Let’s build a wall! How many times have we heard this comment, when political conversations turn to protecting a country’s borders. Certainly a wall can help to some degree. It is without doubt a good thing, if the structure is sustainable. When we look at the Great Wall of China as an example, we can understand that it was one of the surest ways to defend a nation from invasions during ancient times. Today, however, things are somewhat different, since we have gravitated to a level where law enforcement and technology greatly assists in protecting the margins of our communities.

In India, the government is facing border control issues as well, such as the rapid influx of the Rohingya people. These ethnic minority folk are supposedly descendants of Arab traders. Their current government in Myannmar denies Rohingya citizenship, therefore hundreds of thousands of them are now trying to enter India. Whether it be to find a better way to live, a hope for acceptance, acquire jobs, or enter for religious purposes, these people have one thing in common – they are illegal aliens in the nation into which they steal.

With no intention of following the legal formalities to enter India, this mass civilization is causing stress to the Border Security Force in India, who consequently are having to step up security on the Indian Bangladesh and Indian Myanmar borders. Such intense implementation of protection is especially necessary at a time when Durga Puja celebrations are occurring in Tripura. It has been noted in the past that when speaking on behalf of parliament, the Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju has tremendous concerns. Whether the Rohingyas are registered under the Human Rights Commission or not, they are purely and simply – illegal immigrants in India.

President Trump, of the United States of America, with similar thinking patterns, has high priority proclamations on the restrictions of undocumented people spilling across the borders of Mexico into the Southern part of USA. He has made it a national message to citizens across America, in his strong yet tailored statements that he aspires to work diligently with foreign governments to enhance strict global security measures on all frontiers. The key concerns for the United States of America is also illegal immigration, bootlegging, contraband and terrorism.

So what is the best way to secure our nations’ borders? Is it to build walls? There are continued threatening apprehensions in areas where mountainous terrain, rivers and unfenced areas pose a threat to illegal traffic flow of individuals and contrabands. What do we do in such conditions? The two countries, although on either side of the globe, have a common and serious security issue at hand. Critical measures for constant security improvements, are being taken on borders in India as well as in the USA. It seems to be the common denominating fact that protecting the borders is more than ever vital to national sovereignty, homeland security, and economic prosperity. We must have confidence in our country’s knowledgeable leaders, border patrol personnel, and the superior detection technologies that are available to governments, so that all can work together in a profoundly effective way.

An upcoming audit by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has compelled the Indian civil aviation ministry to seek passage for the pending Aircraft Amendment Bill. The primary objective of the Bill is to empower the existing aviation security regulator Bureau of Civil Aviation Security and as a result, further secure the Indian airports.

The civil aviation ministry has emphasised on the importance of uncompromising aviation security amid growing threats of terrorism. The International Air Transport Association (IATA), a trade association of the world’s airlines, has also highlighted the relevance of coherent co-ordination of the government and aviation agencies around the globe for communication of intelligence and information on counter measures.

In its recent inspections of the Indian airports, BCAS found a shocking number of errors in functionalities, issuing warnings to authorities, individuals and airlines. These warnings, however, seemed to fall on deaf ears as no rectification measures were taken with little to no improvements in the security systems. As per the latest BCAS data, the regulatory body held 85, 96 and 42 security drills in the airports in 2016, 2015 and 2014 respectively. In the current year, more than 50 checks have been held with little improvement in the rate of errors. These checks are carried out to assess the effectiveness and response of the security systems. In addition to the checks, BCAS also carries out drills to check the effectiveness of the emergency plans and preparedness of various agencies.

The lack of improvements and rectifications on the agencies’ side can be attributed to the fact that BCAS does not hold the power to terminate licenses of airports and airlines, and can only suspend them. Since suspension of these licences cannot be done on every single matter due to operational challenges, BCAS is not able to exercise its power to its full extent. However, the ministry has aimed to resolve the matter by seeking amendments in the existing Aircraft Act, 1934, which would enable BCAS to impose penalties and therefore, strengthening security at the airports.

Sensitive personal data has once again been compromised by intrusive cyber attacks, just days after serious announcements broke out regarding the scandalous data breach of consumer credit reporting agency, Equifax. Reports are now being made by various sources that Deloitte, Touche Tohmatsu Ltd, a UK incorporated multinational professional services firm, is the recent prey of cyber hackers.

Deloitte offices are plentiful in India, ranging from the north to the south of the country. There are in fact several sites in prominent cities such as Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Coimbatore, Gurugram, Ahmedabad, and Ernakulam. Even though the breach of security has alarmed many and is very severe, it seemingly has only affected a few clients. Those targets were apparently part of the company’s U.S. operations.

The greatest concern for Deloitte, as well as the U.S Federal Bureau of Investigation must be how these savvy yet sinister hackers were able to infiltrate such a “chic” company who itself, takes prides in performing cyber security services to clients. According to publicized information, it is stated that the hackers found a way into the Deloitte email platform, thus were able to access and traffic highly confidential data related to accounting services, and more.

If the company’s email platform was accessed so readily, what types of security measures were taken initially by Deloitte? Rudimentary security integration would command more than a single password to enter the company’s data systems. It is to be hoped that Deloitte had at least a sophisticated multiple-step authentication system to keep intruders at bay. Whatever the case, the minds of these hacking criminals pierced through sensitive material and created an alarm to the world that exceptional vigilant security integration is crucial in companies of this magnitude and cannot be taken lightly.

Recovery from offences of this kind take a long time, since critical intellectual properties along with personal data have been stolen and will be continue to be tampered with illegally. Establishing scrupulous and exacting preventative security integration measures of the deepest level are the lessons we must take away from this very distressing situation.

 

 

 

 

Could India be in trouble when it comes to consumer credit reporting agencies? During the past few weeks, the headlines in the USA news reports that one of the 3 largest global companies EQUIFAX, has suffered a serious data breach, that has affected approximately 143 million Americans, almost half the population of the country.

Atlanta based, Equifax Inc. collects personal specifics on over 800 million individual consumers and more than 88 million businesses worldwide, that share alike with banks, large vendors, utility and cable companies, to name a few.

With Equifax, India, headquartered in Mumbai, and branch offices in both Bangalore and Delhi, are Indians at risk to face a similar problem that relates to personal security information? Shocked Americans are scrambling to understand how identity theft could occur when they entrust a supposedly competent company with their private details. Names and addresses, birth dates, social security numbers, driver’s license particulars, credit card information, and credit history have been severely breached.

This drastic rupture is causing the government in the USA, to rethink data protection policies. Prominent agencies such as Equifax hold highly sensitive data of the individual at large, and the threat of hacker invasion is trending to extremely common, therefore better security integration in these systems is vital.

The United States Department of Homeland Security is showing tremendous concern about this issue and is making it one of the highest priorities of investigation. Today, more than ever, we are a connected world, and technology has woven our societies even closer together. Hackers sew their violations at great speed with an insistence to disrupt not only one countries’ tapestry of personal information but with a fierce determination to encroach on territories globally. People all over India, need to be one step ahead of the game in protecting one’s assets, because it is just be a question of time before the infringement could occur on Indian soil too.

It is advised that all clients beware of Equifax phone scammers trying to steal more exclusive details. Check the Equifax website immediately and follow relevant instructions, to see if one’s personal details have been impacted by this criminal exploitation.

 

iOS 11 is the next-generation version of the iOS. iOS 11 brings subtle design changes to interface elements throughout the operating system. Tim Cook, Apple CEO said “The update takes the best and the most advanced operating system and turns it up to 11”

Apps like Calculator, the lock scree and Control Center have been entirely redesigned. The lock screen is merged with the notification center and the control center is customizable and includes wider range of settings. There is no separate notification center and swiping down on the screen to access notification brings up the lock screen.

A lot of new features have been introduced for the Apple iPad making it more capable than ever before. The new App Switcher similar to Mission control on the Mac allows the user to see everything they are working on at a glance. The new keyboard feature “Flick” helps in typing the numbers and symbols more quickly on the iPad, and most of the built-in Apple apps have new functionality and features updates.

After locking down it’s iPhones a couple of years back with the encryption that even the company itself can’t break, Apple has yet again added more features that are designed to guard your digital privacy. A newly discovered security feature in the upcoming mobile operating system could boost user security, making it harder for police to find information.

A security firm Elcomsoft revealed in a recent post that Apple had added a requirement that forces iPhone owners to use both a fingerprint and their device passcode to establish a “trusting” relationship with the computers on which they want to backup their device. The verge reported that there is an additional step for the users to access a backup and an additional step for law enforcement.

One of the easiest way to access the iPhone data was simply to log into the device itself. There are also multiple ways to access the iPhone data. The latest update by Apple has security protocol that requires both the passcode and fingerprint sensor to access the onboard data making it difficult to search device of criminal suspects.

Prior to iOS 11, it was feasible to perform logical accessions of an iOS device by unlocking the device with touch ID. The law enforcement officials have been frustrated by the security features. Though it is simple to impel a person to place their fingerprint on the iPhone’s sensor to access data, but it requires a legal wrangle to get a passcode. This change is very important from the legal standpoint.

Offloading the phone data to a computer using forensic method for more granular analysis will be difficult to accomplish.

Law enforcement has used computer-based backups users might have done to keep their iPhone safe. Apple’s decision to add the passcode requirement to backup seems like a small security upgrade for the users to make sure that data does not get into the wrong hands. It might also prove to be a problem for law enforcement officials since they need to know a person’s passcode to access his or her data.

The person’s iPhone data remains encrypted if both a fingerprint and a passcode are absent. The company might have felt it had no other option but to add passcode support to backups.

India is witnessing a rapid emergence of facial recognition with significant potential on offer. According to recent reports, the facial recognition market across the world is tipped to rise up to USD 2.19 billion by 2019. This can be attributed to a sharp increase in criminal and terrorist activities around the world, coupled with the elevated risk of cybercrimes and online threats in the current market.

In accordance with the current market trends, facial recognition too has kept pace with advance and efficient innovations, thus becoming an all important element in the overarching mechanism of security and surveillance. This has led to various sectors such as government, commercial retail, and hospitality, among many, to drive the demand for facial recognition as an upgrade to their existing surveillance systems.

Earlier trends in the security sector showcased an inclination towards other biometric systems that were neither cost effective nor accurate in their findings. However, more and more sectors are now willing to invest increasingly in R&D to overcome this challenge by achieving a mechanism that is accurate as well as delivers results in a cost and time effective manner, thus carving a desirable market for facial recognition systems.

The newfound desirability for facial recognition systems by various sectors can also be tracked to the market’s shift from adopting a reactive approach to a proactive approach. With the increasing incidence of cybercrimes and online threats, various organisations are now looking to tackle these incidents long before they occur. Facial recognition serves as a part of that ideology by efficiently safeguarding organisations from various threats well in advance. This factor is especially efficient in the hospitality industry, hospitals, building monitoring systems, smart city, etc.

However, facial recognition still faces a host of challenges in terms of precision while the detection of facial features. Despite the innovation in technology, facial recognition, processing speed and storage of large information database are aspects where many providers are still lagging.

These challenges will be redundant, however, with an increased focus on R&D to proffer comprehensive and concise solution with enhanced precision and deliverability. The market is understandably at a nascent stage and will see tremendous advancements in the bid to become a perfect tool for surveillance. These advancements include type of algorithms which is lighting condition invariant, post invariant, robust to slight rotation of face and alignment of the face. While contemporary technologies are struggling to render desirable precision, the technologies of the future are especially focussing on this aspect through advanced algorithms and storage systems.

The latest innovations in facial recognition can be validated with the introduction of 3D and infrared images to enhance and upgrade facial detection and recognition. By substantially reducing the system’s dependency on lighting and capturing angles, 3D and infrared images implements functionality of facial recognition in a wider array of conditions, thus offering better outcomes in a short span of time.

Defence, Border Control, Homeland Security, Banking, Retail, Hospitality Industry, etc. are considered to be the main target verticals for facial recognition application. However, as the technology matures, other verticals like manufacturing and automobile may begin adapting such technologies as well.

Securing your Debit/Credit Card Payment with few simple steps

On October 19 of last year, India witnessed one of its largest financial data breach when nearly 32 lakh debit cards across 19 banks, including HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and Axis Bank, were compromised. The impact was astonishing. National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) reported that at least 90 ATMS were hit across the country and approximately 640 customers lost Rs 1.3 Crore. Nearly a year on from the nightmare, the threats to banking systems loom larger than ever, with security networks still remaining a step behind. In the larger context of banking systems, it may be difficult to safeguard oneself at an individual level. However, the same does not apply to debit and credit cards. Securing your debit and credit cards may not necessarily be a complicated affair if a few cautious steps are followed. A simple knowledge of duping and skimming methods, along with a conscious approach can go a long way in securing your cards from fraudulent activities.

Plastic money has become a widely preferred weapon of choice for people while hunting down commodities online and at shops. Unfortunately, plastic money has also become an easy target for fraudsters looking to dupe people out of their money, with online space now becoming more of a natural habitat. In today’s world, online shopping carries major significance when it comes to utility purchases. Making payments through debit or credit cards is considered a convenient option for online purchases. However, these payments should be given utmost attention. Many cyber criminals target debit and credit card information online to steal money and make fraudulent transactions. Go only to well-known, established sites for e-shopping. Also make sure that the website uses the ‘https’ protocol instead of ‘http’, where, ‘s’ stands for ‘secure’. Additionally, make sure not to click on the option that asks for saving your card details on any site.

Using ‘Public Wi-Fi’ could cause a bigger risk while paying through credit cards. Many people don’t realise the risk a public Wi-Fi could give and continue to use them. Avoid using public Wi-Fis for credit and debit card transactions. Any person making online payments from their work place or using a temporary desktop should also consciously avoid saving their passwords as that makes the account easily accessible to others and therefore exposed to threat. By the time the card holder can realize any inconsistencies, the payment is executed and the money is stolen. PIN Number, OTP, CVV are key things any cybercriminal needs to operate while making payment from another person’s card. Banks usually give messages and warn their customer to stay safe by not sharing the information to anybody who asks them. Moreover, the information holder should not give out such details unless the query is from a trusted source. Many cyber criminals use emails and messages to trick people by intimating they’ve won a big amount from a lucky draw and in turn ask for their card details in order to carry out the payment. People may fall gullible to such situations and give away their card details without realizing the future consequence of the action. In most cases, these proposals should be downright ignored. If a person is still inclined to go through with it, make sure the credibility of the source is thoroughly checked.

ATMs are considered as a safe way to withdraw cash, allowing a person to withdraw money anytime and anywhere they. Even while withdrawing cash from ATMs, the person should be cautious as their card details could be detected from a magnetic machine attached in the ATM machine. The card could get stuck into the machine and magnetic machine attached to it will read the details. These details can be later used by fraudsters make payments with ease.