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India Ranks Sixth Country in the World for Highest Cyber Attacks on Pharma Firms

Widely-used EMR-systems open wider entry points for hackers targeting hospitals, said the report

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cyber attacks
Cyber Attacks (Representational image). Pixabay

India is the sixth country in the world where more and more pharmaceutical companies are being targeted by cyber criminals, a new report said on Sunday.

Nearly 45 per cent machines in the Indian pharmaceutical organisations — more than four in 10 devices — were detected with malicious attempts, said cyber security firm Kaspersky.

From 44 per cent of machines infected in 2017 and a 1 per cent increase in 2018, this year’s number of detected attempts shows that nearly every 5-in-10 devices inside a pharmaceutical facility are now being targeted globally.

Amongst the countries which logged the most number of attacks are Pakistan (54 per cent), Egypt (53 per cent), Mexico (47 per cent), Indonesia (46 per cent) and Spain (45 per cent), with India at sixth position.

“While it is a known fact that money-hungry cybercriminals can easily earn by attacking banks, we also observe that these hackers as well as cyberespionage groups are slowly paying a lot of attention towards the industry of advanced medicine,” said Yury Namestnikov, Head of Global Research and Analysis Team (GReAT) Russia at Kaspersky.

“They are slowly realising that pharmaceutical companies house a treasure trove of highly valuable data such as the latest drugs and vaccines, the newest researches, as well as medical secrets,” he added.

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A man holds a laptop computer as cyber code is projected on him in this illustration picture. VOA

The rise of internet-connected operational technology (OT) inside these pharmaceuticals also contributes to the widening attack surface inside this sector.

The Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) groups which have been waging sophisticated spying over pharmaceuticals globally include Cloud Atlas and APT10, also known as MenuPass.

“Their attack techniques and behaviour also prove that these attackers’ apparent goal is to get their hands on intellectual properties related to the latest medical formulas and research results as well as the business plans of their victims,” added Namestnikov.

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In his own research, Denis Makrushin, Security Architect at Ingram Micro, revealed the risks that come along with the steady migration of hospitals from paper-based data storage to electronic medical record (EMR) systems.

Widely-used EMR-systems open wider entry points for hackers targeting hospitals, said the report. (IANS)

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Dynamics of Tourism Growth in India

Ensuring that the tourism infrastructure supply chain is seamless will require not just creating a consistent and informative process

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Tourism, Growth, India
Fundamentally, for the robust long-term growth of the tourism sector, India must ensure that it is offering an eco-system that is attractive and consistent. Pixabay

The dynamics of industrial growth in India, for all ancillary industries, makes for fascinating reading and analysis. India has embarked on a renewed push towards making the country an attractive tourist destination through a variety of measures such as the “Incredible India 2.0” campaign. Both local and international destinations have wooed domestic Indian tourists. Regardless of whether one considers inbound or outbound tourism, the tourism supply chain provides exciting opportunities for investors and provides pointers towards much-needed infrastructure developments.

At a fundamental level, as India looks to develop further this component of the economy derived from tourism, it is vital to focus on the convergence of marketing & branding (read availability of information regarding possible tourist destinations), accessibility and local infrastructure such as hotels, eateries, transportation and medical facilities. Fundamentally, for the robust long-term growth of the tourism sector, India must ensure that it is offering an eco-system that is attractive and consistent.

Ensuring that the tourism infrastructure supply chain is seamless will require not just creating a consistent and informative process that generates tourist interest, but also a back-to-front infrastructure linkage that delivers the experience. For instance, a trip to the Taj Mahal via the Delhi Airport and the expressway linking Delhi to Agra is vital to ensuring that the branding and marketing of a tourist destination deliver value.

A closer look at the example stated above throws light upon the importance of the airline connectivity, highway and airport infrastructure involved. Additionally, the availability of the local hospitality industry that caters to the spectrum of incoming tourists at the tourist destination is vital. One missing piece in the link renders all other assets relatively incapable of realising full value. On the contrary, a seamless infrastructure linkage system ensures that the various components in the supply chain can operate close to full potential to generate value.

Tourism, Growth, India
At a fundamental level, as India looks to develop further this component of the economy derived from tourism, it is vital to focus on the convergence of marketing & branding (read availability of information regarding possible tourist destinations). Pixabay

For example, exceptional air connectivity to a tourist destination and the availability of hotel infrastructure that caters to a broad spectrum of tourists is rendered relatively ineffective in generating significant tourist traffic without the last-mile road connectivity required between the airport and the final tourist destination. It is vital to underscore that the focus isn’t only on the international tourist, but on both foreign and domestic tourists.

Essentially, as the interlinkages mentioned above will improve, so will the volume of tourist traffic. The capacity for both the government and investors to further develop the cornerstone of the tourism infrastructure linkage stated above has significant multiplier effects for investment opportunities in linked sectors. The luggage industry is a classic example of a sector that will provide investment avenues as the Indian tourism industry develops further. Additionally, not only will the ancillary industries such as luggage grow, but they will also grow in terms of segmentation. With gradually rising incomes, opportunities will be created not just by aggregate market size growth but by tapping into segments such as higher-end luggage demand.

The key takeaway is that as basic tourism infrastructure will grow, linked industries such as luggage, banking and foreign exchange service providers will flourish. Opportunities through market disruptions must be viewed by investors as an avenue to get into growth segments that benefit from tourism growth in India. The opportunity to acquire a foreign exchange business from a larger business group or to get a foothold within the luggage industry must be viewed as an opportunity to tap into the tourism potential.

Indian tourism opportunities must be viewed through a wider lens of tourism that not only caters to traditional hospitality but also builds on the niche opportunities available. Medical tourism is an area that has seen significant growth in the past years and with the infrastructure ecosystem providing support will grow further.

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However, segments such as the meetings (both national and international), incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) and wedding destination need more significant focus in India. Infrastructure creation that will allow India to gain a foothold in the MICE tourism space gradually is vital. Not only will there be direct earnings, but existing hospitality assets will be able to ramp up their returns on the back of adequate MICE infrastructure.

The tourism industry going further offers significant opportunities to India to generate jobs, more GDP and investment opportunities. Further building on the available opportunities through a well-planned and holistic approach is urgently required. (IANS)