A decade of blogging: Making sense in the cyber highway

BLOGGING is currently the prevailing practice by individuals who have the passion to write and tell stories about places, people and events using advance technology as the fastest and most effective channel of communication.

Before technology dominates the cyber world, people had a hard time communicating. Even in relationships, one has to physically visit the person who is the love interest. It involves a lot of hard work because one has to court the whole family only to win their hearts and eventually the heart of the love interest.

People used to communicate either by letters or phone calls (landline), through friends and through mutual interactions. Those were the old days.

But now, with the advent of technology, everything is made easy even in courtship, business, and family relations.

Petty quarrels even occupy the interest of the cyber community, which is quite a downside. But people become more conscious about their looks, clothing, behaviors, and language and have all the reasons to celebrate in most if not all occasions.

But here comes blogging, few individuals put together their passion and formed a group named the Negrense Bloggers. Their group rings a bell in the corporate world. They just marked their 10th anniversary on May 25.

The Negros Bloggers started in May 30, 2009 with pioneers Ruby Caberte, May Castro and Glady Tomulto, who felt the need to professionalize their craft of blogging.

They held meetings and sponsored blogging seminars to gather and network with other bloggers based in Bacolod City.

Soon, through blog hopping, link exchange and social networking, the group grew by leaps and bounds, attracting many Negrense bloggers based in Bacolod as well from other parts of the country.

This has led to the creation of the Negrense Blogging Society, Inc., a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)-registered, non-profit, non-stock association.

Negrense Blogging Society, Inc. is the juridical personality behind the Negros Bloggers.

Their mission is to promote, preserve, and develop the arts, culture, business, environment, tourism, and history of the Negrenses in the blogosphere.

They are also a community of bloggers who help one another develop and professionalize their craft, foster camaraderie and friendship, while at the same time gather other Negrense bloggers together through link parties, seminars and guest posts. They help each other look for new opportunities that may benefit their readers.

They are governed by the core values of honesty, integrity, excellence and ethics in our blogging. We build mutually beneficial linkages with other bloggers and blogging networks in other cities and provinces in the Philippines and around the world who share our values, passion, and philosophy.”

Ruby Caberte, founding President said, “It’s been ten years since we started Negrense Blogging Society, Inc. It makes me really happy and very proud that they have come a long way and have become one of the premier blogging organization in the country today. To my Negrense Bloggers family, keep on shining and growing! Cheers to the next 10 years and more!”

Glady Reyes said, “After 10 years of blogging, we want to give back to the community by mentoring the youth who want to go into blogging as platform for their advocacy and business.”

Couple bloggers Dennis and Sigrid Lo are grateful of their blogging and their organization.

Sigrid said, “I’m grateful to be part of the Negrense Blogging Society. While we may be called bloggers, we uphold blogging ethics and journalistic values by reporting only facts and sharing opinion based on facts. It has been our group’s goal to be a channel of change and positivism in the city, promoting Bacolod to the world through our websites.”

Dennis said, “We are against fake news and together we stand to share only information about our society and about life that is helpful and true.”

They even had influence on their kids Shawna Din and Dorothy Shane who also have their YouTube vlog channel: sistersactkidscantell.


DHS Cyber Chief is Ready to Update Federal Tech Hiring

The U.S. is facing a severe shortage of cybersecurity expertise, and agencies need to rethink their hiring methods if they want to keep up their digital defenses, according to the Homeland Security Department’s cyber chief.

“There’s not enough capability to go around,” said Chris Krebs, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. ”There’s no question there’s a security consolidation happening—particularly with some of the big tech companies, the rich are getting richer.”

As cyber talent gravitates toward higher paying, more flexible jobs in the private sector, the government must look beyond its traditional employee pools, Krebs said Thursday at the Forcepoint Cybersecurity Leadership Forum. And his agency is already broadening its sights.

In a field like cybersecurity, real-world experience could be just as valuable as any degree or credential, but the government’s current hiring process may overlook those with less traditional backgrounds, he said. The current schedule system also lumps together every cyber specialist into a single job code, which “doesn’t work” when building a workforce with such a wide array of specialities, he added.

A personnel system set to launch later this year could help Krebs and other federal tech leaders bring on specialists who might otherwise fall through the cracks.

The Cybersecurity Talent Management System, first announced in the White House’s 2018 reorganization plan, would allow Homeland Security to speed up the hiring process, offer more competitive salaries and attract more people from nontraditional educational background. According to its most recent budget request, the department plans to use the additional authorities to hire at least 150 people by the end of fiscal 2020.

Once the department works out the kinks in the new system, it will work with the Office of Management and Budget to roll it out at agencies across government.

The system “gives me those capabilities to hire people based on their skill sets, not what’s on a piece of paper,” Krebs said. “I need a different set of hiring authorities and that’s part of what we’re doing.”

The new system will also make it easier for the department to hire cyber specialists on a continuous basis, he said, mirroring the approach taken by the intelligence community. People may drop out midway through the hiring process, “so we’re trying to figure out how we keep … that pipeline established and just keep running people through,” Krebs said.

“I would love to be in a situation where I don’t have enough seats to put somebody,” he added. “If I’m there, that means we’ve done something right. [We’re doing] something wrong in the meantime.”


Google Play Celebrates Cyber Week With Discounted Apps, Games, Music, and More Offers

Google Play Celebrates Cyber Week With Discounted Apps, Games, Music, and More Offers


  • Google Play offers discounted apps, games, music, TV shows, and books
  • Premium game titles come with up to 80 percent of discount
  • Google Play Music subscription is free for four months in select regions

With the holiday season about to hit our doors, Google has announced some deep discounts on movies, apps, games, music, TV shows, and books ahead of Black Friday this week. The deals during the Google Play Cyber Week Sale will run through November 27 in select markets and will give as high as 80 percent discounts on games. Some of the deals will go live following Black Friday, and most of them are applicable in India alongside the US and other markets.

The most interesting deals during Google Play Cyber Week Sale are on premium game titles. Among the offerings, Call of Duty: Black Ops Zombies is available in the US for $2.99 (Rs. 180 in India), dropped from the original price of $6.99 (Rs. 470), whereas the original Monument Valley is listed for $1.29 (Rs. 85). You can also pick games such as Another World, Day R Premium, Farming Simulator 16, Lego Ninjago: Shadow of Ronin, and Trivia Check, which are all listed with discounted prices on the Play store.

In addition, to the premium games, Google is offering a 50 percent discount on the monthly subscription price of colouring book app Colorfy. Users in select regions can also get free Google Play Music subscription for four months. It appears that this offer is not available in India at the time of filing this story.

Google Play is also offering 50 percent off on one movie to own and a 25 percent discount on a TV season of your choice starting Thursday (November 23). There are shows like Steven Universe and Homeland to please you this holiday season. Similarly, movie rentals are offered for 99 cents in the US for one day on Saturday (November 25).

If games, apps, music, and TV shows aren’t fascinating for you, Google Play has listed ebooks with discounted prices. You can also pick comics books such as Batman: The Complete Hush, Thor, and Flashpoint for $5 or less on November 25.

A specific Google Play’s Holiday Hub is available to detail all the new deals under one roof for the markets where the Cyber Week is celebrated on a mass level.


Banks Rush to Buy Cyber Liability Insurance as Digital Payments Rise

Banks Rush to Buy Cyber Liability Insurance as Digital Payments Rise

At a time when cyber threats are on the rise for banks for increasing cashless transactions and effects of demonetisation, insurers see rise in demand for cyber insurance and cyber liability insurance, in particular.

This is despite the fact that the industry base for cyber insurance is currently as low as Rs 60 crore.

There are various cyber insurance covers available in the country, but it is the cyber liability insurance which is in maximum demand for the banks, say insurers.

Non-life insurers that provide cyber insurance cover include New India, National, ICICI Lombard, Tata AIG, HDFC Ergo and Bajaj Allianz.

Country’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI), which fell victim to cyber frauds some time back, is now considering insurance to protect its 30 crore customers.

“We have always seen maximum security in all our IT systems. We are now considering to avail cyber insurance covers for our customers,” SBI managing director Rajnish Kumar told PTI here.

“We are actively examining the issue. The only thing that we have to ensure is that insurance costs fit into our scheme,” he added.

Recently, in one of the biggest ever breaches of financial data in the country, customers of 3.2 million debit cards belonging to different banks were hit by cyber frauds where their ATM details were compromised. Several victims even had reported unauthorised usage from locations in China.

The worst-hit card-issuing banks in the episode included SBI, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, YES Bank and Axis Bank.

Banks either had to replace or asked users to change the security codes of as many customers. Even though SBI didn’t suffer any big financial losses due to the data compromise episode, still as a precautionary measure, it had blocked 6 lakh debit cards.

Bank of Baroda, which had seen around 1 lakh of its debit cards being compromised in the recent episode, is also keen to go for such insurance covers in future.

“We are here to ensure protection of our customers and hence we will definitely go for cyber insurance cover as and when it was required for the bank,” Bank of Baroda MD & CEO, PS Jayakumar said.

Insurers said they do see uptick in demand for cyber insurance covers by banks.

“We are in talks with quite a few banks to provide cyber insurance cover to them,” New India chairman and managing director, G Srinivasan said without divulging any details.

“Cyber threat is on the rise in recent times for the banks and hence they must go for cyber insurance cover,” he added.

[Source:- gadgets.ndtv]

Protecting News Media Companies from Cyber Attacks

Image result for Protecting,News,Media,Companies,from,Cyber,Attacks

The technological advances made in the last 5 years have greatly benefited the news media industry. Today’s news can be delivered more efficiently due to enhanced formats, evolved platforms, and faster Internet connection. An individual can access the news on any device and be updated with the changes throughout the day. The possibilities when it comes to dissemination of information are limitless, but this advancement also presents a credible threat, especially to media outfits.

A study conducted by Newscycle Solutions in October 2015 revealed that 52 percent of news media companies experienced data breach and other forms of cyber-attacks since 2014. Most of these attacks happened on news media websites, where hackers tried to take over the site to further their political purposes. Aside from phishing and malware, the type of attack that elicits the most concern is the Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) because it can serve as a tool for censoring any news organization.

With hackers continuously evolving and growing in numbers, organizations like news media companies should take the necessary precautions in protecting valuable data and information they’ve gathered. In this article, we’ll discuss the different ways news media companies can prevent, detect, and stop the onslaught of cyber- attacks.

Invest in a Reliable Cyber Security Solution

A few years ago, most companies would balk at the idea of spending a fortune when it comes to protecting their businesses against cyber threats. Experience, however, proved that investing in a reputable cyber-attack detection solution can save the company more money in the long run, compared to the profit losses they may incur due to having their system hacked.

Protection against cyber-attacks shouldn’t be limited to preventing malwares. Hackers get more innovative every year in finding ways to breach big companies. The best way to fight these cyber-attacks would be to spot the hackers’ anomalous activities early on, study their behavioral pattern, and take quick measures in eliminating them.

Conduct Cyber Security Trainings for your Staff

More than just protecting its network and computers, a news media company should educate its staff and personnel about the dangers of cyber-attacks. Cyber security should be given importance and should be included in the company’s annual plan. News media employees should be made aware about the ways hackers can easily gain access to the company’s information. By learning about the different types of cyber-attacks such as phishing, malware, pharming and DDos, the news media workforce can be trained to become vigilant when it comes to protecting valuable information against possible hackers.

Implement Company-Wide Security Policies and Protocols

Establishing a cyber-security policy is vital to a news media company, but in order for these protocols to be effective, they must be implemented thoroughly. Despite learning about the dangers of cyber-attacks, some news media personnel could still be tempted to click on unsecure links. Companies should have a policy against employees downloading information from email addresses they don’t recognize.

News media executives may also hold simulated drills by sending out hoax emails, to see which employees are susceptible to breaking cyber security-related regulations. Another policy would be to require everyone to use strong and uncommon passwords and two-factor authentication when accessing their computers. There should also be a plan of action on how to respond in case a cyber-attack happens, so that everyone in the staff would know what to do.

As vanguards of truth, news media companies should defend themselves against hackers who want to silence them and manipulate their data. By educating themselves about the dangers of cyber-attacks and taking the necessary precautions, news media companies can effectively ward off future cyber-attacks.

Indian Enterprises Not Able to Respond to Cyber Threats: EY Survey

Indian Enterprises Not Able to Respond to Cyber Threats: EY Survey

While India Inc is spending more on cyber-security each year, organisations are still not confident of their ability to sense, resist and respond to cyber threats, a survey by global professional services organisation EY said on Wednesday.

Sixty nine percent of the Indian respondents reported an increase in their cyber-security budgets over the last 12 months and almost three-fourths expect budgets to increase further in the next year.

Despite the increased investments, 75 percent of the Indian respondents say that their cyber-security function does not fully meet their organisations’ needs.

“We will need immense focus to encourage technological innovations in cyber-security to secure national critical infrastructure from cyber criminals,” said Gulshan Rai, National Cybersecurity Coordinator, National Security Council, Prime Minister’s Office, Government of India, during the release of the survey findings at an event in New Delhi.

Management and governance issues (42 percent), followed by lack of quality tools for managing information security and lack of executive awareness and support (41 percent) were seen as the main challenges for information security operations by the Indian respondents as compared to lack of budgets (61 percent) and skilled resources (56 percent) globally.

Thirty eight per cent of the respondents say that boards are not fully knowledgeable about cyber risks. Thirty seven percent cited budget constraints and lack of skilled resources (39 percent) as obstacles.

“While respondents are more confident of their ability to predict and detect a cyber-attack with 52 percent saying that they would be able to do so, but not enough attention is being given to building basic, yet essential capabilities,” the findings showed.

More than half of the respondents (55 percent) do not have a formal, threat intelligence programme, while 44 percent do not have a vulnerability identification capability.

Further, 33 percent do not have a security operations centre (SoC), which serves as a continuous monitoring mechanism.

“Since cyber resilience cannot be achieved by buying security-in-a-box, organisations need to focus on gathering periodic threat intelligence, enhancing their threat-hunting and breach-detection capabilities, and institutionalising a robust incident-response framework,” said Nitin Bhatt, EY India’s Risk Advisory Leader.

[Source:- gadgets.ndtv]

Global Business Groups Petition China’s Premier on Cyber Rules

Global Business Groups Petition China's Premier on Cyber Rules

In a letter addressed to Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, 46 global business groups spanning finance, information technology, insurance and manufacturing urged Beijing to revise its draft cyber rules which they said would hamper trade.

The signatories include industry associations from Asia, Australia, the United States, Mexico and Europe, according to a copy of the letter seen by Reuters.

Foreign industry groups have made no secret of their concerns over China’s draft cyber security law, which in June underwent a second of three parliamentary readings typically required before being adopted.

They say the draft regulations, as well as cyber rules from China’s insurance regulator, include provisions for invasive government security reviews and onerous requirements to keep data in China.

“Trade-inhibiting security reviews” for information and communications technology products and services under the rules may weaken security and constitute technical barriers to trade under the World Trade Organization, the groups said in the letter.

Broad data residency requirements “would impede economic growth and create barriers to entry for both foreign and Chinese companies”, they said, urging China to revise the rules.

“The current drafts, if implemented, would weaken security and separate China from the global digital economy.”

China’s Foreign Ministry did not respond immediately to a request for comment on the letter on Thursday.

Chinese officials have said the cyber-security rules, along with internet restrictions including the blocking of popular foreign sites like Google and Facebook, are needed to ensure security against growing threats such as terrorism.

The first draft of the cyber-security law, published more than a year ago, toughened user privacy protection from hackers and data resellers, but also boosted the government’s powers to access and block dissemination of private information records that Chinese law deems illegal.

It is not clear when the law may be adopted, but it could undergo a final reading by the standing committee of the National People’s Congress, or parliament, later this year.

The petition from the industry groups came as China prepares to host world leaders at the G20 summit in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou in September.

Beijing hopes it will be a platform to address slower economic growth and rising protectionism, even as it struggles to make difficult reforms at home.

Foreign businesses in China are becoming increasingly pessimistic, in part due to rules that companies think could make it harder to operate there.

The cyber rules have added to problems between China and its trade partners, from overcapacity in the steel sector to worries about Beijing’s Made in China 2025 plan, which calls for a progressive increase in domestic components in sectors such as advanced information technology and robotics.

[Source:- gadgets.ndtv]

Assocham Offers to Set Up National Cyber Data Bank

Assocham Offers to Set Up National Cyber Data Bank

Industry chamber Assocham said on Monday that it has offered to set up a national data bank from the billions of e-transactions for use for India’s strategic needs, as well as by common citizens.

The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) said in a releasein New Delhi  that it has written to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval offering the “creation of a cyber ‘National e-Information Data Bank’ of classified and heritage documents for national archive” as a “proposal to break wall between the government and private organisations”.

“With the advent of the ‘information super highway’, the real issue lies in deriving intelligent information out of junk data that can help various stakeholders take cognitive decisions.

“With the quantum growth in volumes, variety and velocity at which data is generated on every click in this electronic age, the availability and practical use of such intelligent information is one of the most immediate needs,” Assocham said.

“While a similar concept has now been proposed by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), we had submitted a blueprint way back in December 2015,” said Assocham secretary general D.S. Rawat.

Underlining the need for nationwide co-ordination and regulation of information resources, Assocham noted, however, that a clear legal framework is required for creating such an archive “which can be integrated with the National Information Policy, demarcating information into broad three categories – information in public domain, information to be used by government for generation of social security number ID, passport, voter ID etcetera, and classified information restricted by law”.

The industry chamber said there is “need to leverage these data assets which are disparate, lying in isolation with various government agencies working in silos”.

“This is also leading to duplication of data resulting in effective loss of efforts and loss of effective planning and co-ordination amongst various agencies,” it said.

Holiday 2015: Less About Black Friday, Cyber Monday

Holiday 2015 will be less and less about Black Friday and Cyber Monday, predictsOpens in a new window retail price and product intelligence solution provider 360pi. “Traditional ‘must win’ holiday dates will continue to lose relevancy,” opines 360pi in its press release.

“Over the past few years, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have devolved to regular holiday shopping days as an extended promotional frenzy has taken hold,” 360pi noted. “This has led consumers to question the actual best time to purchase. 360pi suggests putting discount plans in place long before and after Black Friday and Cyber Monday to capture the greatest share of shoppers’ minds and wallets.”

RetailMeNot echoes the thoughts of 360pi:

  • Start campaigns early, RetailMeNot advises. Last year, Nov. 1 was a low point for offer volumes, but a magic shopping date, “with consumer interest in deal seeking trending up more than 20 percent compared to the October 2014 search average. Forty-eight percent of 2014 holiday shoppers completed the majority of their shopping on or before Cyber Monday. Fifty-four percent of shoppers expect retailers’ holiday promotions to begin in October or earlier, and 85 percent expect these deals to begin before Black Friday.”
  • Retailers should be aware that bargain shoppers are strategic, RetailMeNot noted. Be ever present. These consumers won’t buy all at once, but they’re “easily persuaded” by free shipping, free gifts or in-store pickup. Retailers selling electronics, for example, may want to note that the average discounts for these products are 38 percent to 40 percent off, so other incentives may help them differentiate their brands during the peak time of Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday, through the first week of December.
  • Smart retailers will avoid price wars, 360pi says. This refers back to RetailMeNot’s second point: “More exclusives and differentiated products” will help retailers “avoid direct head-to-head price battles.” In addition to offering different colors and sizes, consider offering free shipping. “A recent survey from Pitney BowesOpens in a new window reported that 88 percent of consumers find free shipping with a five- to seven-day delivery window more attractive than paying a fee for a one- to two-day delivery guarantee.”
  • Mobile matters more. “Thirteen percent of mobile app users browsed for apparel deals via their phones from October-December 2014,” RetailMeNot reported. Consumers are also using multiple devices to find and evaluate deals before entering stores, where 90 percent of sales still happen. “RetailMeNot data shows that shoppers tend to visit certain retail categories more often on their mobile devices. … [For instance], ‘apparel,’ ‘home and garden’ and ‘multicategory’ are the top three categories shoppers request for more in-store promotional content on the RetailMeNot app.”
  • Know and control inventory closely. “Winners will capitalize on competitive out-of -stocks,” 360pi predicted. “With online and mobile information influencing nearly 70 percent of all retail transactions this season, online product availability becomes a key factor in shoppers’ purchase decisions. Now more than ever, retailers must consider the influence and impact that online availability has on offline transactions and store traffic.”

[ Source :- Emarketingandcommerce ]