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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- Erik Schmidt
Many industries have been shut down to the global covid-19 pandemic; betting is one of the most affected industries.
By August of last year, most betting shops were closed due to the lockdown issued by the government worldwide. It was announced recently that the pre-tax profits fell by 91% and the betting operators are facing great struggles due to this pandemic.
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One of the great things betting industries have accomplished during this pandemic is changing betting from land-based to digital wagering. Online betting has offered better odds and features to the modern bettor and has given betting industries good profits. How does this affect betting shops? Will they stand a chance is of surviving during this pandemic? Should they give way to online betting to take over?
You have to check on online betting websites and windows of land-based bettors to understand how much they depend on professional sporting events. Sports like football, tennis, horse racing, golf, cricket, basketball, dart, and baseball stopped due to covid-19, thus greatly affecting the income of betting.
Brick and Mortar casinos are also remained closed due to this pandemic and it's also not easy to being back bettors to a land-based casino because of all the regulations that have to be followed. The online casino did not greatly suffer during this pandemic compared to the land-based casino. They saw an increase since most bettors used online casinos. To understand how massive the online betting industry has become, Wetten.com explains more. But the question is, what is the future of the betting industry post-covid-19?
The future looks bright in sports betting; some major events such as the PGA tour and English premier league have resumed despite the outbreak of covid-19. The events are taking place, although the fans are not allowed inside the venue; they have allowed online and offline bookmakers to accept bets.
There is a possibility of a second outbreak of this pandemic. So the betting industry should be ready for anything because there is a possibility of sports events being discontinued in the future. It is worth introducing casino games and eSports to online bookmakers that don't offer these services. It's a good time for land-based bookmakers to offer online sports betting as they can be asked to close again in the future.
Also Read: Why Is Online Betting So Popular In India?
Online casinos have the chance to operate despite the lockdown situation. But they can also suffer a loss since most people are out of work and can't spend their money on entertainment. Betting is always resilient, even in worse financial status, but there is no assurance that the trend continues since the world is dealing with something that has never occurred before.
The betting industry, just like any other great industry, must consider taking things step by step. Hopefully, things will get back to normal if the pandemic improves. Still, if it is the opposite, online betting websites must be ready with other alternatives for sports betting, just like casino games.
How can betting shops stay in business?
There are two things betting operators have to do to stay afloat. The first one is changing into the digital side, for that is the only option they have. Despite them changing to the digital side, they also have to find ways to help their customers switch over to mobile betting.
Operators should also create an exclusive privilege for VIP players by sectioning their shops where the VIP players can sit and enjoy extra perks. By practicing these two things, the chances of survival for the betting industry will increase.
Practices to use to maintain the betting shops.
Change the payment methods by avoiding cash, instead let the clients use banking methods, credit cards and PayPal to reduce contact with clients.
Make sure players have a proper social distance.
Ensure players spend time in one sector, and this is possible by offering games that don't require movement within the building.
Always decontaminate the building.
How will Virtual Reality Technology help the betting industry?
Gaming machines are the best to make sure that your betting business success. Terminals used in the Virtual Reality Tech allow players to enjoy slots and virtual sports using the same machine. Players feel more secure being able to bet on every game on the same device. With one machine only being used, it reduces contamination since the machine will be contaminated between players.
It's been a whole year since the pandemic began and though it's not over yet, things will get back to normal. The betting industry is not a stranger to the problems caused by the pandemic. The online betting industry is still operating and has also grown, but the retail sector has gone through economic losses. The retail sector can survive the pandemic by following the above measures.
Disclaimer: (This article is sponsored and includes some commercial links)
The festive season is around the corner and with sugar-laden sweets, snacks and luncheons, festive eating tends to tip towards an indulgence. The pandemic, along with the holiday season, provides us with a double incentive to take care of our health, especially if you have a chronic health condition like diabetes.People with diabetes need to find ways to manage their health smartly and effectively to mitigate risks that come with the disease such as kidney problems, heart diseases, nerve issues, foot problems, and so on. Controlling glucose levels, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and regular medical consultations are key to managing this disease effectively.
Dr Jothydev Kesavadev, Diabetologist and MD of Jothydev's Diabetes Research Centres said, "It is imperative for one to always make sure diabetes is being well-managed, but, during the festive season, it is important than usual. Uncontrolled diabetes can heighten the risk of developing severe diseases or complications. Regularly monitoring glucose levels helps you catch spikes or trends that suggest your diabetes may be getting out of control. This also helps you to take timely measures," he explains.
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Here are a few tips for better diabetes management during the pandemic:
Scheduling is key: Diabetic patients need to continue medications without interruption. Apart from continuous monitoring of glucose levels, do plan regular consultations with the doctor. It is also imperative that patients do not ignore high blood glucose levels, HbA1C >10%, or positive urine ketone status.
No pain, no gain!: Diet & exercise play a major role in preventing and managing diabetes. Attention to nutrition and adequate protein intake along with exercise helps control weight and lower blood pressure. It also lowers harmful LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, raises healthy HDL cholesterol, strengthens muscles and bones, reduces anxiety, and improves general well-being. Patients with diabetes are encouraged to take up 45 minutes of moderate activity every day.
Wearable devices for the win!: Technology advances have led wearable devices, to allow patients to keep a close tab on glucose levels. One such wearable is the Freestyle Libre that go a long way in helping people with diabetes (both type 1 and 2) manage the disease well. Continuous glucose monitoring, through these devices, offers the highest levels of accuracy and performance standards.
Patients with diabetes need to practice utmost caution to healthy food
Also read; People with diabeties likely to observe
Say no to stress: Stress can be a major barrier to effective glucose control. This has become worse during the pandemic, as health anxieties and long lockdowns have given rise to emotional responses like anxiety, frustration and disappointment. One can opt for healthier life choices such as exercise, yoga and meditation to avoid stress.
Stay safe: The pandemic is still with us. Patients with diabetes need to practice utmost caution to reduce the risk of catching an infection. Along with vaccinations, patients with diabetes need to ensure safe choices such as social distancing, wearing a mask, and frequent hand washing.
This festive season, even those with diabetes can enjoy life to the fullest, provided these simple measures are followed to keep the glucose levels under check. (IANS/PR)
Keywords: Diabeties, continuous monitoring, weight, lower blood pressure, no stress, stay safe
As the country slowly steps towards some form of normalcy amidst the pandemic, this Diwali, non-governmental organization HelpAge India working for disadvantaged elders, celebrates the festival of lights with a message of hope and togetherness through its campaign and film, 'Andhero Se Roshini Tak.
In a marathon celebration, HelpAge marks the festival across 100 old age homes across the country, bringing happiness, hope and joy to senior citizens, many of who were suffering from isolation, loneliness and a sense of abandonment during the pandemic. The campaign aims to bring them back into the fold and give them a ray of hope and support them.
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The campaign highlights the impact of the pandemic on India's elders vis a vis their health, livelihood and the pervading sense of loneliness and feeling of being forgotten by their own, as social distancing, led to social isolation for many of our elders who were left to fend for themselves.
According to a survey done by HelpAge earlier this year, 36 percent elders at home in India 'were just waiting for the phone to ring'. During the first lockdown, 65 percent of elders lost their only source of livelihood, leaving them with no resources for medicines and no one to reach out to.
The core campaign message urges the younger generation and society at large, to bring hope, light and 'Roshini' back into the lives of elders. It encourages bringing elders back into the family fold and pushes for elder inclusion. A time to give back and spread the love, and reach out to those elders who have no one to call their own and support them.
campaign #AndheroSeRoshiniTak Unsplash
Also read: This charity helps homeless
"Diwali is a time synonymous with hope, positivity and togetherness. The pandemic took a heavy toll on the lives of our elderly, particularly on the disadvantaged. Identified as the most vulnerable, many faced challenges at multiple levels, from loss of livelihood to having no money, no support and were left with a deep sense of isolation and constant anxiety. For those living alone, it was even worse. We hope through this campaign #AndheroSeRoshiniTak we can sensitize people to urgently come forward and celebrate this festival in its truest sense, by sharing the light and love with those who need it most. It is our responsibility to bring light into their lives, it's time to give back." said Rohit Prasad, Chief Executive Officer, HelpAge India. (IANS/PR)
Keywords: Oldage home, homeless people, HelpAge India, Covid-19, lockdown, pandemic, Diwali