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About 84 percent of Indian consumers would pay more to do business with an organization that is committed to protecting their data privacy, surpassing the UK (49 percent), Germany (41 percent), Spain (36 percent), and France (17 percent), said a new report on Tuesday. The new data from Canada-based information management solutions company OpenText based on a survey of 6,000 Indian respondents highlights public uncertainty and distrust around how organizations handle their data.
Almost a quarter of Indians do not trust in the ability of third-party organizations to keep their personal information safe or private, showed the results. The survey results come at a time when there is no comprehensive data privacy law in place in the country and India is rapidly going digital. While a majority (78 percent) of Indian consumers broadly know how many organizations use, store or have access to their personal data (e.g. email address, contact number, bank details, etc.), 22 percent still “don’t have a clue” about it.
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“The Covid-19 crisis has accelerated the pace of digital transformation, as companies have moved to remote work and digital customer experiences,” said Lou Blatt, Senior Vice President, and Chief Marketing Officer at OpenText.
“Digital is now central to almost every business interaction — generating more data for companies to manage and secure. This shift coupled with increased consumer data privacy expectations means organizations are now under pressure to ensure that their data privacy solutions can scale appropriately for this digital-first era.” Furthermore, three in ten Indians said they only have a vague idea of the laws that protect their personal data — compared to the UK (36 percent), Germany (32 percent), Spain (40 percent), and France (30 percent).
The majority of Indians (61 percent) confirmed that they are very aware of these regulations. In fact, 31 percent of the respondents said that they would proactively get in touch with an organization to see how it is using their personal data or to check if it is being stored in a compliant manner. Almost half of the respondents have already done so at least once, said the report. (IANS/SP)
As enterprises struggle to understand the importance of data lifecycle were destructing the data is equally important to archiving or retaining it in the systems on the Cloud, only 43 percent of Indian firms are fully aware of current and upcoming data protection laws, a new report said on Thursday,
While the B2B firms are more prepared than B2C, 80 percent of organizations have a defined data retention policy, according to a joint report by Deloitte and Blancco, that provides data erasure and mobile device diagnostics software.
According to the report, organizations in India need to ensure that data is irrecoverable upon destruction so that it doesn’t become a liability.
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“With more stringent data privacy laws in place, secure and certified methods of data destruction are required to support enterprise compliance and compliance by third-party vendors,” the findings showed.
As organizations across the globe become more customer-centric, it becomes inevitable for them to consider new and upcoming privacy laws and standards and include the relevant data disposal and sanitization practices for their Global Capability Centers (GCCs) in India.
“The digital transformation of enterprises has paved the way for a data-centric ecosystem which enables housing petabytes of personal data on cloud infrastructure and gigabytes of data on endpoints,” Manish Sehgal, Partner, Deloitte India, told IANS.
“Another vital aspect is to securely dispose of the data which is no longer required for business purposes and our survey insights show only 32 percent of organizations produced a certification of data removal from solid-state drives at end-of-life,” Sehgal added.
The efficient management of data from its inception through its disposition is the responsibility of all organizations handling the data. The two critical end stages are the Archive stage, which addresses retention policies and adherence with those policies, and the Dispose stage, which addresses end-of-life data sanitization of assets or from within active environments.
“With more stringent data privacy laws in place, secure and certified methods of data destruction are required to support enterprise compliance and compliance by third-party vendors,” the report mentioned.
Due to regulatory reasons, the demand for the data protection officer (DPO) is increasing substantially, and more and more organizations require this position.
“The majority of organizations do not have consolidated visibilities into their vendors’ data destruction processes, which makes it difficult to comply with relevant regulations and laws,” the report noted.
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According to Sehgal, an effective sanitization at the end-of-data lifecycle, especially the ones collecting and processing personal data is paramount.
“The efficient management of data from its inception through its disposition is the collective responsibility of all organizations handling the data and consumer who need to be educated about being privacy-conscious”.(IANS)
As the debate rages over new WhatsApp data sharing policy, another Facebook family product called Messenger does not offer any end-to-end protection and is more prone to data breach, a security expert has claimed, adding that Messenger users should opt for safer apps first.
According to cybersecurity specialist Zak Doffman, we should stop using Facebook Messenger as there is no proper protection of our messages, reports Forbes.
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WhatsApp emphasises that it cannot see your private messages, nor listen to your calls, and neither can Facebook.
However, according to Doffman, if you are a Messenger user, you do not have the same data encryption. “In reality, the WhatsApp debacle has distracted attention away from just how bad Messenger’s invasion of your privacy is. There is no justification for it,” he wrote in the article.
The end-to-end encryption that protects WhatsApp messages does not apply to Facebook Messenger, unless you are using a “secret conversation” on the platform.
This option only supports messages between two people, not within groups, and must be activated manually. “When it is selected, it stops Facebook snooping on your messages and downloading your links and attachments”, he noted.
According to the security expert, if you are on Facebook Messenger, you need to quickly move to safer chat platforms than you are on WhatsApp that still offers end-to-end encryption. There are over 1.3 billion Messenger users globally and Facebook Messenger is expected to grow to 2.4 billion users by 2021.
More than 20 billion messages are exchanged between business and users monthly on Facebook Messenger.
“The advice now is simple. If you’re still on Messenger or if you’re using Instagram DMs for anything other than engaging with companies you’re buying from or casual contacts, then it’s time to switch,” Doffman said. (IANS)
As millions shun WhatsApp and download new chat platforms in search for a secure experience, mind you that security is nothing but an illusion and there is no guarantee that Telegram or Signal may not be hacked in the future, especially when nation-state actors with highly sophisticated tools and huge resources are on the prowl.
Encryption is fundamentally flawed and once hackers get to know any vulnerability or bug in the whole data travel journey — apps, mobile operating system, public Wi-Fi, Cloud and the physical data centres — your personal and sensitive information is always at their mercy.
The Telegram development team is based in Dubai. The Telegram team had to leave Russia due to local IT regulations and has tried a number of locations as its base, including Berlin, London and Singapore. It does not store data within the boundaries of India.
Signal does not own its own data centres. The company is entirely Cloud based, which puts data at risk as cyber-attacks on Cloud-based services have increased in the recent past. In case the data is compromised, India which does not have a dedicated law on privacy or on cyber security, will not be able to do much, unlike Europe which has a strong General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that treats the safety of its users’ data diligently and seriously.
According to Pavan Duggal, one of the nation’s top cyber law experts and a seasoned Supreme Court lawyer, if you are looking at complete and absolute security, you have to realise that security is a relative term. “What was secure yesterday is not secure today and what is secure today will not be secure tomorrow. Blindfoldly relying upon these platforms would not suffice. There is a need for people to incorporate cyber security as a way of life,” Duggal told IANS.
Be it Pegasus software attack on WhatsApp or the great Twitter crypto hacking last year that compromised accounts of celebrities like US President-elect Joe Biden, former US President Barack Obama, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos (you name it), people are always facing the risk of losing their data.
The latest is the SolarWinds attack that has rocked the US agencies and several tech giants. It is not that the bad actors directly compromised their networks; they used a third-party software called Orion sold by IT management company SolarWinds to infiltrate the systems even of the US Department of Justice (DoJ),
The suspected Russian hackers installed a malware in the Orion software and accessed sensitive data belonging to at least 250 US government agencies and businesses. Around 18,000 private companies and government agencies downloaded the infected Orion software. At least 24 big companies, including tech giants like Intel, Cisco, VMware Nvidia and even a cyber security firm FireEye, have suffered the ‘SolarWinds’ hack.
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Microsoft discovered its systems were infiltrated “beyond just the presence of malicious ‘SolarWinds’ code.” The hackers were able to “view source code in a number of source code repositories”, the tech giant informed.
According to leading tech policy and media consultant Prasanto K. Roy, when WhatsApp discovered the Pegasus attack, it quickly fixed the vulnerability, informed users whom it could trace the hack to, informed the relevant governments and initiated legal proceedings against the spyware’s creators in the US federal court.
“Unlike WhatsApp/Facebook, competitors Signal or Telegram are unlikely to have the resources to do any or all of these in response to a bug. At the most, they’d fix the bug,” Roy told IANS. Another big worry is that the present-day situation increasingly refers to a massive policy vacuum that exists in India in the context of protection of privacy and data.
“As of today, India does not have a dedicated law on privacy or on cyber security. Further, it still does not have a legal framework in place for protecting all kinds of data. The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 is pending consideration before the Joint Parliamentary Committee. Further, India does not have a dedicated policy on data localisation,” Duggal informed.
“The circumstances and ecosystem are very ripe for state and non-state actors to do activities aimed at prejudicially impacting the security, integrity, sovereignty and also cyber sovereign interests of India”. Mere switching to new chat platforms alone may not suffice.
“You will have to inculcate new life skill sets which need to be built on the foundation of cybersecurity and data privacy,” he said, adding that the present law is extremely deficient and is incapable of protecting personal and data privacy.
The current Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 leaves much to be desired and needs to be completely supplemented by an overhauled legislative framework, which can focus on the concerns and protection of rights of stakeholders concerning their data in the digital ecosystem. Next time when any of the new apps you have shifted to are compromised, which chat or social media app do you have on your mind? (IANS)