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Indian firms increase cyber security budgets: Report

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New Delhi: To combat the increasing threats of cyber attacks, Indian companies have stepped up their budgets on cyber security solutions multiple times, according to a study released here on Tuesday.

“Cybersecurity is indispensable. Organisations in India are looking towards innovative cybersecurity solutions, and we have seen a 25 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in security budgets over the past five years, which support this trend,” Sivarama Krishnan, leader-cybersecurity, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) India said.

According to PwC Global State of Information Security Survey 2016, done by PwC, CIO and CSO the average number of information security incidents in India detected by respondents increased by 117 percent over the previous year, increasing from 2,895 last year to 6,284 this year.

Attacks on industrial control systems (ICSs) and consumer technologies showed a marked increase. Losses as a result of incidents also surged by 135 percent over the previous year and the average cost per incident increased by close to 8 percent.

Connected to the emergence of cloud-based systems, Big Data and Internet of Things (IoT) are ascendant technologies that present a host of cyber challenges and opportunities.

In the case of Big Data, often considered a cyber liability, 49 percent of respondents are leveraging data-powered analytics to enhance security by shifting it away from perimeter-based defences and enable organisations to put real-time information to use in ways that create real value.

“Not only are leaders adopting innovative solutions, but even fundamental security technologies and practices have seen wider acceptance, and organisations have evolved to master the basics. This has improved security postures of organisations throughout the country,” Krishnan said.

Over 70 percent of respondents employ cloud-based security solutions, which have emerged as an effective way for organisations to efficiently combat cyber threats.

“Organisations are also deploying Big Data analytics to manage insider threats; almost 28 percent have plans to employ Big Data analytics for improving security in the next 12 months,” the report added.

(IANS)

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Women In India Turn To Technology To Stay Safe From Harassment

Police in many Indian cities are also encouraging women to use apps to register complaints

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Women, Harassment
Women stand at a crowded place in the southern Indian city of Bangalore, Oct. 9, 2006. Safety is the biggest concern for women using public and private transport, according to a survey Thursday. VOA

New web and phone apps in India are helping women stay safe in public spaces by making it easier for them to report harassment and get help, developers say.

Women are increasingly turning to technology to stay safe in public spaces, which in turn helps the police to map “harassment prone” spots — from dimly lit roads to bus routes and street corners.

Safety is the biggest concern for women using public and private transport, according to a Thomson Reuters Foundation survey released Thursday, as improving city access for women becomes a major focus globally.

“Women always strategize on how to access public spaces, from how to dress to what mode of transport to take, timings and whether they should travel alone or in a group,” said Sameera Khan, columnist and co-author of “Why Loiter? Women And Risk On Mumbai Streets.”

#MeToo, Victim, Harassment
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) politician M.J. Akbar takes the oath during the swearing-in ceremony of new ministers, July 5, 2017, at the Presidential Palace in New Delhi. The Indian minister and veteran newspaper editor announced his resignation, Oct. 17, 2018, while still insisting that the accusations of sexual harassment are false. VOA

Reported crimes up 80 percent

Indian government data shows reported cases of crime against women rose by more than 80 percent between 2007 and 2016.

The fatal gang rape of a young woman on a bus in New Delhi in 2012 put the spotlight on the dangers women face in India’s public spaces.

The incident spurred Supreet Singh of charity Red Dot Foundation to create the SafeCity app that encourages women across 11 Indian cities to report harassment and flag hotspots.

“We want to bridge the gap between the ground reality of harassment in public spaces and what is actually being reported,” said Singh, a speaker at the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s annual Trust Conference on Thursday.

India, Harassment
Students and teachers of Jawaharlal Nehru University participate in a protest demanding suspension of a professor accused of sexual harassment, in New Delhi. VOA

The aim is to take the spotlight off the victim and focus on the areas where crimes are committed so action can be taken.

Dimly lit lanes, crowded public transport, paths leading to community toilets, basements, parking lots and parks are places where Indian women feel most vulnerable, campaigners say.

Stigma attached to sexual harassment and an insensitive police reporting mechanism result in many cases going unreported, rights campaigners say.

Apps are promising

But apps like SafeCity, My Safetipin and Himmat (courage) promise anonymity to women reporting crimes and share data collected through the app with government agencies such as the police, municipal corporations and the transport department.

Students and teachers of Jawaharlal Nehru University participate in a protest demanding suspension of a professor accused of sexual harassment, in New Delhi
People hold placards at a rally condemning the rapes of two girls, aged 8 and 11, in Ahmedabad, India. VOA

“The data has helped in many small ways,” said Singh of the Red Dot Foundation. “From getting the police to increase patrolling in an area prone to ‘eve-teasing’ to getting authorities to increase street lighting in dark alleys, the app is bringing change.”

Also Read: Women And Girls In Poor Countries Are Using Contraceptives More: Report

Police in many Indian cities, including New Delhi, Gurgaon and Chandigarh, are also encouraging women to use apps to register complaints, promising prompt action.

“Safety apps are another such strategy that could be applied by women but I worry that by giving these apps, everyone else, most importantly the state, should not abdicate its responsibility towards public safety,” Khan said. (VOA)