More importantly, we're doing this so it can be simple, scalable and highly secure."
The collaboration will focus in three main business areas, with potential expansion in the future:

· Business Cloud Networking: Since the integration was initially launched, AT&T NetBond® has become an increasingly popular way for customers to establish high-speed, highly secure network connections to the AWS Cloud. In fact, the AT&T NetBond ecosystem has seen four fold growth in connections and eight fold in traffic over the last year. In order to deliver even more advanced networking capabilities to customers, AT&T and AWS will work together to identify new solutions with security, performance, and mobility in mind. Emphasis will be placed on enhancing end-to-end customer visibility across more highly secure and high performing network connections, allowing for faster and more automated decision making capabilities to the customer.

· IoT: AT&T and AWS will coordinate introduction of AT&T IoT-connected sensors and devices preconfigured to seamlessly and more securely send data into the AWS Cloud. This integration will provide customers with massive breadth and scale. It brings together AT&T's global network, which connects nearly 29 million connected devices as of 2Q 2016 and reaches over 200 countries and territories, with AWS IoT, a managed cloud platform that can more securely and reliably scale to billions of devices and trillions of messages. Integration with the AT&T IoT Starter Kit and IoT Data plans are also intended to be included, which would allow customers to build their own solutions using AT&T IoT and AWS IoT.

· Threat Management:AT&T and AWS both view security as the highest priority. As part of this expanded strategic relationship, AT&T and AWS plan to employ their respective expertise and knowledge in security to help customers prevent, detect, and respond to threats faster and more efficiently. Using threat data and knowledge from both organizations will help fuel the processes and tools that comprise AT&T Threat Intellect, the "brains" behind AT&T's security platform that uses advanced analytics to help provide improved end-to-end security protection for every user on our network.

With a key focus on implementing innovative strategies, the alliance relationship will bring together designated professionals from each company to integrate automated and flexible cloud solutions in support of the global, mobilized workforce.

*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

Bosch & GE team up for IIoT interoperability Two industry heavyweights to work on open source, cross-platform compatibility.

Industry heavyweights GE and Bosch are working together to further the growth of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

GE Digital and Bosch Software Innovations have signed a memorandum of understanding focusing on technology interoperability and platform integration through GE’s Predix operating systems and Bosch’s IoT Suite.

Both companies will create software that is interoperable with each other’s cloud platforms, with the aim of enhancing the overall value of each platform and providing solutions to a wider customer base.

GE and Bosch are aiming to establish an IoT core based on open source technologies and to foster an ecosystem around this technology base.

Both companies are members of the major open source software community the Eclipse Foundation, and they plan to engage with the large number of IoT developers in the Eclipse community to help create tools and standards that will benefit other organisations, as well as the partnership.

Key Eclipse projects focused on device connectivity include Eclipse Hono, Ecliplse Vorto, Eclipse Leshan, GE-enhanced User Account and Authentication (UAA) and Eclipse ACS (Access Control Service).

Bosch Software Innovation’s CEO Rainer Kallenbach said in a statement: “Our organisations both have a rich history of manufacturing products, big and small, so we share a common understanding and vision regarding the opportunities in connectivity.”

“It is very important for Bosch to engage in business ecosystems and open source communities (and) the collaboration with GE Digital is another important milestone for Bosch’s connectivity strategy.”

Bill Ruh, GE Digital CEO, added: “It’s industrial companies working together that will make a difference in the Industrial Internet of Things.”

“We’re incredible excited to be partnering with Bosch Software Innovations to advance our IoT platform development.

This announcement comes just days after Bosch announced a partnership with SAP to integrate IoT cloud platforms and services.

India is a high growth market for Symantec: Shrikant Shitole

In an interaction with VoicenData, Shrikant Shitole, Managing Director, India, Symantec reveals why India is key to the company’s plans to be the global leader in cyber security, and what will be the most relevant trends to watch out for as the IT security market continues to evolve. Excerpts

Can you share some insights into the growth and evolution of IT security market in India

A report by Markets and Markets predicts the cyber security market to be worth $170.21 Billion by 2020. It also states that among the services, managed security service is rapidly gaining traction covering 40% of the security market in 2015.

As per NASSCOM the demand for security workforce will rise globally to six million by 2019, up from four million currently, with a projected shortfall of 1.5 million. As companies continue to modernize their infrastructure, the need for more unified and robust security framework is becoming pertinent. By mid-2016, we expect to see corporations using enterprise data hub approaches to enhance agility and decision-making which will lead to market dominating strategies.

How strong is Symantec’s position at present?

Symantec is moving beyond traditional software to help customers protect against a wider range of threats. With the acquisition of Blue Coat, we are well prepared to define the future of cyber security and set the pace for innovation industry wide. We are equipped to create the industry’s largest pure play cyber security company. We have consolidated our portfolio to cover all aspects of what a digital enterprise now require. With the companies together, we will have over 385,000 customers worldwide. It is also an opportunity for us to provide growth for our partners with a combination of the Symantec and Bluecoat portfolio, thus giving our customers’ a more robust solution.

Can outline some of the most significant trends taking s youhape in India’s security market?

In India, as IoT becomes the bedrock of smart cities, it would require greater security challenges to grapple with. The market for IoT–ready devices is growing but is still very frag­mented, with a rich diversity in low-cost hardware platforms and operating systems. As enterprises move farther away from traditional endpoints to IoT, the whole security framework will become increasingly important.

The skills gap in the cybersecurity field is unsustainable and thus needs more industry leaders to come together to not just recognize this problem, but also collaborate to use the knowledge, skills and resources to address the gap. In India, Symantec partnered with NASSCOM in 2015 announcing the intent to train over 50,000 cyber security professionals over the next few years.

Data Breaches are driving the need for cyber insurance as breaches cause reputational harm and business interruptions. Relying on IT defences alone can create a false sense of security; however, no organization is immune from risk. Cyber insurance is hence evolving as fast as technology.

Can you share key highlights of Symantec India performance in the last one year and factors influencing growth?

Globally, we recorded a revenue of $ 3.6 billion at the closure of FY 16. Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) region, including India is traversing on a strong pace of transformation, fueled extensively by technology. As initiatives like Digital India and Smart cities are flourishing in the country, it is resulting in an influx of digitization, mobility and Internet of Things enabled devices, which in turn is opening up avenues for vulnerabilities and advanced threat attacks. India continues to be a high growth market for Symantec, a key strategic hub and a key engineering center. Symantec also has key security intelligence installations like Security Response Center in Pune and Security Operations Center in Chennai servicing customers globally.

In wake of Uri attack, Israel offers solution for beefing up border security; Indian officials tread cautiously

An Israeli military expert credited for developing solutions for securing borders has said that an integrated approach coupled with a maze of initiatives can only prevent cross-border strikes on Indian installations. In the wake of Uri attack, killing 18 soldiers and an earlier terrorists striking the Pathankot airbase , Col (rtd) Ram Dor, a cyber security expert said replicating the Israeli experience starting from procurement of intelligence to putting up sensors, cameras and UAVs linking them with a single command and control centre having direct control over the special forces could the answer to effectively plug borders and prevent infiltrations.

The former military officer, who has served at key positions in Israeli Defence Forces (IDF), said his country, famed for its prowess in developing innovative solutions cyber security was, willing to partner India to thwart cyber threats, protect borders, create safe and smart cities and also devise homeland security technologies and solutions.

In the wake of the Uri and Pathankot terror attacks, allegedly carried out by Pakistan-based JeM terrorists after crossing the border, the issue of ensuring zero infiltration is on top of mind of security establishment. Interestingly, in November 2014, Home Minister Rajnath Singh had visited one of the border outposts in Gaza and was “greatly impressed” by the technology used in the highly sophisticated border security system of Israel which includes high-quality long-range day cameras along with night observation systems employing third generation thermal imagers. The Fence is also fitted with electronic touch and motion sensors as well as underground sensors which use seismic systems to detect any tunnelling attempts below the fence for intrusion.

The Israeli border fencing along West Bank, Gaza and Egypt also consists of latticed steel, topped and edged with razor wire, extending at least two metres below ground and in some sections reaching seven metres above the ground. In certain “dark areas” where fencing was not possible, Israel is using radars and UAVs which transmit directly to the command and control centre, manned round the clock by Israeli military lady officers, who are in constant touch with special forces on ground.

“As a small country, Israel’s existence depends on its vigilance and its ability to provide an effective, measured response to evolving domestic and foreign threats. Innovative systems and solutions have been created in order to meet these goals. Today, these advanced, fully-developed and tested capabilities are also securing many of Israel’s allies and partners throughout the world,” he told dna.

Stating that having faced the issue of safeguarding its borders for many years now, he said that Israel has developed the technological expertise for this. "We started in the north with Lebanon with a simple fence with very minor sensors," Dor said. "Then we developed the second stage when we developed our border between Israel and Jordan-Sumeria and on the Gaza Strip," he stated. Following this, he said, the third layer was developed which he described as "the most advanced one", which was with Syria. "We have three layers starting with intelligence trying to bring in an alert whenever there is an attack coming in, going into the level that we can cover as much area as we can with all types of sensors," Dor said.

Despite accounting for one-tenth of one percent of the world’s population, Israel has attracted some 20% of the global private investment in cyber security. While addressing the UN General Assembly, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his country was punching a whopping 200 times above its weight. “So Israel is also a global cyber power. If hackers are targeting your banks, your planes, your power grids and just about everything else, Israel can offer indispensable help,” he said.

Echoing his prime minister, Col Ram Dor said Israel is experiencing some 1.5 to 5 million attacks every day on its cyber space, which includes fishing, virus etc. But a strong system has been thwarting them constantly.

Indian officials are, however, treading cautiously to Israeli offers, with the Home Ministry here having burnt fingers in procuring 32,766 telescopic night vision devices (NVDs) for the paramilitary forces during previous UPA government soon after 26/11 Mumbai attacks. Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), a prestigious public sector undertaking which had bagged the contract, claimed that it had developed a state-of-the-art NVD based on XD-4 technology, in technical collaboration with Prizmatech, a subsidiary of Star Defence Systems, Israel. But they failed to give desired results at the trials conducted by the BSF in Gurgaon.

Phishing: Cyber fraud rising in India, but those caught are few; 12 things you must do

The convenience of technology at our fingertips has transformed business. It has been instrumental in connecting billions across the world, through a host of computing devices, wireless networks and other infrastructure. Technology has proven to be advantageous for those who tap into the collective human knowledge accumulated by these networks.
But a disruptive innovation can also turn out be a double-edged sword. Technology is entrenched into our lives so deeply, enabling conversations as well as transactions in a faster and transparent manner. On the flip-side, it has also exposed users to many fraud-related risks that they may be unaware of. Having said that, this should not come as a surprise, considering the internet was conceived to foster connectivity and not security.
With ever-higher number of internet users, the potential risk in transferring private and sensitive data through the web is also augmented. With time, it has been seen that websites (e-commerce, social networks, etc.) are beefing up their security mechanisms through improved technologies. But all the same, fraudsters are also finding new techniques to break into these security systems. After all, the internet does provide them with adequate anonymity to ambush unsuspecting victims into revealing sensitive information. While there can be multiple combinations of cyber-attacks that can occur, phishing and open wi-fi networks are two of the most devious techniques which can lead to identity theft.
Phishing has emerged to be one of the most extensively used means by cybercriminals to deceive online users. In fact, most individuals who have an email account would have come across a phishing e-mail; some even falling into this cyber trap.
Phishing means clicking on a link that you receive from a seemingly legitimate e-mail, text message or even attachment. This link directs you to a website, which appears genuine, but is actually a clone. It asks for registration details in the form of data such as bank username and password, post which the website crashes. This is when the malicious code enters the web browser, notes the logins and passwords, and passes on the strokes to the fraudsters. With this personal information, cybercriminals can gain access to most of your accounts as many individuals tend to have the same password across. To reduce the chances of being thus victimised, online users should:
type out the link in the address bar of their web-browser instead of clicking,
avoid opening links or attachments sent from unidentified sources,
look for a “lock” icon in the web browser’s status bar or make sure that the URL starts with “https” instead of just “http”,
install and regularly update the anti-virus and anti-malware software,
avoid discarding bank statements; instead read carefully to check for unauthorised transactions,
avoid sending financial or personal information over e-mails,
not click links or enter personal information on pop-up screens, and
upon receipt of any e-mail stating that your account will be suspended or rendered inactive, if you do not update the required information, consider calling or writing to customer-care instead of responding to the e-mail.
The effectiveness of phishing has led to a steady rise in the number of such frauds. There have been instances where cybercriminals have combined phishing with a malware in the form of a blended attack model to increase the success rate of the attack. According to the Union home ministry, 2015 witnessed about 11,592 cases of cybercrime being reported across the country, which is a rise of almost 20% over the year before.
Open public wi-fi networks can be convenient when travelling, but need to be treated with caution. Various hacking techniques can easily read the information exchanged through these open networks. One of the ways to do that is to create a rogue wi-fi hot spot. Once connected, the hacker can easily access and collect any data sent and received through this network. The cybercriminal can then steal the user’s identity, clean out bank accounts, use credit cards and siphon off any or every finances of the user accessible through the online route.
Public networks secured with a password do not necessarily make the network more secure, but may only be a way to keep a tab of users and charge them a nominal amount, if necessary. Every wireless network is a potential entry point for determined hackers. Most commonly, they use packet sniffers, which intercept and log all unencrypted information passing through the network. As packet sniffers are very difficult to detect, the adverse impact can be significant.
Even with these challenges, individuals can take several steps to mitigate hacking via public networks. It is safer to use mobile data and tether your phone. Users could do the following:
Use a virtual private connection (VPN) to encrypt web-browsing and other online activity. This makes it harder for hackers to decode data being exchanged through the network;
While using public Wi-Fi, avoid sharing any sensitive data such as credit card details, bank logins and passwords, etc
Double check with the cafe, airport, mall, etc, that you are selecting the right network and not a parallel network created by the hacker, especially if you see two networks with similar names;
Turn off automatic Wi-Fi connections on your computing devices and mobile phone
While the government is taking steps in the right direction to tackle cybercrime, cybercriminals getting caught continues to be post a low figure. This is despite cases of cybercrime having doubled in the last two years. It is, thus, better to be safe than sorry; be vigilant and cautious than have any personal data compromised. To quote Bismarck, “Only a fool learns from his own mistakes. The wise man learns from the mistakes of others.”
Mukul Shrivastav

Radar Sensor Market by Type, Technology, Component, Band, Range, Application, Vertical, and Geography - Global Forecast to 2022

"The radar sensor market estimated to grow at a CAGR of 6.94% between 2016 and 2022"
The radar sensor market is expected to grow from USD 19.29 billion in 2015 to USD 30.67 billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 6.94% between 2016 and 2022. The growth of this market is propelled by the increasing territorial conflicts and geopolitical instabilities in regions such as Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, and the Americas and the rising demand for radar systems worldwide since militaries seek to replace their legacy systems. The market is further driven by the increasing focus on the safety, comfort, and assistance features in vehicles.

"The aerospace & defense application to hold a major share of the radar sensor market during the forecast period"
The increasing need of many nations to upgrade their radar technology to safeguard their borders and tackle growing territorial conflicts and geopolitical instabilities are some of the major factors that are driving the growth of the radar sensor market for the aerospace & defense application. Applications for radar systems continue to expand in airborne-based, naval-based, space-based, and ground-based platforms. Other military applications such as electronic countermeasures (ECM) and electronic-warfare (EW) systems are dependent on radar systems for their successful operation. With the increased demand for defense surveillance over porous and attack-prone borders, increased spending on the defense sector by the developing countries, and increased terrorism and ongoing inter-country conflicts, the market for military radars is expanding subsequently.

"Radar sensor market in APAC expected to witness the highest growth during the forecast period"
Increasing military investments in APAC, along with the growing demand for radar sensors and systems in countries such as China, Japan and India, are driving the growth of the market for radar sensors. This region has become a global focal point for large investments and business expansion opportunities. Additionally, in the automobile sector, as of 2015, this region accounted for a share of more than 50% of the world's passenger car production. As of 2015, countries such as China, Japan, South Korea, and India were among the Top 10 largest automobile manufacturers worldwide. China ranks first (with 12,095,000 units); Japan ranks third (with 4,650,968 units); South Korea ranks fifth (with 2,321,841 units); and India ranks sixth (with 2,049,037 units) (Source: Production Statistics - OICA).

Break-up of the profile of primary participants for the report is as given below:
- By Company Type - Tier 1 – 45%, Tier 2 – 32%, and Tier 3 – 23%
- By Designation – C-Level Executives – 30%, Directors – 45%, and Others – 25%
- By Region – North America - 26%, Europe – 40%, APAC – 22%, and RoW – 12%

The major companies involved in the development of radar sensors include Robert Bosch GmbH (Germany), Continental AG (Germany), ZF Friedrichshafen AG (Germany), Denso Corporation (Japan), Delphi Automotive PLC (U.K.), HELLA KGaA Hueck & Co (Germany), Autoliv Inc. (Sweden), Infineon Technologies AG (Germany), Airbus Group (Netherlands), Lockheed Martin Corporation (U.S.), Raytheon Company (U.S.), NXP Semiconductors N.V. (Netherlands), Smart Microwave Sensors GmbH (Germany), Escort Inc. (U.S.), and Omniradar BV (Netherlands) among others.

Reasons to Buy This Report:
From an insight perspective, this research report has focused on various levels of analysis—industry analysis (industry trends); market ranking analysis of top players; value chain analysis, and company profiles which comprise and discuss the basic views on the competitive landscape; emerging and high-growth segments of the radar sensor market; high-growth regions; and market drivers, restraints, challenges, and opportunities.

The report provides insights on the following pointers:
- Market penetration: Comprehensive information on radar sensors offered by the top players in the overall radar sensor market
- Product development/innovation: Detailed insights regarding R&D activities, emerging technologies, and new product launches in the radar sensor market
- Market development: Comprehensive information about lucrative emerging markets—the report analyzes the markets for radar sensors across regions
- Market diversification: Exhaustive information about new products, untapped geographies, recent developments, and investments in the overall radar sensor market
- Competitive assessment: In-depth assessment of market shares, strategies, products, and manufacturing capabilities of the leading players in the radar sensor market .

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