From online transactions to online storage: How secure are the networks that Indian b


7 Apr 2011
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In a world where traditional business boundaries are quickly evaporating , driven by workforce mobility, greater adoption of cloud computing devices and a growing use of social media and collaboration tools within the enterprise, businesses struggle to manage these trends. Indian business faces these challenges as well.

For instance, a 2011 Google India study concerning usage patterns and importance of Internet amongst Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) in India showed that over 57 per cent SMBs now use their website as a sales channel.

While accessing email is still the primary purpose, about 71 per cent of SMBs also use the Internet to search for vendors and suppliers , while 40 per cent of them use it to create online advertisements and listings.

Internet is emerging as one of the fastest growing medium for generating business leads for Indian SMBs.
The proliferation of the internet in SMB business and productivity use comes with its own set of perils. SMBs are mostly unprepared for internet-based attacks and there is a general lack of awareness and contingency planning that puts them in the high-risk category from sophisticated attackers who use state-of-the-art technology and social engineering to fish out their prey.

This has given rise to a number of problems associated with a lack of control over Internet usage such as: (i) low productivity, (ii) Bandwidth drainage and (iii) Legal liability through access to inappropriate or illegal content The average Indian on-line user is less security conscious compared to his global counterpart, says Rajiv Rai - Head - Direct Channels, Private & Business Clients, Deutsche Bank (India). "We share passwords , store passwords in our wallets, do not secure our PCs against malware threats and access our accounts from cyber cafes, where generally the level of security tends to be low."

The reason, says Rajiv Rai, why India does not have a higher number of 'system compromises' is two-fold : first, we still execute a significant portion of transactions offline and second, banks have fairly resilient and robust solutions to check fraudulent transactions.

The last couple of years have seen a rise in the number of online commercial transactions in India. The online shopping market in India is currently estimated at Rs 30 million per month, says Suvrat Saigal, Consumer Banking Director, Barclays Corporate India . "More Indian business are reaching out to customers through on-online shopping, and there is an increasing usage of online transactions as also online storage."

Previously, says Suvrat Saigal, there was resistance when business was transacted online for users to share details, as security of the transactions was one of the chief areas of concern.

"However , now there is a steady growth of businesses and internet users in India that rely on the medium and quite comfortable disclosing their details online; this change can be attributed to implementation of robust security standards by banks and also increased consumer awareness.

RBI has mandated security measures to be put in place by banks to decrease online fraud, e.g. the 2nd Factor Authentication Process for online credit card transactions that became mandatory in August 2009. With such processes in place, businesses and consumers feel more confident transacting online," he adds.

Source: economictimes
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