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Microsoft announces new partnerships, cloud start-up initiative

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Mumbai: US-based technology major Microsoft on Thursday announced a string of partnerships, programmes and products claimed to help Indian organisations and governments to explore unchartered business areas and enrich customer and citizen experiences.

The newly launched local Microsoft Cloud and new devices will also catalyse digital transformation, the company said.

The tech giant, based in Redmond, California, announced partnerships with three e-commerce players – Justdial, Paytm and Snapdeal – and launched a special cloud initiative for start-ups aligned to smart cities at its first of its kind technology conference being held here.

“At Microsoft, we strive to empower every Indian citizen and every business and government organization to achieve more,” Satya Nadella, the Indian-born chief exevutive of Microsoft, said at the conference.

“With the newly launched Microsoft Cloud and with Surface Pro 4, our customers here in India have the digital technology they need to seize incredible new growth and opportunity on a global scale,” he added.

According to the company, Justdial and Microsoft will explore the use of Bing and cloud-based analytics to provide and enhance customer experience.

“Paytm and Microsoft are working on three core areas of partnership. The companies will integrate the Paytm app and Paytm Wallet into Cortana to enable consumers to pay for their utility bills and carry out mobile transactions easily. Paytm will use Office 365 for their merchants’ inventory and account management,” it said in a statement.

“Lastly, Paytm will facilitate and support Microsoft service sales via their merchant network,” it added.

Justifying the partnerships, Bhaskar Pramanik, chairman, Microsoft India, said: “Cloud and mobile technologies are already galvanising Indian industry. We will demonstrate that technology in the hands of brilliant people can create magic.”

Snapdeal will work with Microsoft Cloud platforms to create a digital automotive dealership that is expected to change the way customers make automotive buying decisions.

In addition, Microsoft also said that start-ups can now apply for individual access up to $120,000 (Rs.80 lakh) worth of Azure computing to help India’s smart cities explore solutions and run smart city digital pilots.

“Cities can also apply for access to these services and solutions on Azure through a new portal which connects start-ups with cities and their needs. This initiative is anticipated to impact over 50 smart cities in the next year through a catalogue of over 50 start-ups and ISV solutions,” the company added.

(IANS)

 

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Heavy Cyber Attacks From Russia, US, China In India

These honeypots are developed to deceive even elite hackers and appear to be serving a specific purpose or organisation.

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

India has been the target of over 4.3 lakh cyber attacks from five countries including China, Russia and the US while more than 73,000 attacks were initiated from India between January and June this year, says a Finnish cybersecurity company.

According to F-Secure’s honeypot data, Russia, the US, China, the Netherlands and Germany targeted India with 436,090 attacks. This is nearly 12 times more than which originated from India.

Honeypots are basically decoy servers that emulate the real IT environment of a business enterprise.

cyber attacks
Due to its nature, the chip is physically unclonable and can, thus, render the device invulnerable to hijacking, counterfeiting or replication by cyber-criminals. Pixabay

Russia accounted for most cyber attacks on India (255,589), followed by the US (103,458), China (42,544), the Netherlands (19,169) and 15,330 attacks from Germany.

On the other hand, the top five countries that were targeted by Indian cyber attackers were Austria, the Netherlands, the UK, Japan, and Ukraine — a total of 36,563.

F-Secure gave the break-up: Austria (12,540), the Netherlands (9,267), the UK (6,347), Japan (4,701) and 3,708 attacks targeted Ukraine’s businesses.

“The relatively higher number of inbound attacks on Indian honeypots reflects how the fast-digitising country is becoming more lucrative for global cyber criminals,” Leszek Tasiemski, Vice President of cyber security products R&D at F-Secure, said in a statement on Sunday.

Cryptocurrency, cyber attacks
Experts: Cyber attacks Growing Increasingly Sophisticated. Pixabay

“We are gathering and analysing all the pertinent data to ensure that our customers stay protected given the dynamically evolving threat landscape,” he added.

To track these cyber attacks, F-Secure has deployed 41 honeypots across the globe.

“Our public honeypots are a valuable source of threat intelligence and an integral part of the infrastructure that powers our various security offerings, including our Rapid Detection and Response Service,” Tasiemski said.

Honeypots are set up explicitly to grab attention of attackers. They are used to gain critical insights on attack types, popular targets, sources, volume and TTPs (Tactics, Techniques and Procedures).

Such insights are collected by deliberately allowing potential attackers to gain unauthorized access to the emulated services of a server and then studying the attack path to the point that the attacker realizes it is a honeypot, F-secure said.

Also Read: U.S. Government Warns People Against China-Linked Hacking Group

These honeypots are developed to deceive even elite hackers and appear to be serving a specific purpose or organisation.

They enable F-Secure to collect the latest malware samples or shell scripts and new hacking techniques.

The research data is then processed to further benefit F-Secure customers via product enhancements and threat intelligence reports. (IANS)