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India among nations most prone to cyberattacks

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Washington: A new report ranking various nation’s vulnerability to cyberattacks placed India among the countries most vulnerable to cyberattacks.

Data-mining experts from the University of Maryland and Virginia Tech recently co-authored a book that ranked the vulnerability of 44 nations to cyber attacks.

Lead author V S Subrahmanian discussed this research on Wednesday, March 9 at a panel discussion hosted by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies in Washington, DC.

The United States ranked 11th safest while several Scandinavian countries (Denmark, Norway, and Finland) ranked the safest. China, India, Russia, Saudi Arabia and South Korea ranked among the most vulnerable.

Subrahmanian noted that the goal was to characterize how vulnerable different countries were, identify their current cybersecurity policies and determine how those policies might need to change in response to this new information.

The book’s authors conducted a two-year study that analyzed more than 20 billion automatically generated reports, collected from 4 million machines per year worldwide. The researchers based their rankings, in part, on the number of machines attacked in a given country and the number of times each machine was attacked.

Machines using Symantec anti-virus software automatically generated these reports, but only when a machine’s user opted in to provide the data.

Trojans, followed by viruses and worms, posed the principal threats to machines in the United States. However, misleading software (i.e., fake anti-virus programs and disk cleanup utilities) is far more prevalent in the US compared with other nations that have a similar gross domestic product. These results suggest that US efforts to reduce cyber threats should focus on education to recognize and avoid misleading software.

In a foreword to the book, Isaac Ben-Israel, chair of the Israeli Space Agency and former head of that nation’s National Cyber Bureau, wrote “People, even experts, often have gross misconceptions about the relative vulnerability [to cyber attack] of certain countries. The authors of this book succeed in empirically refuting many of those wrong beliefs.”

The book’s findings include economic and educational data gathered by UMD’s Center for Digital International Government, for which Subrahmanian serves as director.

The researchers integrated all of the data to help shape specific policy recommendations for each of the countries studied, including strategic investments in education, research and public-private partnerships. (IANS)

  • Shriya Katoch

    This is truly terrifying . Its high time that india starts building its cyber security.

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Transparency Centre To Open by Kaspersky in Malaysia in 2020

Kaspersky to open first transparency centre in Malaysia in 2020

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This would be the firm's third "code review" centre across Asia-Pacific. Pixabay

Russian cyber security firm Kaspersky on Thursday announced the opening of its first transparency centre in Malaysia in early 2020, in partnership with CyberSecurity Malaysia — the national cyber security specialist agency.

The centre will be located in Cyberjaya city in Selangor state, alongside key cyber-related government agencies and companies in the country.

Kaspersky has so far opened two more transparency centres at Zurich in November 2018, and Madrid in June 2019, in Europe.

According to the Kaspersky, its transparency centres serve as trusted facility for the company’s partners and government stakeholders to come and check the source code of firm’s solutions.

With the opening of the new establishment probably “early next year”, Kaspersky’s Managing Director for Asia-Pacific, Stephan Neumeier said it would be the firm’s third “code review” centre across Asia-Pacific.

The intent is to make it function as a briefing centre where guests would be able to learn more about Kaspersky’s engineering and data processing practices, he said at a Kaspersky event here.

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Kaspersky has so far opened two more transparency centres at Zurich in November 2018, and Madrid in June 2019, in Europe. Pixabay

“We are excited to unlock the doors of digital hub to let users experience the services and capabilities of Kaspersky’s cybersecurity technology here in our region,” Neumeier said.

He said the aim is to address the “growing demand from partners and government stakeholders for more information on how Kaspersky’s products and technologies work”.

“As a paradigm shift for the cybersecurity industry, this facility — the first in the region — will be located in Cyberjaya, all thanks to the kind cooperation of CyberSecurity Malaysia.

“We are grateful for their trust and commitment towards us as this third-party validation proves that private companies and public agencies can team-up to better protect users from cyber crime,” he said.

Founded in 1997, Kaspersky, a global cybersecurity company, started the global transparency initiative with its announcement in October 2017.

And since then, the Russia-based firm claims that over 40 crore users are protected by its technologies and it helps 2.70 lakh corporate clients protect what matters most to them.

Commenting on the opening of the transparency centre, Eugene Kaspersky, CEO of Kaspersky, said: “It is great to be here in Kuala Lumpur — in the heart of the Asia-Pacific region– to announce the opening of our third transparency centre.

“Here, we intend to show customers and government stakeholders that our products are 100 per cent trustworthy and ensure the highest level of cybersecurity protection. The launch also proves the activities we planned under our pioneer Global Transparency initiative remain on track.”

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In partnership with CyberSecurity Malaysia, Russian cyber security firm Kaspersky will be opening its first transparency centre by 2020. Pixabay

Speaking at the event, Amirudin Abdul Wahab, CEO of CyberSecurity Malaysia said: “As the threat landscape continues to evolve in Malaysia and in the region, we believe it is crucial for private companies such as Kaspersky and government agencies to build trust and mutual cooperation. Kaspersky’s willingness to open their doors and data processes further shows they have nothing to hide.”

As a third-party entity, Wahab said, the CyberSecurity Malaysia also shares their insights and concerns to make the cybersecurity industry better.

Also Read: Binge-watching Netflix For Husband and Wife Can Be Bad

CyberSecurity Malaysia, an agency which works under the purview of the Ministry of Communication and Multimedia, is committed to providing a broad range of cybersecurity innovation-led services, programmes and initiatives to help reduce the vulnerability of digital systems, while at the same time, strengthening Malaysia’s self-reliance in cyberspace.

“We are really hopeful that our partnership will be an example for more government and private entities in exercising fairness and transparency for the benefit of our citizens and the cybersecurity industry,” Wahab added. ((IANS)