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The Internet Society Signs MoU with The Internet Service Providers Association of India to Secure India’s Internet Infrastructure

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The Internet Society (ISOC) and Internet Service Providers Association of India (ISPAI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to undertake initiatives and activities to promote Mutually Agreed Norms for Routing Security (MANRS), in India. MANRS is a program whose primary objective is to reduce the most common threats to the Internet’s routing system.

The MoU is a step towards taking immediate action to improve the resilience and security of the routing infrastructure in India, and keep the Internet safe for businesses and consumers alike. Rajnesh Singh, Regional Bureau Director – Asia Pacific, ISOC and Rajesh Chharia, President, ISPAI signed the MoU in New Delhi, India on September 3 2018.

The MoU will help tackle the growing number of cyber security incidents in India. According to India’s Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-in), 44,679, 49,455 and 50,362 cyber security incidents took place in India during the years 2014, 2015 and 2016, respectively. These incidents include phishing, website intrusions and defacements, virus and denial of service attacks amongst others. Routing security is vital to the future and stability of the Internet and MANRS provides simple but concrete steps for network operators that enable dramatically improved Internet security and reliability.

MANRS is a community driven initiative supported by the Internet Society, a global non-profit organization that aims to ensure the Internet continues to grow as a platform for innovation, economic development, and social progress around the world. Whilst the ISPAI serves as the voice of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in India and is actively involved in the development of Internet infrastructure throughout the country. Both ISOC and ISPAI share a mutual vision of an open and global Internet that enables innovation and social opportunities.

Rajnesh Singh, Regional Bureau Director – Asia Pacific, ISOC said, “As per a survey conducted by ISOC, Cyber security is one of the top concerns for Internet users in the Asia Pacific region and unsecure routing is one of the most common reasons for malicious threats. With the explosive growth of the Internet in India and the region, it is imperative that we work towards building secure routing infrastructure by adopting MANRS. It is encouraging to see a leading organization such as ISPAI supporting MANRS and we look forward to further collaboration.”

Rajesh Chharia, President, ISPAI said, “The number of Internet users in India is skyrocketing and it is expected to double by 2021. However, there are growing concerns over cyber security and data security and the recent malware threats have impacted many globally. The government is taking measures to spread awareness about cybercrime and building capacity for safety measures, and the adoption of MANRS and association with ISOC will help ensure a safer Internet for all.”

As part of the MoU, both ISPAI and ISOC will focus on capacity building to undertake initiatives and activities to promote adoption of MANRS in India, to cooperate and render mutual assistance, and to encourage the attendance of ISPAI members to meetings, seminars, workshops and conferences on routing security. To support this initiative, ISOC conducted a “Network Security” workshop during the inaugural India Network Operators Group meeting (INNOG).  The MoU will also see both organizations exchanging research information and training materials related to routing security.

In joining MANRS, participants commit to implement actions to address common challenges related to routing security:

–          Filtering: Helps prevent the propagation of incorrect routing information. This technique provides assurance against unintentional configuration errors that can lead to “hijacking” traffic directed to other networks, resulting in widespread outages

–          Anti-spoofing: Involves preventing traffic with spoofed source IP addresses, a practice that can help dramatically diminish the prevalence and impact of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks

–          Coordination: Facilitates timely communication and coordination among peers, which is essential for incident mitigation and better assurance of the technical quality of relationships

–          Global validation: Encourages network operators to publish routing data, which limits the scope of routing incidents and makes the global system more resilient.

The first two operational improvements eliminate common routing issues and attacks, while the second two procedural steps provide a bridge to universal adoption and decrease the likelihood of future incidents.

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Digital India

COVID-19 Accelerates Digital Payment Adoption

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Many service providers, including banks have significantly reduced offline operations and are asking customers to embrace the digital form for any assistance. Let’s have a look at IT veteran’s take on how E-payments are playing an important role in fighting against COVID-19 which is also promoting the Digital India Mission.

Ashis Guha, CEO, RAH Infotech

“Even while the general money stream has considerably narrowed during the last few COVID months, it is also observed that COVID has played as a catalyst in the growth of digital payment platforms in India, with more number of people adopting  e-transaction modes. Forcing people to either stay at home or maintain social distancing has led people to a behavioral change, compelling to be habituated with online payment platforms. In fact, companies have witnessed addition of a high number of new users of digital payment gateways during this time.

The RBI, National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI), along with government bodies, banks, financial institutions, regulatory authorities, are already teaming up to promote the faster adoption of digital payment methods. The emphasis is on using NEFT, IMPS and UPI. Though different economies are at different stages across the world, the COVID-19 has definitely cleared the road for digital payment methods in India. And it helps levitating the Digital India initiatives.

Certainly, the cyber security of these platforms becomes crucial at this time. As cash flow is halted for many during this time, cyber criminals are using emerging techniques like EMI Moratorium scams, etc. as bait. Attackers are stealing personal data and banking details, among others, and are committing fraud. In India, RBI already has put in place the ‘central payment fraud registry’ (CPFR), to ensure quick and systemic responses in cases of financial frauds.

Digital platforms are in general highly secure; however it is also important how well aware the users are to potential threats reaching out. On the forefront of fighting off digital fraud, the users have to employ caution and security measures. Few basic measures like not using insecure data networks and not opening links to lucrative websites must be strictly enforced. Also, payments must be made only to trusted sources, and payment gateways on phones and other devices must be strongly protected with passwords, finger prints, or facial recognition too.”

Prashanth G J, CEO at TechnoBind

“Technology has made it all possible”. The pandemic gave us a chance to re-evaluate and push businesses everywhere into an accelerated state of digitalization. COVID-19 has increased the adoption of digital payment solutions significantly. E-payments options are making it possible for people to sit at home and order essentials online be it from Flipkart or Amazon or any of the online ecommerce platforms. The use of digital payments was anyway growing but we have now seen this grown even more exponentially thanks to this COVID-19 situation.

The threat of cyber-crime is a real one – and there are technological solutions like encryption and tokenization which helps overcome this cyber-crime threat. There are government regulations in place but the implementation and the imposition of the guidelines of the same should be taken up seriously – currently, there is a gap!

Sunayana Hazarika, Marketing Manager at ATEN

Digitalization is emerging as a potent medium for all business transactions during this Covid-19 crisis and this is here to stay. The Digital India movement is a giant technological leap which is lubricating the wheels of India’s economy during this crisis situation. Though we as a country are still at a nascent stage in adopting this countrywide digital transformation, it is in the best interest to establish robust cybersecurity measures. Ransomware, distributed denial of service, and stealing of classified information are rampant globally and hacking is getting more sophisticated, so it’s imperative to be well equipped to deal with cyber-attacks and close all backdoors. The solution to this is simple, to be proactive instead of reactive. ATEN being a pioneer in Secure KVM solution with built-in hardware and software-based security features are helping government, military, intelligence agencies across the world to allow protected access and management of data.

Shibu Paul, Vice President – International Sales at Array Networks

“Coronavirus has broken the supply chain while rupturing the demand and market trends. As we’re forced to work remotely and use technologies for the first time, we’re realizing the benefits they deliver. Organizations are getting deeper into digital transformation. There is a paradigm-shifting to remote banking, digital payments, and direct financial aid which is further pushing the financial industry to become digital. This transformation will inevitably promote India’s Digital Mission. Policymakers need to support the ways people and organizations are using the internet to come together and deal with new pressures as our lives shift abruptly online. The focal point will be to ensure that critical functions like IT, cybersecurity, fraud prevention, and digital services are well protected.”

Gurpreet Singh, Managing Director at Arrow PC Network Pvt Ltd

“The COVID-19 pandemic has allowed us to modernize and harness the power of technology.  Stakeholders are using technology to cushion the impact of COVID-19.  We see major digital transformation coming up as India gears to establish a sense of normalcy. This shift is bound to drive India’s digital mission. Remote working and e-services have become the new norm. Banking and Personal finance institutions are trying to limit customer walk-ins by augmenting their digital capabilities and extending new online services. We see exacerbated use of hybrid cloud and hyper-converged platforms as people have realized the importance of cloud-based communication-enabled business processing. This has also led to the strengthening of cybersecurity systems to safeguard sensitive data and protect assets from malicious data breaches. Going forward, the industry would need systems that enable remote monitoring of processes and machines. Remote work will play a significant role in business continuity planning and this digital transformation will further aid in fulfilling India’s Digital Mission.”

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Digital India

Ed-tech Startup Bright Tutee Announced Free Live Online Classes for Students Amid COVID-19

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With schools observing indefinite closure to detain the further spreading of COVID – 19, online learning has gained a new prominence among the students. All thanks to technology-led education start-ups like Bright Tutee, students can comfortably learn from the safety of their homes.

Bright Tutee, a New Delhi-based edutech company and India’s fastest growing online learning platform, has now announced to launch free live classes on YouTube for students of class 6th to 8th standard across multiple education boards in India

The live lectures initiated by Bright Tutee follow a class-wise schedule. For instance, class 6 live sessions will go live from 11am to 11:40am, class 7 goes live from 12pm to 12:40pm, while the class 8 periods ensues from 1pm to 1:40pm, etc to provide a virtual schooling atmosphere .

Though several other players in this space are also offering free learning, Bright Tutee has emerged as the first one to transmit its content outside its platform and deliver it for free. Through this initiative, the company has set a new milestone for itself and for others in the ed-tech space, and it is expected that other players too shall follow suit.

Commenting on the noble initiative, Anant Goyal, Director and founder at Bright Tutee said, “With schools witnessing closure due to the global corona pandemic, we have been witnessing a massive level of engagement on our learning platform post the virulent outbreak. To ensure that students stay secure and can learn from the safety of their homes, we have decided to leverage social media channels like YouTube to conduct free classes for students across the country.”

We’re hopeful that this initiative will greatly benefit over 10 million students enrolled between classes 6th to 10th whose learning process has been discontinued due to the nationwide lockdown. The current scenario dictates that the edutech industry as a responsible corporate lobby prioritises the welfare and educational needs of students over conventional business aspirations”.

The swiftly growing and unconventional new-age state of the art tech-driven online learning and edtech player is winning hearts and acclaim from across the industry for its novel and thoughtful gestures. Its free learning app which has been a major hit with students as well as teachers is captivating the imagination of pedagogical experts and edutech competitors across the country.

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Digital India

Virtual Code Gladiators 2020 to Bring Fear-free Environment Amid Covid-19

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Coronavirus pandemic has led the world’s biggest coding competition – TechGig Code Gladiators – to go ‘completely online’ this year. The finale of Code Gladiators 2020 will conclude with a virtual grand finale and felicitation ceremony to boost participation when travelling is prohibited, and social distancing is the new norm.

Another highlight of TechGig Code Gladiators 2020 edition would be the Virtual Career Fair that will help companies interact with coders and conduct live interviews in a COVID-19 fear-free environment via LiveCode. This tool will help companies conduct on-site tech interviews remotely, assess candidates’ coding and communication skills real-time and replay interview videos to benchmark and hire the best fit.

“TechGig Code Gladiators is a platform for anybody who loves to code and can solve complex business problems with the power of code. The contest plays a level playing field for every coder including first-year engineering students to experienced IT professionals. Amid COVID-19 crisis, we will be hosting a virtual grand finale of TechGig Code Gladiators that will be no less in terms of grandeur, engagement, networking and ROI for clients from the offline event. I think Code Gladiators will keep all coders engaged and motivated during the lockdown period. It will be like #CodeinQuarantine,” said Sanjay Goyal, Business Head, TimesJobs and TechGig.

In its 7th edition, TechGig Code Gladiators aims to see even higher registrations than the last year. The 2019 edition of Code Gladiators noted 2,62,000+ registrations, by far the highest ever number so far since its inception in 2014. The 2017 edition of Code Gladiators bagged the Guinness World Record for being the largest computer programming competition.

The technology community waits for the TechGig Code Gladiators excitedly, as companies see it as the perfect platform to meet and hire pre-assessed technologists. And they will be able to do this from the safety of their home amid COVID-19 crisis.

This year, the hackathon themes include new-age technologies as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, IoT, Blockchain, Cloud computing, Microsoft Azure, and RPA. The winners will take home certificates, trophies and prizes worth Rs 50 Lakhs.

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