Bharat Bytes: Intel’s new centre; India’s AI market; Android app security; State of personalisation; Attacker dwell-time increases

Bharat Bytes is Computerworld India’s regular round-up of news from the world of IT.

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Intel India opens a new state-of-the-art design and engineering centre in Bengaluru

Intel India has announced the expansion of its design and engineering footprint in India with the unveiling of a new state-of-the-art facility in Bengaluru. Expanding its research and development presence, Intel India has added the new centre with 4.53 lakh square feet (453,000 square feet) of space across two towers, which can accommodate 2,000 employees and will help advance cutting-edge design and engineering work in client, data centre, IoT, graphics, artificial intelligence, and automotive segments, a release from Intel said.

The new design and engineering centre is spread across two towers at Ecospace Business Park, with each tower consisting of G+5 floors. It features state-of-the-art facilities, including IoT-based systems such as desk booking platforms, an interactive kiosk for occupancy status and floor layouts, real-time room occupancy indicators etc.

One floor of 70,000 square feet is dedicated to high-tech research and development labs for silicon design and validation purposes. The facility sports an industry-best office design with a host of employee amenities such as 50+ video enabled conference rooms, phone booths, collaboration spaces, breakout zones, and lounge areas, the release said.

India’s AI market to grow 20% over next five years

India’s artificial intelligence market is expected to witness a growth of 20 percent over the next five years, and the country is among the top three talent markets, producing 16 percent of the world’s AI talent pool, a joint study conducted by Microsoft and the Internet and Mobile Association of India has revealed.

The study found “the thrust in adoption for enterprises is maximum in sectors such as communication, over-the-top, gaming, technology and financial services”. Nearly 64 percent of the providers have AI or machine learning as a core element in their products and services making them “either ahead of or on par with their global counterparts,” the study stated.

It further found extensive penetrations of AI or machine learning across enterprises, with nearly 80 percent of them having at least one AI model in their production. Large enterprises have adopted AI at a much higher rate as it helps them solve problems at scale and provides vast amounts of data.

The study was conducted on 343 enterprises and organisations that implemented AI, and 148 providers and tech players that provide AI solutions.

78% of India’s top 100 Android apps lack sufficient code obfuscation: Report

A study of India's top 100 Android apps has releaved that some of the most prominent Indian apps lag on even the most basic security checks. The report titled Evidence based insights — India’s Top 100 Android Mobile Apps tested for Cybersecurity’ has been released by Appknox, a mobile security testing platform.

The study found that 79 percent of the apps were affected by network security misconfiguration. it found that 78 percent of the apps lacked sufficient code obfuscation, while 79 percent of them had disabled SSL CA validation and certification pinning, a release from Appknox, quoting the report, said. 

Appknox put all the 100 applications through a rigorous automated testing process using its mobile app security solution. As a part of this security testing process, each application went through 14 different test cases. According to security standards accepted globally, all these tests are the basic security checks that each mobile application should ideally go through.

Some mobile app security best practices to mitigate these risks include using certificate pinning wherever possible, switching to automated mobile application security testing, and upgrading to DevSecOps, the release said.

Consumers want personalisation, but don’t trust brands with their data

Customers expect personalisation during every brand interaction, but they don’t trust brands to keep their personal data secure and to use it responsibly. That’s the dilemma companies everywhere are currently facing, according to new data from customer engagement platform Twilio.

The third annual State of Personalisation Report 2022 found that data privacy concerns are highest in APAC consumers (60 percent) compared to rates nearly half that in other regions. 62 percent of consumers expect personalisation, saying that a brand will lose their loyalty if their experience is not personalised. Meanwhile, 49 percent will become repeat buyers if personalisation is offered. Yet only 40 percent of consumers say they trust brands to use their data responsibly and keep it safe, a release from Twilio, quoting the report, said.

Twilio’s report shows lack of trust is increasingly affecting consumer buying decisions: 60 percent of consumers say trustworthiness and transparency are the most important traits of a brand, up from 55 percent in 2021.

Attacker dwell time increased by 36%: Report

Cybersecurity company Sophos has released the ‘Active Adversary Playbook 2022’ detailing attacker behaviours that Sophos’ Rapid Response team saw in the wild in 2021. The findings show a 36 percent increase in dwell time, with a median intruder dwell time of 15 days in 2021 versus 11 days in 2020, a release from Sophos said.

The report also reveals the impact of ProxyShell vulnerabilities in Microsoft Exchange, which Sophos believes some Initial Access Brokers (IABs) leveraged to breach networks and then sell that access to other attackers.

Other findings include that despite a drop in using remote desktop protocol for external access, attackers increased their use of the tool for internal lateral movement.

In 2020, attackers used RDP for external activity in 32 percent of the cases analyzed, but this decreased to 13 percent in 2021. While this shift is a welcome change and suggests organizations have improved their management of external attack surfaces, attackers are still abusing RDP for internal lateral movement. Sophos found that attackers used RDP for internal lateral movement in 82 percent of cases in 2021, up from 69 percent in 2020, the release said.

Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

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