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Indian Firms Losing $10 mn Every Year Because of Cyber Attacks: Microsoft Study

Additionally, more than one in five (22 per cent) of Indian organisations have witnessed benefits of using AI to achieve faster and more accurate detection of threats

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Microsoft currently has 54 Azure Cloud regions -- more than AWS and Google combined.

A large-sized enterprise in India loses an average of $10.3 million owing to cyber attacks and a mid-sized organisation an average of $11,000 annually, a Microsoft-led study said on Wednesday.

Cyber security attacks have also resulted in job losses across different functions in more than three in five (64 per cent) organisations that have experienced cyber attacks, revealed the Frost and Sullivan study commissioned by Microsoft.

“With traditional IT boundaries disappearing, the adversaries now have many new targets to attack. Companies face the risk of significant financial loss, damage to customer satisfaction and market reputation-as is evident from high-profile breaches this year,” said Keshav Dhakad, Group Head and Assistant General Counsel, Corporate, External & Legal Affairs (CELA), Microsoft India.

The study, titled “Understanding the Cybersecurity Threat Landscape in Asia Pacific: Securing the Modern Enterprise in a Digital World” involved a survey of 1,300 business and IT decision makers.

“More than three in five organizations (62 per cent) surveyed in India have either experienced a cybersecurity incident (30 per cent) or are not sure if they had one as they have not performed proper forensics or data breach assessment (32 per cent),” the findings showed.

The survey ranged from mid-sized organisations (250 to 499 employees) to large-sized organizations (more than 500 employees).

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Hackers bleeding large Indian firms by $10 mn on average each year: Microsoft. (Wikimedia commons)

To calculate the cost of cybercrime, Frost & Sullivan created an economic-loss model based on macro-economic data and insights shared by the survey respondents.

The study also examined the current cyber security strategy of organisations in India.

It found that nine in 10 (92 per cent) Indian organisations are looking to leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI) to enhance their cyber security strategy.

Additionally, more than one in five (22 per cent) of Indian organisations have witnessed benefits of using AI to achieve faster and more accurate detection of threats.

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“Most organisations lack a cybersecurity strategy, while for a large majority cybersecurity was an afterthought. About 59 per cent (three in five) respondents said the fear of cyber attacks has hindered digital transformation projects,” the study noted.

While 37 per cent see cybersecurity strategy only as a means to safeguard the organisation against cyberattacks rather than a strategic business enabler, a mere 18 per cent seeing cybersecurity as a digital transformation enabler, it added. (IANS)

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Microsoft Rejects Request to Install Facial Recognition Technology in Officers’ Cars and Body Cameras

AI has more cases of mistaken identity with women and minorities, multiple research projects have found

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FILE - Brad Smith of Microsoft takes part in a panel discussion "Cyber, big data and new technologies. Current Internet Governance Challenges: What's Next?" at the United Nations in Geneva, Nov. 9, 2017. VOA

Microsoft recently rejected a California law enforcement agency’s request to install facial recognition technology in officers’ cars and body cameras because of human rights concerns, company President Brad Smith said Tuesday.

Microsoft concluded it would lead to innocent women and minorities being disproportionately held for questioning because the artificial intelligence has been trained on mostly white, male pictures.

AI has more cases of mistaken identity with women and minorities, multiple research projects have found.

“Anytime they pulled anyone over, they wanted to run a face scan” against a database of suspects, Smith said without naming the agency. After thinking through the uneven impact, “we said this technology is not your answer.”

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Microsoft concluded it would lead to innocent women and minorities being disproportionately held for questioning because the artificial intelligence has been trained on mostly white, male pictures. Pixabay

Prison contract accepted

Speaking at a Stanford University conference on “human-centered artificial intelligence,” Smith said Microsoft had also declined a deal to install facial recognition on cameras blanketing the capital city of an unnamed country that the nonprofit Freedom House had deemed not free. Smith said it would have suppressed freedom of assembly there.

On the other hand, Microsoft did agree to provide the technology to an American prison, after the company concluded that the environment would be limited and that it would improve safety inside the unnamed institution.

Smith explained the decisions as part of a commitment to human rights that he said was increasingly critical as rapid technological advances empower governments to conduct blanket surveillance, deploy autonomous weapons and take other steps that might prove impossible to reverse.

‘Race to the bottom’

Microsoft said in December it would be open about shortcomings in its facial recognition and asked customers to be transparent about how they intended to use it, while stopping short of ruling out sales to police.

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“Anytime they pulled anyone over, they wanted to run a face scan” against a database of suspects, Smith said without naming the agency. Pixabay

Smith has called for greater regulation of facial recognition and other uses of artificial intelligence, and he warned Tuesday that without that, companies amassing the most data might win the race to develop the best AI in a “race to the bottom.”

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He shared the stage with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, who urged tech companies to refrain from building new tools without weighing their impact.

“Please embody the human rights approach when you are developing technology,” said Bachelet, a former president of Chile. Microsoft spokesman Frank Shaw declined to name the prospective customers the company turned down. (VOA)