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In a significant decision, India on Wednesday introduced its first and biggest framework to protect itself from cyber attacks, data theft, and other virtual vulnerabilities threatening its national security.
The Union Cabinet has approved the ‘National Security Directive on Telecom Sector’ in view of the alarming magnitude of cyber threats to India, official sources said.
The IANS, in an exclusive report, had recently put the spotlight on India’s vulnerabilities in cyberspace. India is amongst the top three countries in the world with the highest number of cyber-attacks. In 2019, India faced around four lakh cyber attacks as monitored by the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In).
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The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) recently told the Parliament that till August 2020, Indian citizens, government, and business entities faced around seven lakh cyber attacks. As per their estimates, Rs.1.24 lakh crore was lost due to cybercrimes in India during the last year. Recent ransomware attacks, as well as data and identity thefts, have been a serious cause for concern for India’s national security.
The cyber attacks are generally perpetrated through interconnected networks and devices. They are also committed through compromised hardware and software components of telecom networks, officials pointed out.
The office of National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, sources said, noted that with the increasing use of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, the risk will continue to increase manifold and the advent of 5G technology will further increase the security concerns resulting from telecom networks. Maintaining the integrity of the supply chain, including electronic components, is also necessary for ensuring security against malware infections.
Telecom is also the critical underlying infrastructure for all other sectoral information infrastructure of the country such as power, banking and finance, transport, governance, and the strategic sector. Security breaches resulting in compromise of confidentiality and integrity of information or in disruption of the infrastructure can have disastrous consequences.
Sources said that in view of these issues, the NSA office had recommended a framework — ‘National Security Directive on Telecom Sector’, which will address 5G and supply chain concerns.
Under the provisions of the directive, in order to maintain the integrity of the supply chain security and in order to discourage insecure equipment in the network, the government will declare a list of ‘Trusted Sources/Trusted Products’ for the benefit of the Telecom Service Providers (TSPs).
The list of equipment to be covered under this directive and the methodology to designate ‘Trusted Products’ will be devised by the designated authority who is the National Cyber Security Coordinator (NCSC). TSPs are required to connect new devices that are designated ‘Trusted Products’, as per the directive.
The designated authority will make its determination based on approval of a committee headed by the Deputy NSA, official sources said. The committee will consist of members from relevant departments/ministries and will also have two members from the industry and an independent expert. The committee will be called National Security Committee on Telecom (NSCT), sources said.
Similarly, a list of ‘Designated Sources’ from whom no procurement can be done may also be created, sources said. The present directive is not directed at any nation but will ensure that only trusted products are procured by the TSPs.
The directive does not envisage mandatory replacement of the existing equipment already inducted in the networks of the TSPs, sources said. The directive will also not affect the ongoing annual maintenance contracts (AMCs) or updates to existing equipment already inducted in the network as of the date of effect of the directive.
From among the sources declared as ‘Trusted Sources’ by the designated authority, those which meet the criteria of the Department of Telecom’s Preferential Market Access Scheme will be certified as ‘Indian Trusted Sources’. The National Security Committee on Telecom will take measures to increase the use of equipment from such ‘Trusted Sources’ in the domestic telecom networks.
This will fulfill the desired incentives of the ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ mission, officials said. Guidance for the manner in which the ‘Enhanced Supervision’ and ‘Effective Control’ could be maintained by TSPs will be issued by the designated authority at regular intervals. The Department of Telecom will suitably modify its guidelines and ensure monitoring of compliance by the TSPs.
Sources said the designated authority will put in place a portal for easy upload of applications by TSPs and equipment vendors. It will improve the ease of doing business by providing a predictable assessment methodology to the TSPs and the equipment vendors.
The Department of Telecom will make appropriate modifications in the license conditions for the implementation of the provisions of the directive. The policy will come into operation after 180 days from the date of approval. (IANS)
By Md Waquar Haider
When popular smartphone brands like Xiaomi and realme entered the laptop market in India last year, they were expected to shake the existing giants, specifically under the Rs 50,000 category. However, chip shortage and supply crunch have somewhat dented their plans to make a significant mark to date. According to industry experts, the issue with smartphone makers entering the laptop category is two-fold. The first one is a massive supply crunch in the laptop component market and only big brands are able to get volume and supplies.
The other factor is that the traditional players are very strong in the consumer laptop market. Top 3 players control more than 70 per cent of the market and strong portfolio, distribution, and channel reach as well as brand marketing has helped them massively. "New brands can surely make a dent in the consumer laptop market but are challenged by supply issues right now. Watch out for them in 2022 as and when supply situation eases up," Navkendar Singh, Research Director, Client Devices & IPDS, IDC India told IANS.
Dominated by HP Inc, Lenovo and Dell, the traditional PC market (inclusive of desktops, notebooks, and workstations) in India continued to be robust as the shipments grew by 50.5 per cent year-over-year (YoY) in the second quarter (Q2), according to IDC. Notebook PCs continue to hold more than three-fourth share in the overall category and grew 49.9 per cent YoY in 2Q21, reporting a fourth consecutive quarter with over 2 million units. Desktops also indicated a recovery as shipments grew 52.3 per cent YoY after recording the lowest shipments of the decade in 2Q20.
According to Prabhu Ram, Head, Industry Intelligence Group, CMR, driven by the pandemic and the associated accelerated pivot to remote work, learn and unwind culture, PCs have been witnessing heightened demand. "Despite the current supply chain constraints, PCs are here to stay in the new never normal. In the run-up to the festive season, established PC market leaders will continue to leverage their brand salience and gain market share," Ram told IANS.
According to industry experts, the issue with smartphone makers entering the laptop category is two-fold. | Photo by Manuel on Unsplash
"On the other hand, there is a niche market for those new market entrants that are able to differentiate themselves from the competition in terms of features and value. "Alongside, they would need to back it with strong brand messaging to create awareness and recall amongst the target consumers," Ram added.
HP maintained its lead in the India PC market with a 33.6 per cent share as its shipments grew 54.2 per cent annually. Dell Technologies continued to hold the second position with a 22.1 per cent share and an impressive 86.1 per cent YoY growth in 2Q21. Lenovo maintained the third position with a share of 17.8 per cent in 2Q21.
Arvind Suraj, Research Fellow, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), said that there is always a trust issue with new brands. "You won't buy a laptop in 6 or 7 months just like smartphones. In this case, we often go for existing players. Brands like Lenovo, HP, ASUS and Acer have already gained our trust," he said. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Chip, shortage, laptop, market, India, Xiaomi, hp, dell, brands
A drug used to treat agitation in people with dementia is no more effective than a placebo, and might even increase mortality, according to a new study published in The Lancet. The research, led by researchers at the University of Plymouth, showed that antidepressant mirtazapine offered no improvement in agitation for people with dementia -- and was possibly more likely to be associated with mortality than no intervention at all.
Agitation is a common symptom of dementia, characterized by inappropriate verbal, vocal or motor activity, and often involves physical and verbal aggression. Non-drug patient-centered care is the first intervention that should be offered but, when this doesn't work, clinicians may move to a drug-based alternative.
Agitation is a common symptom of dementia, characterized by inappropriate verbal, vocal or motor activity, and often involves physical and verbal aggression. | Photo by Danie Franco on Unsplash
Antipsychotics have proven to increase death rates in those with dementia, along with other poor outcomes, and so mirtazapine has been routinely prescribed. This study was designed to add to the evidence base around its effectiveness. The study recruited 204 people with probable or possible Alzheimer's disease from 20 sites around the UK, allocating half to mirtazapine and half to placebo.
The trial was double-blind; meaning that neither the researcher nor the study participants knew what they were taking. The results showed that there was no less agitation after 12 weeks in the mirtazapine group than in the control group. There were also more deaths in the mirtazapine group (seven) by week 16 than in the control group (only one), with analysis suggesting this was of marginal statistical significance.
"Dementia affects 46 million people worldwide -- a figure set to double over the next 20 years. Poor life quality is driven by problems like agitation and we need to find ways to help those affected," said lead researcher Professor Sube Banerjee, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health at the varsity. "This study shows that a common way of managing symptoms is not helpful -- and could even be detrimental. It's really important that these results are taken into account and mirtazapine is no longer used to treat agitation in people with dementia," Banerjee added. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Depression, antidepressant, dementia, drug, effective, life, health
Digital beauty platform Boddess.com aims to be a disrupter in the Indian beauty market segment offering a curation of products to suit customisation and individual needs. Intime for the festive season, Chandni Goyal, Training Manager at House of Beauty and Boddess, shares a few tricks to see you through endless nights of partying:
* Have fun with colour and sparkle--Move away from blacks and browns and experiment with colours complementing your outfit. The traditional smokey eye can be given a touch of glamour with a dab of glitter eyeshadow in the inner corner of your eyes. It will make your eye make-up pop and will be just what is needed for a festive look.
Move away from blacks and browns and experiment with colours complementing your outfit. | Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash
* Define your eyes with wing eyeliner--Don't shy from entering the negative space and go all out to draw a bold line to define your eyes and make a statement. Start from the inner corner of the top lid--keep the line thin here, extending along the lash line, going thicker, and finishing with a thick wing towards the outer corner of the eyes.
Don't shy from entering the negative space and go all out to draw a bold line to define your eyes and make a statement. | Photo by Taylor Heery on Unsplash
* Don't forget the lashes--They can really make or break your entire look. Add a few generous coats of volumizing mascara and if you are a pro, apply false eyelashes for added depth.
Add a few generous coats of volumizing mascara and if you are a pro, apply false eyelashes for added depth. | Photo by Perchek Industrie on Unsplash
* Glossy lips--Glossy lips are big this season. Define your lips with a nude-pink lip liner and fill in the same lip liner all over your lips. Top it up with a clear crystal gloss that gives a glass-like shine and makes your lips look fuller and plumper.
Define your lips with a nude-pink lip liner and fill in the same lip liner all over your lips. | Photo by Nojan Namdar on Unsplash
* For the cheeks--A pop of colour that imparts a flushed, radiant glow will round out your look beautifully. This can be achieved with a cream blush, on the apples of your cheeks, and a layer of highlighter that melts into the skin on your cheekbone. Pinks, peaches and corals are the colours this season.
A pop of colour that imparts a flushed, radiant glow will round out your look beautifully. | Photo by Gursimrat Ganda on Unsplash
(Article originally published on IANS life) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: beauty, party, fashion, makeup, eyeliner, mascara, blush, season, tricks