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RBI tries to close gaps in cybersecurity of state owned-banks

Banking regulator Reserve bank of India's move to use ethical hacking experts to check cyber security vulnerabilities of banks has exposed chinks in the armour of four state-owned banks, sources involved with the operation said.

Reserve Bank of India decided to ethically break into the IT systems of banks. In the first phase, the focus will be on PSU banks because they have more vulnerable systems than private banks.

There are 27 state-owned, 30 private and 40 foreign banks in India. The RBI did not respond to an email seeking its response for this story.

RBI tries to close gaps in cybersecurity of state owned-banksRBI tries to close gaps in cybersecurity of state owned-banks - Image“RBI is looking at international standards when it comes to protecting itself and banks from cyber-attacks. The regulator is planning a mix of ethical hacking, planned and unplanned audits of banks' security systems to ensure that best practices are followed strictly ,“ a person who is involved with the matter said.

In the last couple of months, RBI has put together a small team which looks into cyber vulnerabilities of Indian banks. The team consists of young ethical hackers and some former senior police officers.

The team would be headed by Nandkumar Sarvade, a retired IPS officer and an expert in bank fraud and terrorism cases. RBI has sought outside help from experts on several occasions earlier too.

The top 51 banks in India have lost Rs 485 crore from April 2013 to November 2016, finance ministry data showed. Of this, 56% was lost due to net-banking thefts and card cloning. As per estimates, there are at least 15 ransomware attacks per hour in India and one in three Indians fall prey to it.

“Knowing spends of Indian banks on cyber security versus their US counterparts, we still have a long way to go when it comes to being equally mature against sophisticated cyber-attacks. Banks, however are the more matured among other industries like manufacturing, hospitality and healthcare where the focus on cyber security is still extremely low,“ said Saket Modi, CEO of Lucideus Tech.

Modi and a dozen techies at Lucideus, the company he co-founded, worked with the RBI in the past for protecting Unified Payments Interface (UPI) from hackers.

Intersec Dubai 2017

Intersec is the world’s leading trade fair for security, safety, and fire protection, featuring more than 1,200 exhibitors from 54 countries, and attracting over 33,000 visitors from 128 countries.
The three-day event shines the spotlight on the latest technologies and innovations in the seven focus areas of Commercial Security, Fire & Rescue, Safety & Health, Homeland Security & Policing, Information Security, Smart Home and Physical & Perimeter Security.
The double-digit growth that Intersec has enjoyed over the last five years has underlined its crucial role in the future development of not only the Middle East and Africa’s security, safety, and fire protection sectors, but beyond.
In 2016, the annual showpiece featured 37 of the world’s top 50 security solutions providers, including the entire top ten of Honeywell, Hikvision, Bosch, Safran, Dahua Technology, Assa Abloy, Tyco, Flir Systems, Samsung Techwin, and Axis Communications.

Intersec’s commanding presence on the international stage is reinforced by 83 per cent of exhibitors coming from outside the UAE, while visitors from as far afield as the USA and Brazil, to Australia or Switzerland, choose it as their preferred business networking platform.
“From humble beginnings in 1999, when it featured just 61 exhibitors, Intersec has developed into a global powerhouse,” said Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Intersec’s organiser, Messe Frankfurt Middle East. “There is no security, safety, and fire protection trade show anywhere in the world with such a diverse international mix of exhibitors and visitors.”
The 19th edition of Intersec takes place from 22-24 January 2017 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Industrial internet unveils a new era for mobile apps

About This Blog
It is the Internet of Things, but with an enterprise angle. Take that to mean industry vertical applications, development ecosystems, product design, hardware, deployment and more.

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Cisco’s 2015-2020 Visual Networking Index Report forecasts there will be 1.5 mobile devices per capita by 2020. And the number of connected devices (including M2M modules) will be 11.6 billion, exceeding (by then) the world’s projected population of 7.8 billion.

Safe Harbor
In 2015, mobile app revenue was $69.7 billion globally. According to Statistica, by 2020 this number will triple to $188.9 billion, mainly via app stores and in-app advertising.

Cisco Visual Networking Index Report

Since 2008, the rise of smartphones, high-speed mobile connectivity and app stores has fueled mobile apps to capture a big share of revenues in the mobility industry. During the early days of inception, between years 2008 and 2013, more than 2 million mobile apps were developed by 300,000 app developers.

Starting with gaming, weather and personal health, the first wave of mobile apps solely served consumer and retail markets, and were disbursed primarily through the Apple App Store and Google Play.

Since 2010, enterprise mobility and BYOD ushered the second wave of mobile apps, when enterprises explored mobility to boost workforce productivity, collaboration and to streamline processes.

Come 2016. That’s when traditional industries with lots of offline physical assets like manufacturing, oil and gas, transportation and healthcare began to buy into the promise of instrumenting and connecting assets to boost not just productivity, but profitability as well.

That’s the era of the industrial internet of things, which is much more than what Wall Street or consumers understand by “IoT” (that is, wearables tethered to smartphones).

And it’s this industrial internet that’s fueling the third wave of mobile apps as we speak.

Industrial mobile apps go mainstream

Mobile apps aren’t altogether new to traditional industries. According to a 2014 Canvas Study, more than half of manufacturing businesses used file storage apps, 51% used Dropbox, 23% used apps like Evernote to take and share notes, 33% used a CRM system and 47% used accounting apps like QuickBooks.

However with the industrial internet, mobile apps are no longer limited to support functions, but penetrating into mainstream industrial operations.

As industrial companies begin to gain big data insights with connected assets, the real business opportunity lies in allowing operators and technicians to have access to that data not just from control rooms, but from anywhere and at any time.

Right insights at the right time mean well-informed decisions and faster response to drive better outcomes.

This is a huge opportunity for industrial suppliers. And the good news is we don’t have to start from scratch. Industrial apps can leverage and build on top of technologies already tried and tested with consumer mobile apps. As an example, industrial companies involved in fleet management, asset tracking and data storage can build on top of Google Maps and Waze.

Let’s take the example of Seven Telematics, a UK-based manufacturer of Transcan temperature recorders (widely used as road-transport monitoring devices). To eliminate distracted driving, Seven Telematics partnered with an app development company to build a secure mobile app leveraging Google Maps. The app fitted its global users with fleet data that’s accurate up to the minute. Point is, industrial apps need not always start from scratch, but build industrial-grade apps faster with better precision.

Few essentials to build successful mobile apps for industries

To obtain predictive and prescriptive insights based on big data, mobile apps are positioned for spotlight in the fast-emerging “data supply chain.”

Business decision-makers understand this. Accenture Mobility Research 2015 found 87% of enterprise leaders consider mobile apps as necessary to fully realize the benefits of digital technologies. Eighty-two percent consider mobile apps an integral part of their organization and 81% believe mobile apps are key to unlocking vital data.

However to bring real value to industrial and enterprise environments, mobile apps must meet performance standards that were unasked from their consumer counterparts.

Source: Accenture Mobility Research; Crucial steps for successful mobile app adoption

Reliability and data accuracy: Mobile apps allow operators to track assets and process KPIs, data from any sources including ICS/SCADA, alerts and notifications to trigger fast action. But the consequences of an energy plant or nuclear system app crashing could be pretty dire. False alarms are equally unacceptable. So app development must plan for enough training data sets, QA and conformance testing.

Industrial security: Cloud computing and storage allow industrial apps to reduce costs and improve performance. But cloud-based app platforms must improve cybersecurity sufficiently to build operators’ confidence in using third-party apps on the cloud. Security must be integral at every stage, from app platform and design to install, including usage of intrusion detection tools, password enforcement, access control, sandboxing apps and conformance to industry standards and government regulations.

Expertise in industrials: Industrial operational workflow and data supply chain variables are key to building apps that deliver real value. How to build domain expertise? Well, partnerships between industrial team and software development companies become imperative. App developers can work closely with industrial process experts during concept, design and test phases.

User-friendly design: Industrial operations are way more complex than consumer and retail. Besides, industrial users are comfortable handling data in certain ways. UX design has to carefully plan a user-friendly interface and easy access to data.

Real-time performance: Connected assets generate large volumes of time-series data demanding real-time processing. Apps must scale and be flexible enough to handle and present large data sets and analytics-based insights to enable their users act faster.

Even though the purpose and dynamics of industrial app markets are different from their consumer counterparts, consumer app development models can still be leveraged in this fast growing industry. Industrial apps can be built for a limited number of platforms which offers robust toolkits to build industrial-grade apps faster. GE Digital’s Predix and PTC’s ThingWorx platforms are good moves in that direction. Yet more work is needed to improve security, accessibility and QA robustness to meet industrial standards.

While software companies can use the business model around the app store concept, they also need to adapt to industrial markets with fewer yet larger customers. And by striking the right partnerships between industries and software development companies, we can set our eyes on a huge win-win opportunity ahead.

All IoT Agenda network contributors are responsible for the content and accuracy of their posts. Opinions are of the writers and do not necessarily convey the thoughts of IoT Agenda.

Public Safety Officials Urge Caution During Heavy Storm

Though the City of Santa Barbara has so far avoided any major damage brought by this morning's storm, a few minor incidents have public safety officials urging caution as heavy rains continue to fall.

At 9 a.m. this morning, city firefighters were dispatched to 47 Broadmoor Plaza after a debris flow formed behind numerous nearby apartment complexes. Crews went door-to-door evacuating residents who were then assisted by the Red Cross. Multiple buildings sustained minor damage and the flow is being monitored for any additional movement.

Mud flow at Sycamore Canyon Road Click to enlarge photo Courtesy Photo
Mud flow at Sycamore Canyon Road
At around the same time, a separate city firefighting team responded to a mud flow across the 1600 block of Sycamore Canyon Road. A vehicle with a single occupant was trapped in the debris. A tow truck was used to pull the car to safety. Sycamore Canyon Road remains closed at the Alameda Padre Serra roundabout and at Stanwood Drive until Caltrans crews can clear the roadway.

"The City Fire Department would like to advise their residents and visitors to stay indoors during the rough weather," said a department spokesperson. "If you must drive please use extreme caution and slow speeds."

Public Safety begins implementation of armed status

At the second meeting of the Public Safety Review Board on December 13, members reviewed and approved the University policies and procedures with regard to the issuance of firearms to Department of Public Safety (DPS) officers. The minutes from the first and second meetings can be viewed at the Public Safety Review Board’s website.

As part of the implementation of the 2016 Security Commission Report recommendations, effective January 3, the chief, deputy chief, and commander of investigations in DPS now each carry an issued firearm while on duty on the University’s campuses. Additionally, two DPS lieutenants in their capacity as senior firearms instructors have been issued firearms. All of these five leaders have completed the required training outlined in the Security Commission Report.

Moving forward, effective February 6, 30 newly trained DPS officers will carry a firearm while on duty at the University’s Medical Center. These 30 sworn officers—representing about one-quarter of Public Safety’s total force—will be divided among the patrol and supervisory shifts at the Medical Center to address any safety concerns on a 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week basis, especially within the hospital’s emergency department. These officers have completed required background and psychological evaluations. They also have undergone extensive law enforcement firearms safety and proficiency training and will attend ongoing competency testing.

Throughout the year, the Public Safety Review Board will continue its oversight of the University’s armed officer program.

Brazil: A look into Latin America’s largest startup ecosystem

In September 2012, Forbes published a lengthy feature heralding Brazil’s arrival as “one of the most entrepreneurial countries in the world.” At the time, the South American giant had been powering through a global recession, with growth rates that drew the envy even of its surging companions in the emerging-market bloc.

Roughly 25 percent of Brazil’s workforce was self-employed in some capacity, and small businesses were accounting for two-thirds of private sector job creation in a rapidly diversifying economy that had already produced record reductions in poverty and unemployment.

This was a cause of tremendous enthusiasm, and Forbes was far from the only one to take notice.

The details of Brazil’s decline from that high-water mark have been recounted many times in the last four years. Political corruption, fiscal mismanagement, falling commodity prices and stagnation in China converged to bring about a dramatic reversal. Overnight, Brazil went from historic boom to the country’s worst economic crisis in decades. With so much negative attention on Brazil’s many and serious problems, it’s easy to overlook a counterintuitive truth about the country’s burgeoning startup scene: The overall outlook has not changed.

With more than 200 million people, Brazil is still the most populous country in South America, as well as its largest market. Internet penetration and use are still high — Brazil trails only the United States in total Facebook, Twitter and YouTube users — and the country still has more mobile devices than human inhabitants. The only Portuguese-speaking country in Latin America, Brazil is still uniquely positioned to capitalize on regional markets and is artificially devoid of international competition.

But big impediments remain. Economic downturn has done nothing to diminish the notorious labyrinths of red tape Brazil’s indecipherable bureaucracy erects around even the most straightforward certifications, transactions and licensing processes. At 14.25 percent, interest rates are high for the returns your average Silicon Valley VC fund could expect to see on a given portfolio, rendering entrepreneurship needlessly risky for many investors who might otherwise be interested in backing promising businesses. Antiquated labor laws and tax codes, crumbling or non-existent roads and an overburdened university system are just some of the longstanding barriers entrepreneurs continue to face in the country.

Yet Brazilians are famous for innovating around inefficiencies, and their own attitudes tell a different story than the dire headlines of the business press. Fundacity — a network for startups and investors — has found that education and healthcare, two of Brazil’s most chronically troubled sectors, are precisely the areas investors are most keen on. With the national mood plunging toward despair in the first semester of 2015, Brazilian accelerators, VC funds and angel networks nevertheless backed at least 195 startups between them.

Those combined investments accounted for just under 7 percent of the total capital taken in by startups that semester, which suggests something else about Brazilian entrepreneurialism foreign observers would do well to make note of: the potential remains enormous.

Much needs to happen before that potential can be realized, but as Juliana Vasconcelos, from Brazil’s government investment agency Apex, put it at the Venture Capital in Brazil Forum in Menlo Park this past September, “crisis creates opportunity.” There’s as much, if not more, reason to take stock of the Brazilian startup economy now as there was in 2012, when the country was at its most ascendant.

Origin story

The story of Brazil’s startup scene starts long before those of most of its South American counterparts.

TOTVS was founded in 1983 and has been a constant presence in the national ecosystem ever since. Today it supplies business software to around 60 percent of Brazil’s small and medium-sized businesses, making it by far the most successful Brazilian tech company, and the country’s 22nd most valuable brand overall. The largest software company in South America — the company now boasts 26,000 active users and 10,000 employees — TOTVS also claims to be the only one with a proprietary software development platform.

1983 was also the year that the Brazilian government, still operating under military rule at the time, created the Associação Brasileira de Private Equity & Venture Capital (ABVCAP). Other government initiatives to foment entrepreneurship have fizzled out, but ABVCAP is still active, organizing networking and promotional events like the annual Brazil Breakfast, set to take place in New York in late September, and Brazilian Venture Capital Conference, set to take place in São Paolo in late October.

It took many years for the private sector to start developing a significant venture capital presence of its own. But in 2000, Inseed Investments, Inventta consultancy, Tropos Lab and a biotech firm called Ecovec came together to form the Instituto Inovação Group, the foremost business generator in Brazilian innovation.

By 2002, the local scene had developed to the point that the outside world was looking to get involved. Google picked São Paulo for the site of its first Latin America office, a decision vindicated in the steady stream of talent that continues to flow through its doors from across the region. Three years later, TOTVS went public on the New Market of the Stock Exchange of São Paolo, becoming the first Latin American IT company to IPO.

Brazil’s first major acquisition followed soon after, in 2006, when a South African conglomerate purchased a 91 percent stake in Buscapé, a compare-and-shop e-commerce site. At $374 million, the exit, still one of the country’s largest, helped encourage further investment in the market. In 2009, Cassio Spina, an entrepreneur, founded Anjos do Brasil, a nonprofit angel network dedicated to keeping the trend going. In 2011, Redpoint Ventures, a California-based VC fund, and raised $130 million to invest in early-stage Brazilian companies.

Brazilians have long since identified the issues that need to be addressed in order for the country to make the next step as a driver of innovation.
The 2012 Forbes article came out as the Brazilian startup scene seemed poised to make a major leap. In 2014, the transport app Easy Taxi raised $40 million in Series D funding — from Phenomen Venture and Tengelmann Ventures, among others — for an expansion into Latin America and Asia. Based on the innovative model from Start-Up Chile, Start-Up Brasil launched later that year, with a mandate to attract foreign entrepreneurs to the local consumer market and foment domestic entrepreneurial culture. Backed by $78 million from the government, it was meant to be the culmination all the momentum Brazil had been building.

Within two years, of course, that momentum would be largely gone, and Start-Up Brasil along with it. But measured against the collapsing expectations, the Brazilian startup scene performed impressively. In the past year, Google’s Brazilian campus — Google São Paulo — announced its first batch of resident startups. YouTube Gaming and Instagram for Business have both planted flags in the country. An array of national businesses have completed impressive fundraisers, from the pet-sitting marketplace DogHero ($3.1 million) to the B2B sales software firm Exact Sales ($1.2 million).

São Paolo: The financial capital

Depending on who you ask, São Paulo is either what would happen if New York threw up on Los Angeles, or what would happen if Los Angeles threw up on New York. Either way, it’s big.

How big? If it were it’s own country, São Paulo would be the eighth largest in South America. From above, the city seems to sprawl out and up at once.

The other part of that analogy is money. São Paulo is not just the financial capital of Brazil, it’s also its primary center of commerce, fashion, food, music, industry and sport. As goods and services replace factories as the core of its economy, São Paulo is expected to leap from the tenth to sixth largest urban GDP in the world. Foreign businesses go there when they want to open shop in Brazil. Brazilian businesses go there when they want to project themselves on the national scale or abroad.

It should come as no surprise that São Paulo is by far the most mature startup scene in Brazil. Even entrepreneurs from rival cities will tell you that the majority of Brazil’s startups are concentrated in the city.

Transitive talent is one of the main advantages São Paulo has in that respect. Established tech companies like Google, Uber and Airbnb, to say nothing of established corporations in general, have their Brazilian headquarters in the city, and when employees get bored or inspiration strikes, they often leave to start companies of their own. By the same token, entrepreneurs looking to recruit experienced teams have no shortage of options from which to choose. The largest startups in the country, such as real estate startup VivaReal, which has raised approximately $75 million to date, are based in the city.

São Paulo is by far the most mature startup scene in Brazil.
The companies themselves get involved, too, whether through patronizing events or providing a steady demand for B2B innovation. The largest and second largest private banks in the country have both set up entire divisions to interact with São Paulo’s thriving fintech subsector. Visa and IBM are major sponsors of Startup Farm, a leading accelerator with more than $100 million invested in upwards of 200 startups. Brands as varied as Embraco, a refrigeration technology and production company, and Natura, a cosmetics label, have created similar programs to invest in startups operating in their respective spaces. Impact-accelerators such as Artemisia and the nonprofit Endeavor play important roles in the ecosystem.

But the São Paolo startup culture also gets by just fine on its own. Together, co-working spaces like CUBO, and Impact Hub; accelerators like ACE, which has modeled itself as a growth-oriented version of Y Combinator; investment firms like Monashees, Kaszek Ventures, DGF, Redpoint eVentures, SP Ventures, Antera, 500 Startups, BBI Financial, and Bonanza Investments; and government-led initiatives like Innovatech, which provides online mentorship to around 300 startups, and SEBRAE, which focuses on small business more generally, form a well-rounded, autonomous ecosystem that maintains a surprising level of cohesion, in spite of the sheer size of the city. Organizers launched the inaugural CASE conference at a time when most of the national economy was in belt-tightening mode. This fall, they expect 8,000 entrepreneurs from 2,000 startups to attend.

Leaders in the São Paolo’s ecosystem include David Velez of NuBank, Brian Requarth of Viva Real, Fabricio Bloisi of Movile, Paulo Veras of 99 Taxis, Jorge Pacheco of Plug, Guilherme Junqueira of Gama Academy, Flavio Pripas of CUBO, Romero Rodriguez of Redpoint, Ana Fontes of RME, angel investor Silvia Valadares, Tony Celestino of UpGlobal, André Barrence of Google Campus, João Kepler of Bossa Nova Investments, Felipe Matos of Startup Farm, Carolina Morandini of Wayra and Michel Porcino from the São Paolo Mayor’s Office.

San Pedro Valley

It’s rare that you can trace the origins of a given startup scene with such precision, but the chosen moniker for Belo Horizonte gives it all away. Aside from the usual play on the northern California tech-mecca, “San Pedro Valley” draws its name from the São Pedro, the neighborhood that birthed many of Belo Horizonte’s first and most successful startups.

What set this core, pioneering group of entrepreneurs apart was not just their businesses but their commitment to giving back, in ways both concrete and abstract, to build a real ecosystem.

Principal among these efforts has been the Brazilian Startup Association, a unique entity started by Gustavo Caetano — the CEO of Samba Tech, the online video platform that recently added to its regional holdings with a new satellite location in Seattle, its second in the United States — and three other local leaders. Conceived as a facilitator of intra-entrepreneurial exchange and a lobby group advocating on behalf of forward-thinking startup policy in Brazil, the association has grown to include more than 4,000 member startups and 38,000 entrepreneurs throughout the country.

Other important community spaces include Hora Extra BH, a regular meetup, Coolwork, a coworking office and Aceleradora, an accelerator. Google has its national R&D office in the city, and in 2012, the city government inaugurated BH-tec, a digital park that caters to entrepreneurs in particular. Another government program, Minas Digital, an offshoot of the state Ministry of Technology, aims to have supported 100,000 local entrepreneurs by 2025. Toward that goal, it sponsored Belo Horizonte’s first StartupWeek last year, which featured more than 70 events across the city. Additional leaders in the city include Rodrigo Cartacho of Sympla, João Resende of Hotmart, Mateus Lana of SmarttBot and Roberta Vasconcellos of BeerOrCoffee.

Integral to the city’s startup culture is its large student population. With four top universities, including Minas Gerais Federal University, one of Brazil’s most dependable sources of IT talent, Belo Horizonte has the feel and energy of a college town, but the size and ceiling of a major urban hub. Lots of ambitious young people still leave for São Paulo, lured either by job or fundraising prospects. But in the near future, it’s easy to envision a reverse on the brain drain. Belo Horizonte is cheaper, friendlier and less inundated with traffic. Basically, it’s in many respects a nicer place to live, and plenty of businesses are finding it a prosperous place to put down roots, as well.

Rio de Janeiro and Florianópolis

As far as living conditions go, you won’t find a better place in Brazil, or anywhere else for that matter, than Rio de Janeiro. The stark, granite cliffs, lush jungle canopy and picturesque beaches get plenty of attention as is, but there’s still something to be said for having the option to brainstorm at a café overlooking the ocean or team-build during a hike into the mountains.

Regular events like FuckUp Nights, Geeks on Beer, Circuito Startup and Rio Info have learned to take advantage of the city’s stunning landscape and vibrant cultural offerings. A fairly comprehensive list of activities can be found on Startup Digest.

For better or for worse, the city’s transformation in recent years has been specifically directed toward creating a more attractive environment for a young, cosmopolitan professional class. Government programs to improve security, 4G connectivity and transportation have in turn encouraged major private investments in the tech sector. Cisco, in conjunction with local authorities, is devoting $500 million to a project that includes a venture capital fund and co-development facilities. Located in the heart of downtown revitalization, NEX has become the largest co-working space in all of Latin America.

Rio isn’t the only beachside tourist hotspot at the forefront of the Brazilian startup scene.

In light of the city government’s emphasis on attracting foreign investment and tourism, it’s encouraging to see entrepreneurs use tech innovation — the area for which Rio’s startup scene is best known — to address lingering social issues. Founded in 2011 by Leonardo Eloi and others, Meu Rio (My Rio) is a digital civic engagement platform that sends alerts and facilitates a wide-ranging political discourse between diverse sectors of society. In a city where police violence has long led to distrust among the general population, the Igarape Institute has worked to develop “smart policing” mobile technologies to improve transparency. And, like a localized, family oriented Groupon, Clubinho de Ofertas offers mothers affordable shopping and activity options.
Cariocas, Rio’s largest startup group that counts several hundred members, hosts regular events and today is led by a group of entrepreneurs, including Danilo Neves de Martins and Ricardo Motta of Hostintown. Investors in the city include Acrux Capital, ArpexCapital and Valor Capital, which play an important role alongside organizations such as Startup Rio and FAPERJ. Additional leaders in Rio include Gabriel Gaspar of Nibo, Gustavo Mota of We Do Logos, Ricardo Barros of The Pareto Group, Bernard De Luna of 3Days and Rodrigo Salvador of Passei Direto.

But Rio isn’t the only beachside tourist hotspot at the forefront of the Brazilian startup scene. Florianópolis has made a big play to assert itself in the tech economy, and, in recent years, it’s payed off. According to the state government, 600 companies now contribute to a robust startup sector that has grown an average of 15 percent year-over-year to represent $350 million in annual GDP for the city.

Local leaders such as Eduardo Mattos of SmartMob Coworking and Eric Santos of Resultados Digitais play an important role in this growth. Earlier this year, 100 Open Startups named 10 companies from Florianópolis in its top-100 list, running the gamut from a solar energy startup (Soluz Energia) to a visual recognition software company (Meerkat) to an information platform for surfers (Opifex). Some people already put Florianópolis ahead of Rio in terms of ecosystem maturity. But if it’s not there already, then ongoing investments intended to consolidate a tech infrastructure that already includes two cyber parks — Alfa and Sapiens Parque — and the skeleton of an “innovation route” along one of the city’s major thoroughfares may soon push Florianópolis over the threshold.


Why have some of Silicon Valley's top investors started investing in Latin America?
Quero Education, an online college marketplace in Brazil, looks to educate U.S. investors
China's Didi looks to Latin America with $100M investment in Brazil-based Uber rival 99
DST leads $80M round in Brazil's Nubank to take on the big boys in financial services
The good news is that Brazilians have long since identified the issues that need to be addressed in order for the country to make the next step as a driver of innovation. According to the World Bank Group, it takes 83.6 days and 4.3 percent of income per capita simply to start a new business. Closing an old one can often be even harder. Labor laws don’t allow for the types of remuneration structures many startups like to rely on, and companies trying to maintain a lean workforce waste precious time and resources navigating the country’s antiquated tax code. None of this would strike anyone who has done even minimal business in Brazil as novel information.
The bad news is that there’s a reason the problems haven’t been fixed, despite universal recognition that they should be. In recent years especially, political infighting and communication breakdown has paralyzed the country, as documented by journalist Anna Heim. Whatever the arguments about the way that conflict was resolved, resolution at least holds the promise of action. President Michel Temer, controversial though he may be, has promised business-friendly reforms that could help unleash the immense latent potential of Brazil’s startup sector.

In the meantime, there are things Brazil’s entrepreneurs can be doing themselves. As in most Latin American countries, Brazilian startups are often little more than mirror copies of models proven elsewhere. That’s fine for doing business on the national level, but if Brazilian startup culture is to project itself beyond its own borders, it needs to follow the example set by the many local entrepreneurs who have contributed genuinely new ideas to the marketplace. The number of business doing just that has ratcheted up with each passing year, and as the country as a whole starts to turn the corner on an economic slump, it’s only a matter of time before Forbes and company are once again writing features on the booming Brazilian startup scene.

Sharing information key to ensure cyber security: Experts

NEW DELHI: Sharing information relating to cyber breach with other countries can help tackle the threat of cyber crime which is increasing in the age of fast-growing use of internet and technology, cyber experts said today.

Cyber conflict will anyhow increase in the future as well as the complexity and penetration of malware. By cooperating with each other, data can be kept safe and secure and these threats can be kept at bay, Gulshan Rai, National Cyber Security Co-ordinator, today said during a conference on 'Cyber Security: The Internet of risks' at the Raisina Dialogue here.

"The more we will share information regarding any cyber breach or theft with cooperating countries or different stakeholders, the more we will be prepared and equipped with dealing such threats in the age of information technology and fast-increasing internet connectivity. We have to be transparent in sharing information," Rai said.

He asserted that tackling cyber crime and threat is, however, very challenging task and more complex one. The security of data is of prime importance.

"It needs greater attention as those indulged in cyber attacks are much more advanced and fast in carrying out their task. Attackers are evolving themselves," Rai said.

Uri Rosenthal, Special envoy for cyberspace, ministry of foreign affairs, the Netherlands, said that "Internet is all about trust. We have to also focus on the need of developing a mechanism where cyber security can be ensured".

The defencive capabilities must be strong enough so that authorities can retaliate in the event of cyber breach.

"It is not only the responsibility of the government to ensure cyber security but private sectors and NGOs must also pay enough attention in this direction. There is an urgent need to address the problems in the way of cyber security," Rosenthal said.

He said that cyber attacks may come from anywhere, be it a private organisation, state actor or non-state actor.

"When it comes to ensuring cyber security, it is not only about the technicalities but cooperation is also required," Rosenthal said, adding that China should open its internet on global level.

Chris Painter, cyber coordinator, department of state, the US, said that cyber security is not only related to internet and technologies but also related to the national security of a country, hence, it requires greater attention.

Li Yan, Vice Professor at China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, also highlighted the risks relating to the internet and cyber security and said public private partnership can play a key role in ensuring cyber security.

Patricia Lewis, Research Director, International Security, Chatham House, the UK said ensuring cyber security requires much larger attention as merely making legislations in this regard will not serve the purpose.

"There is a need to create a culture in terms of cyber security. We need to inform each other in the event of a cyber breach as greater cooperation can save us from many challenges.

"Cyber security should also be cost effective otherwise small and medium enterprises or organisations would not be able to afford its cost and hence, cyber security would be at risk. We have to recognise what is at stake and what is important when it comes to cyber security, only then we would be able to take better decisions in this regard," Lewis said.

She said that ensuring cyber security includes knowing what a crime is in the cyber world and protecting the citizens from cyber attackers.

When asked about the challenges of cyber terrorism, Rai said that the issue is complex and needs to be taken cautiously while dealing with it.

It is easy to shut down such accounts promoting terrorism using social media platform. There are issues while scanning data as about 70 per cent traffic on the internet is encrypted. So, the action has to be in accordance with the law of the land, Rai added.

No Matter the Industry, Top Executives Must Do a Better Job Prioritizing Cybersecurity

At the start of 2017, many companies across a wide range of industries are looking to digitally transform their business—with good reason. As technology improves, the opportunities for companies to advance countless aspects of their business are seemingly endless. From cloud computing and data storage, to amazing new ways to improve inventory tracking and management, to opening up talent recruitment and hiring due to improved remote work options, it’s pretty cool to be a thriving business in the digital age.

Unfortunately, every rose has its thorn. Just because improved technology is available to businesses doesn’t mean there aren’t major drawbacks to using it. Namely, cybersecurity weak points continue to crop up with every new tech innovation that’s put to use. According to the Breach Level Index, there have been 5,911,205,892 data breaches since 2013, and only 4% of those breaches were “secure breaches”—meaning data stolen by hackers was rendered useless due to data encryption. That means that 96% of data breaches are legitimate issues that negatively impact businesses and individuals, as vital information is stolen. What’s more, a recent study has shown that the average total cost of a data breach is right around $4 million—ouch.

Given These Sobering Stats, Why Are Data Breaches Still on the Rise?

The answer can often be found by looking at top-level executives. The push for digitalization that is happening in business today is getting more intense, and execs are feeling the pressure. While intentions are always good, diving head-first into a new digital transformation or software project rollout, without reinventing their cybersecurity strategy first, is leaving businesses vulnerable.

To better protect themselves, companies need to change the conversation to place a new focus on cybersecurity, and that shift needs to come from executive leaders. So, where’s the disconnect?

The problem is partly a lack of information. The latest cybersecurity best practices improve all the time, and so do the abilities of hackers to find weak points in a business’s security system. As a busy top-level executive, it’s tough to stay up to date. Another aspect of the problem is that cybersecurity and tech developments in a company used to be projects that were passed off to the IT department, and the assumptions were made that everything was just “being handled.” This isn’t an effective model anymore for a lot of reasons, but mainly because technology is the great equalizer.

Technology innovations are no longer “an IT thing,” and neither is cybersecurity. The tech focus has united departments in a company with everyone working towards the greater goal of growing their digital innovation. And while cybersecurity initiatives feel like they’re stopping the forward momentum of digital projects, having company leaders push their importance now will hugely benefit businesses in the long run—both by avoiding a financial hit and reducing risk.

Leaders in the Healthcare Industry Have Already Figured This Out

The healthcare industry has not been immune to the cybersecurity dilemmas faced when new technology is put into regular use. In fact, 31% of major HIPAA data breaches were a direct result of sophisticated attacks, which is a 300% increase since 2013. Industry leaders are taking action.

The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) is focusing on an education-oriented approach. By helping hospitals and healthcare providers understand what threats are out there, and the security strategies that they can implement against those threats to lower their risk, HIMSS is hoping to empower healthcare companies to take action and invest in their security plan. And the results are showing – 85% of healthcare providers have said that, in the last year, cybersecurity has increased as a priority.

Their focus is on making cybersecurity an unintimidating concept for healthcare providers. Only positive things can come from this push for cybersecurity education, and more business executives and leaders from other industries should take note. Education is a powerful tool; taking the fear-factor away from the risk of cyberattack and pushing for innovative cybersecurity plans to match new technology use is the only way to protect businesses against attack.

The more secure a business is, the faster it will be able to continue on the path of technology innovation and growth. And while businesses will never be 100% secure, regardless of their industry, it’s time for executives and thought leaders to take charge of cyber initiatives within their organizations. Changes in corporate culture always do best when they come from the top, and a focus on cybersecurity is a change businesses should look to make.

How will Singapore’s new cybersecurity strategy impact industrial IoT?

Amongst the four pillars unveiled in the new strategy by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, “building a resilient infrastructure” will help secure Singapore’s essential services and critical infrastructures. The new strategy highlights the significance in forging strong partnerships between the public and private sectors in Singapore. Such strong collaborative partnerships will foster a spirit of intelligence-sharing, drive faster and more comprehensive reporting of data breaches, and promote the use of advanced security technologies to protect critical systems.

Critical national infrastructures such as power supply plants, hospitals, transport systems, and defence are turning to the industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) in order to digitise their systems and streamline daily operations. However, as these essential services become increasingly internet-dependent, they are more prone to cyberattacks too.

Hackers are looking at human-machine interface systems as a popular vector for attacks, such as the SCADA systems are commonly used for facility operations. These systems make up the backbone for critical infrastructure and once breached, would lead to data losses, outages, and potentially disruption of critical public service. Moreover, as such attacks are becoming more politically motivated – often with the agenda to destabilise a nation and cause widespread panic, it is paramount for nations to strengthen themselves with the cybersecurity know-how and tools.

Compared to physical and consumer IoT security, IIoT security is much more demanding as it deals with a higher volume of data, and often requires real-time protection of data in motion. The consequences of an IIoT attack are also much more severe as it would potentially affect a large percentage of the community.


Army moves into Enterprise ..."we have the power of arrest"

CHIEF of Defence Staff Brigadier General Rodney Smart says the Defence Force has “moved troops into” Lion's Gate in Chaguanas to “put a lid on that situation” in Enterprise “with the aim of developing a similar type of model” used “in Laventille with members of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service.”

And as the nation's military continues to play a more integrated role in law enforcement Smart says, however, “one of the big challenges” in giving military personnel who operate with the police in joint patrols powers of arrest similar to that of the police centres around whether the society wants to have the “Defence Force who is supposed to be your last resort quick response unit being tied down in court”.

He made the comment in an exclusive interview with TV6 News which aired in three parts last week, as Prime Minster Dr Keith Rowley announced on Friday that Defence Force/Police joint patrols would form part of security arrangements for Carnival 2017.

Rowley, who is also the Head of the National Security Council, spoke of the joint patrols in response to a question posed by the United National Congress (UNC) MP for Point-a-Pierre, Dr David Lee, about the specific plans if any the Government intends to implement to protect both local and foreign participants during this Carnival Season and beyond.

The power of joint patrols

In the TV6 News interview, Smart revealed a new joint operation that TV6 News understands was the initiative of National Security Minister Edmund Dillon.

“Enterprise has been on fire for a while and while you're seeing now a simmering of the events we want to make sure that we have put a lid on that situation. So what we've done now. We have moved troops into a community, Lion's Gate community in Chaguanas with the aim of developing a similar type of model that we have used in Laventille with members of the Trindad and Tobago Police Service,” Smart said.

He spoke with TV6 News in his office at the Defence Force Headquarters in Chaguaramas on January 6th.

He said this is model is being replicated in other parts of the country in North and South Trinidad.

In January of last year, he gave an instruction to Brigadier General Smart “to instruct the defence force to operate in conditions determined by them to operate virtually permanently in communities where criminals have armed themselves and have determined that the population is in siege.”

Deploying soldiers to work alongside the police in joint patrols is nothing new and neither is the question of whether policing powers of arrest should be granted to military personnel who operate on those patrols.

A police military or military supporting police?

The People's Partnership administration sought to bring legislation to give soldiers on joint patrols with law enforcement policing powers of arrest.

Asked if such legislation is something he thinks is needed to help put the Defence Force in a better place to assist law enforcement or you satisfied with the existing status quo where they support the police and the police make the arrests, Smart said, “In whichever of those two models you have described there are positives and there are negatives.

Smart says the Coast Guard already has the power to detain people at sea but the issue of granting policing powers to the wider Defence Force must be a discussion for the Government and people of Trinidad and Tobago to have.

“One of the positives is you have more people who can arrest. One of the things we must always remember when we're speaking about arresting powers as well, is to remember each citizen of Trinidad and Tobago, including members of the Defence Force, have the powers to arrest in serious arrestable offences. Each citizen has that power,” Smart said.

He said this includes a citizen's power of arrest for crimes such as murder.

Smart said if a citizen sees “somebody committing murder” the person can make a citizen's arrest.

“The Defence Force can do that without any additional powers,” Smart said.

He said what the society and the Government should consider carefully is what happens if the wider Defence Force is given additional powers to make arrests as the police do.

“One of the big challenges you have is do you want to have your Defence Force who is supposed to be your last resort quick response unit being tied down in court because now you have to go to court, there are cases to be tried, etc, etc. When really what you want; you want your Defence Force to be doing is training and be prepared for those events that would challenge our society,” Smart said.

UNC MP for Oropouche East Dr Roodal Moonilal, a former member of the Cabinet under the PP administration spoke with TV6 News in January of last year just after the Prime Minister gave his instruction for the military to “operate virtually permanently in communities where criminals have armed themselves and have determined that the population is in siege.”

“If you are going to permanently place soldiers on the streets in this country you in effect creating a state of emergency and you are not giving the soldiers the requisite powers to assist properly the police service,” Moonilal said.

No plans for policing powers for soldiers

In February of last year, TV6 News spoke with Dillon about whether the administration plans to bring similar legislation to give soldiers policing powers.

“No we're not looking at that at this point in time. The soldiers, the Defence Force, in particular they are in support of the police and we think that is working quite well,” Dillon said.

Asked if there were plans at least in the foreseeable future to review that particular situation Dillon said, "Let me say there are no immediate plans. it's not something that we're gonna rule out entirely but there is not immediate plans to review that.”

TV6 News was informed by a high ranking Government source yesterday that there has been no change to this policy.

The source said as the Government is monitoring the situation, it continues to be satisfied with the Defence Force/Police joint patrols as is.

Is the Defence Force ready?

The Defence Force, however, was not established for law enforcement.

Smart was asked if the Defence Force was ready for its core mandate of defence given its well-integrated role with law enforcement.

“Certainly, yes. The Defence Force will always be ready for defence. It means though we will have to work our troops harder. We have to find more creative ways in terms of employing them. The challenge that faces Trinidad, the immediate challenge because we always have to separate the threats that we face into immediate, long term, the immediate threat that faces Trinidad and Tobago seems to be crime and therefore the capabilities we have could be used to assist the Police Service and other law enforcement agencies in reducing crime,” Smart said.

What the law says

Section 3 (2) of the Criminal Law Act states “any person may arrest without warrant anyone who is, or whom he, with reasonable cause, suspects to be, in the act of committing an arrestable offence.

Section 3 (3) of the Act states “Where an arrestable offence has been committed, any person may arrest without warrant anyone who is, or whom he, with reasonable cause, suspects to be, guilty of the offence.”

The Criminal law Act defines an arrestable offence in Section 3 (1) which states: “ The powers of summary arrest conferred by the following subsections shall apply to capital offences or offences for which a person (not previously convicted) may, under or by virtue of any written law be sentenced to imprisonment for a term of five years, and to attempts to commit any such offence; and in this Act, including any amendment made by the Law Revision (Miscellaneous Amendments) (No. 1) Act 1979 in any other written law, “arrestable offence” means any such offence or attempt.”

Section 46:2 of the Police Service Act states that “Without prejudice to the powers conferred upon a police officer by subsection (1), a police officer, and all persons whom he may call to his assistance, may arrest without a warrant a person who within view of such police officer commits an offence and whose name or residence is unknown to such police officer and cannot be ascertained by him.”

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