What is the take of Indian Government on Cyber-Security: cyber-security series #4

In july last year our government released a 10 page document known as “National Cyber Security Policy”. you can download it from here: Link. I want to cover an important point from the document which is relevant to enthusiasts of this field and also to the industry: 1. To create a workforce of 500,000 professionals in cyber-security in the next 5 years through capacity building, skill development and training. (to some of the smaller nations this number is mind boggling! yes, we need that many people in next 5 years! ) 2. Government has started creating CERCs (Cyber security education and research center), like the first one launched recently at IIIT Delhi. ( http://cerc.iiitd.ac.in/ ) I am told that at least half of the budget (INR 1000 Crores, roughly 200 Million USD) will go towards this capacity building initiative. However, to my knowledge it seems that we might not have enough trained experts in the country to train all these professionals. 1. (On meeting the training needs) : One solution that I can think is if Indian universities can partner with security groups around the world and roll out MOOCs (massively open online courses) focusing on information security that can enable us to get their faster and provide this education to the interested! 2. (On mass sensitization) : Other approach that can come handy for citizen education is creating intuitive mobile apps, which have a 101 on cyber-security. That should be a one time effort but can be updated from time to time basis the new threats come in governments knowledge! In 2014, MixORG has started a special focus on information...

Wearable Tech and Preventive Healthcare

If you visit an Indian hospital today and investigate that about the cost of services basis your mode of payment? If you were to pay in cash (from your own pocket) versus you pay through insurance, cashless (insurance company pays you) will the cost of services change. In my personal experience of the stories from family and friends. The difference seems to be significant. You pay less by cash than through insurance (by a factor greater than 2) So, insurance companies end up paying higher amount of money for the services which end of the day might reflect in high insurance premium for the policy! If we analyze the situation of various stakeholders, one thing becomes clear that insurance companies make money when we are not in hospital and doctors make money when we are in hospital. We can clearly see that incentives of the two parties are not aligned and that abuses the patient in her care path. Can we think of a possibility of using wearable technology to be used in monitoring the health of an insured person by a hospital 24×7? Where the duo of  (doctors + insurance company) offer this device as a healthcare monitoring & insurance service. Where they are incentivized to keep the patient out of the hospital (as in doing preventive healthcare rather than curative) It will be good to know the thoughts of the readers of this article? Do you think such an implementation is possible and if not why? Thanks and Regards -sachin    ...

cyber-security series #3 : A brief coverage of some interesting news from cyber-security space

While it is not easy to maintain the blogging discipline. I am making an attempt in this post to list down all things linked to cyber-security I came to know in last few weeks: 1. Earlier this month as Estonian business delegation was visiting the city. One of the company represented in the delegation was GuardTime ( http://www.guardtime.com/ ). The company works in the space of cyber security. The linkage to cyber-security got me interested in the delegation. Turns out a Prof. from my master studies days from University of Tartu, Estonia is one of the co-founders of the company. They are working on something known as keyless security infrastructure. The impact of their work seems to be huge and they have chosen a model of an open innovation in order to make a dent in the field. As I get to know more about cyber-security companies interested in Indian market and also thought leaders in the Indian market. I would like to compile a list at some point and circulate it so that it is easy to follow the developments.  2. In a regular mail that I receive from crunch base there was a mention of ( http://threatstream.com/) Threat Stream which seems to crowd source the cyber-security threats and they have raised money from Google Ventures. It sounds interesting from the brief description and I will need to investigate it more and the company is also offering a free public cloud signup. (it reminded me of a Finnish startup similarly trying to crowd source harmful websites known as Web of Trust, WOT) I also did some more research on crunch...

Social Media Case Study : Continuous and regular efforts in community building give results in long run!

The Aditya Birla Group Leadership Programs (ABGLP) aims to build versatile next generation leaders through structured leadership programs. These are exclusive incubation programs that endeavor to pick and groom future leaders of the Group.   About the Campaign Aditya Birla Group Leadership Program wanted to run a campaign on the page to engage its community, therefore they started a #BrandQuiz Contest where the fans had to identify the ABG brands. The contest ran for 10 weeks and got the maximum attraction in the 9th and 10th week. It once again reinforced that continuous and regular efforts in community building give results in long...

Health Calendar for free download: 2014 love from MixORG !

At the MixORG office, our design guru Shyam rolled up his sleeves to create this awesome resource for people in healthcare sector, a calendar of all the important health days. If your job involves knowing these days then please download and keep a copy for yourself. Download link here: Health Calendar 2014 Cheers...

Important trends for growing threat of cyber-security : cyber-security series #2

Emerging and Future Trends: “Prevention is better than cure” Post Edward Snowden event it seems the sector of cyber-security is getting very active in India and elsewhere. India came up with its National Cyber Security policy in middle of 2013 and now IIIT Delhi is launching its Cyber-security Education and Research Center later this month. In this blog post we want to focus on the trends which are putting pressure on governments/academia to come up with policy and research plan in order to prepare the country from future threats! There are 3 important trends that world is experiencing right now and we need to plan in advance for the emerging security threats for them: Rising mobile Internet and apps: While the Internet accessed through websites had a security threat we know as phishing attack for Internet banking users. One can imagine that the growing usage of mobile apps for banking sector would lay a similar threat on the security front whether it is mobile malware or an infected application. Rise of social networking sites: India currently has 90 Million users using Facebook which is more than 60% of the Indian Internet users. Social networking sites primarily provide virality to content and social context (including trust). For a malware to spread sites like Facebook/Twitter etc remain as potent medium with a devastating impact. Organized cybercrime: In last decade we have seen example of the Estonian cyber attacks (in 2007) bringing the entire country down for several days. Several leading companies from US losing sensitive information of millions of their customers like credit card data and account passwords. (link1, link2, link3)....

A case for cyber-security preparation at the individual level : cyber-security series #1

“Train the weakest link first” From an Indian context, two factors represent the digital growth within the country – The mammoth mobile subscription base of roughly 860 million connections that has a rapidly growing (167% growth rate) smartphone segment and the internet penetration which from its current 200 million stand is poised to grow to over 350 Million by 2015. This growth presents various interesting opportunities for organisations to connect with their target group and engage with them. As individuals and businesses Internet is getting embedded in every part of our life from online banking to social networking. With the ever increasing uptake of this medium in an emerging country like India we also need to educate and inform the citizens and other stakeholders of the potential threats that are emerging. Banking sector especially in the last decade has seen its share of growth in using the digital technology from online banking to mobile applications on the positive side and on the negative front too with credit card fraud to hacking of online accounts. As always, in the case of security exploits, the attacker looks at the weakest link in the system, which often lie not in the technology but in the person using it (read humans). Banking sector is a sector where trust is one of the most important cornerstone and bankers laid a huge emphasis on it ever since the inception of the sector. However, with the emergence of new media the cues for trust are easy to fake and often used by the malicious party. From very early on the criminals have copied bank sites and...

Political parties battling it out on Social Media

The election campaigning in India has a new favourite, ‘Social Media’. As political parties continue to look towards new media to offer them small vote bank shifts, it is surprising to see how even the Election Commission in India has woken up to recognise the new medium. In the month of October ’13, ahead of the elections, the Election Commission of India released a guidelines document outlining the code of conduct for political parties using Social Media for campaigning purposes. In the guidelines document, the Election Commission defines what it calls social media as : a) collaborative projects (for example, Wikipedia) b) blogs and micro blogs (for example, Twitter) c) content communities (for example, YouTube) d) social networking sites (for example, Facebook) e) virtual game-worlds (e.g., Apps) Summarising some of the key take aways from the guidelines. 1) Candidates are expected to disclose information about their social media presence during the time of filing their nominations. 2) Pre-certification of all the advertisements planned by the political parties, by the Election Commission. As part of the pre-certification, it isn’t very clear if the Election Commission is only interested in the content of the Ad or is it even putting the targeting into scrutiny. 3) Keeping account of Ad expenditure on the various mediums from the date of filing nominations until the day of declaration of results. The Election Commission also wants the candidates to provide information on the money spent in wages for the development of creative content, wages paid to teams managing the social media accounts on behalf of the candidate, etc. Although this information sounds interesting, I wonder if...

Case Study : Real Estate sector looking at Social Media to tap internet-savvy HNIs and investors

With the markets opening up for global investments, many people are making large investments in buying real estate assets across the globe. India has been an attractive investment option for many HNIs and foreign investors. With raising costs of print advertising and poor return on investments on such spends, Realtors across India are fast embracing new media channels to extend their marketing initiatives overseas. An average foreign investor often buys multiple properties or keeps rotating his investments quite frequently. It becomes important for serious Realty brands to build a relationship with their clients and establish a sense of trust. Social media channels have played a crucial role in forging these relationships and building a community for these Realty brands. There is more to the digital revolution apart from just social media. Any brand’s digital strategy will have to consider the various online channels available today to connect with their potential clients. A holistic approach that ties all the various channels together will be of great value add to any brand. We executed a short term project for one such raising Realty brand in India, the Orris Infrastructure. We took Orris through a rapid transformation from a conventional brand to a contemporary one.   Real Estate client : Orris Infrastructure Duration : 5 months Work executed for client: Facebook and LinkedIn: Established and grew the community of Orris infra within Delhi NCR region to 33000 within 4-5 months During this period we achieved and sustained a high engagement metric among the fans Roughly about 3% of the community participated in some engagement every month Designed and ran ‘ The Dream Home‘ campaign...

New Media Literacies: who will miss out in the next decade?

  I have set myself a goal recently to identify influencers/books on digital games and their role in learning. In the process I have identified good research groups (Henry Jenkins from USC, Kurt Squire from Wisconsin and James Paul Gee from ASU are some examples)  and in process their works too. My list of the books is having 36 books from 20+ authors. I have already referred to 20 of them and some I am yet to read. Summary of all this reading seems to suggest that countries will not be unfortunate if they miss out on providing schools to their citizens but the ones who would not be able to plug their citizen to information grid (Internet) through new media such as games etc. I recently gave a small invited talk on this subject and tried to summarize various view points in one slide. I think the slide is a good summary for me to talk about this topic. Hence, sharing it here and inviting comments from interested parties. Thanks and Regards -sachin  ...