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67% Indian businesses hit by ransomware, 38% twice: Sophos

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NEW DELHI: Sophos, a global leader in network and endpoint security, today announced the India findings of its survey, The State of Endpoint Security Today which shows the extent to which Indian businesses are at a risk of repeated ransomware attacks and are vulnerable to exploits.

The survey polled more than 2,700 IT decision makers across mid-sized businesses in 10 countries worldwide, including the US, Canada, Mexico, France, Germany, UK, Australia, Japan, South Africa and India. The survey concludes that despite the intensity and magnitude of attacks, Indian businesses are still not prepared to defend itself against determined attackers.

Ransomware continues to be a major issue across the globe with 54 percent of organizations surveyed hit in the last year and a further 31 percent expecting to be victims of an attack in the future. On average, respondents impacted by ransomware were struck twice.

“Unlike lightening, ransomware can strike again and again to the same organization. We’re aware of cybercriminals unleashing four different ransomware families in half-hour increments to ensure at least one evades security and completes the attack,” said Sunil Sharma, Managing Director Sales at Sophos India & SAARC. “Today’s persistent cybercriminals are deploying multiple attack methods to succeed, whether using a mix of ransomware in a single campaign, taking advantage of a remote access opportunity, infecting a server, or disabling security software. If IT managers are unable to thoroughly clean ransomware and other threats from their systems after attacks, they could be vulnerable to reinfection. No one can afford to be complacent.”

This relentless attack methodology combined with the growth in Ransomware-as-a-Service, the anticipation of more complex threats, and the resurgence of worms like WannaCry and NotPetya puts businesses in serious need of a security makeover, according to Sophos. In fact, more than 90 percent of Indian IT decision makers surveyed impacted by ransomware were running up to date endpoint protection, confirming that traditional endpoint security is no longer enough to protect against today’s ransomware attacks.

According to those impacted by ransomware last year, the median total cost of a ransomware attack was $133,000. Indian organizations median total cost stood at $1.17mn, the highest, in rectifying the impacts of ransomware. This extends beyond any ransom demanded and includes downtime, manpower, device cost, network cost, and lost opportunities.

Two-Thirds of IT Admins Surveyed Don’t Understand Anti-Exploit Technology

IT professionals also need to be aware of how exploits are used to gain access to a company’s system for data breaches, distributed-denial-of-service attacks, and cryptomining. Unfortunately, Sophos’ survey revealed considerable misunderstanding around technologies to stop exploits with 72 percent unable to correctly identify the definition of anti-exploit software. With this confusion, it’s not surprising that 45 percent do not have anti-exploit technology in place at all. This also suggests that a significant proportion of organizations have a misplaced belief that they are protected from this common attack technique yet are actually at significant risk.

Intrusions from exploits also have been happening for years but are still a prominent threat and often go undetected for months, if not years. Once inside a system, cybercriminals use complex malware that can hide in memory or camouflage itself. In many cases, businesses do not know they’ve been breached until someone finds a large cache of stolen data on the Dark Web.

“It’s time to disrupt these intrusions,” said Sunil. “Since traditional endpoint technologies are often unable to keep up with advanced exploit attacks used to compromise a system, Sophos has added predictive, deep learning capabilities to the newest version of its next-generation endpoint protection product, Sophos Intercept X.”

Although 94 percent of respondents admitted their endpoint defenses need to be stronger to block the attacks seen last year, only 34 percent have predictive threat technologies, such as machine or deep learning, leaving 66 percent vulnerable to repeated ransomware attacks, exploits, and evolving advanced threats. Sixty three percent plan to implement predictive threat technology within a year, yet confusion about it persists. Of those surveyed, 37 percent admitted that they do not have a full understanding of the differences between machine learning and deep learning.

“Given the speed at which IT threats are evolving and becoming more persistent and coordinated, it is a deep concern to see the adoption of the next-generation predictive technologies. It is important for organizations to keep up in this dynamic world of IT threats. Organizations need effective anti-ransomware, anti-exploit, and deep learning technology to stay secure in 2018 and beyond,” said Sunil.

The State of Endpoint Security Today survey was conducted by Vanson Bourne, an independent specialist in market research. This survey interviewed 2,700 IT decision makers in 10 countries and across five continents, including the US, Canada, Mexico, France, Germany, UK, Australia, Japan, India and South Africa. Out of which, 300 respondents were from India, based in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Kolkata and Chennai. These employees were from varied sectors such as financial services, IT, technology and telecoms, business and professional services, manufacturing and production amongst others. All respondents were from organizations of between 100 and 5,000 users.

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Cyber crime threat to India’s progress, security: Pramod Sawant

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PANAJI: Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Friday said cyber crime is a threat to India’s progress and security and cyber warriors need to be created to combat the menace.

Sawant was speaking at the International Conference on Information Security, Privacy and Digital Forensics (ICISPD 2022) at BITS Pilani campus in Vasco city, 35 km from here.

The chief minister said the importance of comprehensively addressing social media privacy issues cannot be underestimated and the challenge calls for skilled experts.

Cybercrime is a threat to the progress and security of our nation. The need of the hour is to create cyber warriors to combat cyber crime, he said.

Sawant stressed on the need for awareness, knowledge and skills about the emerging trends in cybercrimes and training in latest technologies of cyber security and computer forensics.

As per data from the National Crime Records Bureau, a total of 52,974 cases of cyber crime were registered, showing an increase of 5.9 per cent in registration since 2020, he said.

The crime rate in this category had increased from 3.7 per cent in 2020 to 3.9 per cent in 2021, he added.

In 2021, 60.8 per cent of cyber crime cases were of fraud, 8.6 per cent of sexual exploitation and 5.4 per cent of extortion, Sawant said.

He further said that two of the greatest inventions of the 20th century, the computer and the internet have changed the world.

It is interesting that children born at the start of this millennium can’t even imagine a world without internet connectivity and mobile devices, he said.

The positive side of the internet and related technologies became clear during the COVID-19 pandemic, the chief minister said.

When self-isolation and social distancing were essential to control the outbreak, internet helped people remain connected, make payments, buy essentials, and most importantly, do their work, Sawant said.

Source: Press Trust of India

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Tech Mahindra Inks MoU with Digital Economy Promotion Agency

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NEW DELHI: Tech Mahindra, a leading provider of digital transformation, consulting, and business re-engineering services and solutions, and Digital Economy Promotion Agency (depa), a government agency established under the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society of Thailand to promote development of digital industry and innovation and ascertain nationwide digital technology adoption in order to achieve economic, social, cultural, and security benefits, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to accelerate digital transformation in Thailand.

As a part of the partnership, both organizations will co-develop innovative digital solutions and execute commercially viable projects and use cases for enterprises in areas of IoT, AI, 5G, Analytics, Blockchain, and Metaverse for various industries including Smart Cities, Telecom, among others.

Rajesh Chandiramani, Business Head, Communications-Media-Entertainment for EMEA and APJI Markets, Tech Mahindra, said, “We started our Thailand operations in 2004, and today it has become one of the most strategic and growth markets for us. Our partnership with depa will unlock immense potential for us to build, develop, and market innovative solutions for our customers in Thailand and support them in their digital transformation journey. This partnership is a major step forward in strengthening the industrial competitiveness between Thailand and India. We will also work towards diversifying the talent pool in the region through various skilling and upskilling initiatives on multiple technologies like NFT, Blockchain, Metaverse, AI, Analytics, IoT, 5G, Machine Learning, Quantum Computing, and Cloud.”

Digital Economy Promotion Agency (depa) was established under the Digital Development for Economy and Society Act promulgated on 23 January 2017. The agency aims to support and promote the development of digital industry and innovation, support and promote digital technology adoption, which benefits the national economy, society, culture, and security according to Article 34 of the Act.

Dr Passakon Prathombutr, Senior Executive Vice President of Digital Economy Promotion Agency, said, “Thailand aims to become ASEAN’s digital hub, for which a digital workforce is vital. This partnership with Tech Mahindra will empower our talent development in key fields such as AI, Blockchain, and the Metaverse. Depa is building Thailand Digital Valley (TDV), a state-of-the-art digital innovation ecosystem in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC). TDV will become the digital and innovation hub for the entire region. Hence, this collaboration is strategic to the digital economy and society.”

This partnership is in line with Tech Mahindra’s NXT.NOW™ framework, which aims to enhance ‘Human Centric Experience’, and focuses on investing in emerging technologies and solutions that enable digital transformation and meet the evolving needs of the customer.

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Naveen Patnaik inaugurates Happiest Minds Development Centre at Bhubaneswar

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NEW DELHI: Happiest Minds Technologies Limited, a ‘Born Digital. Born Agile’, Mindful IT Company, announced the inauguration of a new Development Centre at Fortune Towers (5th Floor) in Bhubaneswar, taking forward its long-term investment plans for further expansion in the state in alignment with the Make in Odisha focus of the state government.

Under the ease of business initiative, the Odisha state government’s State Level Single Window Clearance Authority (SLSWCA) granted approval to Happiest Minds to set up a software development centre at Fortune Towers located in Bhubaneswar. Happiest Minds has earmarked Rs. 265 crore investment towards this initiative.

Naveen Patnaik, Honourable Chief Minister of Odisha, said, “Odisha has been taking giant strides in IT sector in recent years. The growth momentum is accelerating in IT space with growing confidence of IT companies on Odisha as an investment destination. Odisha is now fast emerging as a technology resource hub of India creating jobs for our youth.”

Ashok Soota, Executive Chairman, Happiest Minds Technologies said, “We are delighted to start the operation of our new development centre at Bhubaneswar. At Happiest Minds, we have always embraced our responsibility to create a mindful impact on our communities, and we are grateful to the Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri Naveen Patnaik and the state government officials for their support in establishing this centre. We praise the new IT policy of the state and are optimistic that it will become one of the most preferred destinations for skilled talent, promoting greater employment opportunities for the youth.”

Venkatraman Narayanan, MD & CFO, Happiest Minds Technologies said, “The rise of Bhubaneswar as a destination of choice for businesses is on an ever-rising curve. This is the basis of the industry-supporting initiatives of the state government, duly complemented by the burgeoning talent pool available in the city and nearby regions. Aligned with the ethos of Happiest Minds, the new development centre (Smiles 7) will help us meet evolving customer needs, accelerating our growth and the overall development of the state.”

Founded in 2011, Happiest Minds has consistently gained recognition as among the best places to work in India and Asia. The company has won the Golden Peacock Award for Excellence in Corporate Governance 2022. The company recently acquired additional space to expand its presence in Bengaluru and extended its development facilities in Noida.

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