Gemalto Deploys Biometric ePassport Solutions In 30 Countries


Digital security firm Gemalto on Thursday said its biometric ePassport solutions have been implemented in over 30 countries including the USA, Singapore, France, Italy and HongKong. Thanks to their outstanding security and the faster, more convenient border crossings they facilitate, the company’s solutions help authorities strengthen homeland protection and improve the traveler experience.

Gemalto’s leading position has been built on the supply of complete travel documents and key components such as polycarbonate data pages, visible and hidden document security features, electronic passport covers and ICAO-compliant embedded software. In addition, the company’s secure embedded software has consistently outperformed the competition in international tests on speed over the last decade. Gemalto is also making an active contribution to the definition of international ePassport standards.

“Over the past decade, Gemalto has helped develop some of the world’s most secure and attractive ePassports, including landmark projects in Algeria, Denmark, Finland, France, Hong Kong, Italy, Korea, Morocco, Peru, Portugal, Norway, Singapore, Sweden and the USA,” said Youzec Kurp SVP ID Document Solutions, Government Business Unit, for Gemalto. “Our success is based on close collaboration with partners, ensuring that the unique requirements of each project are always fully realized.”

Introduced in 2005, the ePassport – which now represents 57% of passports in circulation – delivers enhanced fraud protection by incorporating a secure microprocessor that stores the holder’s personal data and digital photo. Electronic passports include a standardized electronic portrait of the holder for facial recognition, which opens the door to a comprehensive range of automated, self-service airport services for passengers. This extends from check-in through to immigration control and boarding, resulting in an enhanced experience on arrival and departure.

Gemalto believes the new generation of ePassport will digitally store travel information such as eVisas and entry/exit stamps to support even more efficient immigration control.

The key trends in travel documentation identified by Gemalto include:

– Swift migration to tamper-proof polycarbonate data pages, which dramatically reduce the risk of fraud.
– Rapid growth in secure digital identity credentials. Sensitive ePassport data is stored on the holder’s smartphone to create a secure companion to the physical passport, making life easier for travelers.
– Smart borders/smart airports to emerge at a faster pace. Combined with the hundreds of millions of ePassports now in circulation and a strong push behind biometrics (particularly facial recognition), they offer travelers quick and secure cross-border movement.

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Airtel Partners ClearTax To Offer GST Solution

Airtel GST Advantage

Post GST roll out in the country from 1 July 2017 small and medium enterprises and other business houses are somehow struggling to file their tax details. Though the government has done everything possible to iron out the issues, lack of awareness at multiple levels in the tax filing process is holding up desired adoption. To help such enterprises Airtel Business, the enterprise arm of Bharti Airtel has come out its own GST solution – Airtel GST Advantage – for its business customers.

The operator has partnered with ClearTax, one of India’s leading tax filing platform, to develop the solution called Airtel GST Advantage.

Airtel GST Advantage is being offered free to all existing Airtel Business customers, who simply need to register on

“The new GST regime is a landmark reform for the Indian economy and with Airtel GST Advantage, we would like to enable small businesses with free filing of returns, and free and secure data access. Airtel is also the data hosting and connectivity partner for the Goods and Services Network (GSTN),” said Ashok Ganapathy, Director & CEO – Airtel Business.

“We are excited to partner with Airtel. Since the launch of GST, we have been working hard to help businesses and Tax Professionals become GST-ready and make compliance easier in the new tax regime. Together, we are sure to add many more milestones in our journey to getting India GST-ready,” said Archit Gupta, CEO – ClearTax.

The solution includes a platform for easy digital submission of returns by companies. Besides, all Airtel customers will have access to Airtel’s newly launched GST Advantage Helpdesk between 8.00 am and 8.00 pm on all weekdays. The Helpdesk will be managed by GST experts who will be available to advise Airtel customers on any query relating to GST. Airtel has also published a GST knowledge bank – developed by renowned tax experts. This knowledge bank will empower all Airtel Business customers with an in-depth information about GST.

This access to Airtel-ClearTax GST solution is available till March 31st, 2018.

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HDFC Bank’s EVA Becomes India’s Largest Banking Chatbot


Leading private banker HDFC Bank today said its artificial intelligence based chatbot EVA became country’s largest banking chatbot having addressed more than 2.7 million customer queries in six months.

EVA is developed by Senseforth AI Research and is claimed to India’s first AI based banking chatbot and was deployed in March 2017. Since then EVA has interacted with over 530,000 unique users holding 1.2 million conversations and addressing their 2.7 million queries with swift ease.

EVA, which stands for Electronic Virtual Assistant, is a chatbot built using the latest NLP and AI technologies. HDFC Bank launched EVA to offer true power of conversational experience to its customers on all the digital platforms such as the Website, Mobile site and the dedicated portal for the bank’s customers. With EVA, customers can get quick access to the Bank’s product details, fees and charges for various products, application processes, branch IFSC Codes, and a lot more information at a faster rate than talking to an agent.

“Eva currently handles 50,000 plus semantic variations for thousands of banking related intents. Eva tracks and analyses everyday customer issues and gains a deeper understanding of their behaviour patterns.” said Shridhar Marri, CEO and Co-Founder, Senseforth. Thousands of users provide constructive feedback to Eva on a daily basis which helps in enhancing her knowledge repository. “Eva’s everyday interactions with users go through a conceptual banking knowledge framework which in turn enhances her ability to field more questions accurately. Eva never sleeps and her learning never stops!” Shridhar added.

“We are delighted that EVA has done gained significant traction and the endeavour is to leverage on new technologies like AI to serve customers better through our Chatbot. Continuous focus on creating customer value has helped EVA acquire market acceptance within a short period,” said Nitin Chugh, Group Head of Digital Banking at HDFC Bank Limited.

Information which might generally take an average of 8-10 minutes to obtain, is provided by Eva in a matter of seconds. This makes Eva faster than all other modes of interaction for various information related queries around cards, loans, accounts etc. With an accuracy level of over 85% and uptime of 99.9%, EVA is making purposeful strides towards her ultimate goal of revolutionizing the customer interactions through conversational interfaces.

By becoming the country’s largest banking chatbot, Eva has made a huge impact in India’s AI space. Besides answering queries, Eva has generated a large volume of business leads for the bank in the last six months. Eva has also become an instant hit with the users. An HDFC Bank customer from Pune had this to say, “This is a good initiative by HDFC Bank. It answered all my questions easily.” Another user praised Eva, stating “She is learning well and answering great!!”

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Airtel Business, Symantec Team Up To Offer Security Solutions To Enterprises

Airtel Buiness Symantec Partnership

The first-of-its-kind partnership between Airtel Business and Symantec to leverage Airtel’s extensive reach in B2B segment and Symantec’s Integrated Cyber Defense Platform to bring cyber defense to enterprises

Country’s largest telecom operator Bharti Airtel has partnered with leading cyber security firm Symantec to offer custom made security solutions to enterprise customers.

Airtel Business, the enterprise business unit of the operator, has more than 2000 large enterprise customers and serve 2,50,000 small firms. In addition, it has a strong presence in central and state government departments/divisions.

Under the terms of the agreement, Airtel will be the exclusive Cyber Security Services partner for Symantec in India, and will distribute Symantec’s enterprise security software.

The partnership aims to leverage Airtel’s strength in India’s Business to Business (B2B) segment, helping them address the challenges of the Cloud Generation with Symantec’s innovative Integrated Cyber Defense Platform. As Indian enterprises embrace cloud applications and infrastructure, they require security technologies built for this new cloud-based environment to gain the upper hand on adversaries.

“The partnership will give customers stronger protection and prevention, greater visibility and better control of critical assets, users and data,” Airtel said in a statement.

Symantec Cyber Security Services prepares organizations for every stage of the attack lifecycle through global Threat Intelligence Services, Managed Security Services, Incident Response Services and Cyber Skills Development Services to protect organizations from internal and external attacks.

“Increasingly sophisticated cyber threats with potential to disrupt business continuity are the new normal in today’s digitally connected world. We are delighted to partner with Symantec and offer its world-class Integrated Cyber Defense Platform and solutions to customers in India. It will help us add value to our existing enterprise relationships and further consolidate our leadership position in the B2B space,” said Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO (India & South Asia), Bharti Airtel.

Symantec’s CEO Greg Clark said, “The partnership between Airtel and Symantec presents massive value to businesses in India. Airtel is one of the most forward-thinking telcos and Symantec’s Integrated Cyber Defense Platform focuses on empowering businesses to protect their on-premise as well as fast growing cloud environment through every stage of an attack lifecycle by combining the broadest and deepest set of threat intelligence in the industry. With this partnership, under one service level agreement, Indian organizations can bolster their cyber defense and respond to new threats as they emerge at a significantly lower operational cost.”

Airtel Business offers diverse portfolio of services to its enterprise customers. Along with voice, data and video, its service portfolio includes network integration, data centers, managed services, enterprise mobility applications and digital media.

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GST, Digital Transformation In Mind SAP To Train 15 Lakh People by 2020


With GST (goods and services tax) finally rolled out in the country, it has opened up multiple business opportunities for technology services companies like SAP. One of the ways these companies can tap that opportunity is by adding digitally skilled workforce in the country who would help businesses in their digital transformation process.

With opportunities, the GST regime has also thrown open few challenges including the need for digitally skilled workforce to help businesses implement new age technology solutions.

SAP, the world’s second largest software company, has decided to take the challenge head on. The company is planning to add 15 lakh (1.5 million) digitally skilled workforce in the country in next three years or by 2020.

“In the wake of GST roll-out and Digital India initiative, the 51+ million SMEs in the country will eventually have to onboard or scale their technology infrastructure. It will therefore give rise to an industry wide requirement of digital experts who will have the capability to enable enterprises transition to a digital platform. SAP understands the urgency to fulfill this necessity,” the company said.

It plans to skill, reskill and upskill 1.5 million SAP consultants to plug this digital gap within the next three years.

The company announced this during the SAP India Partners’ Summit held in Mumbai this week.

“Our partner ecosystem is the “lifeline” that connects us and our customers,” said Deb Deep Sengupta, President and Managing Director, SAP Indian Subcontinent. “Currently, an estimated 2 lakh SAP consultants thrive within our partner ecosystem which contributes approximately $ 8 billion in revenues.”

How SAP India Plans To Do It

The company will take a multi-prong approach to train these 15 lakh people. The Germany based firm is partnering with all the stakeholders of a digital transformation process – governments, private institutions and academia.

It has joined hands with Ministry of MSME (Micro, Small and medium Enterprises) for its Bharat ERP program. This program aims at training 30,000 people on various digital technologies required for a business house. This program was launched in June this year and the software firm has already started imparting training in Bhubaneshwar. Gradually it will be spread out to other state capitals. The training involves using a packaged software that takes care of enterprises’ financials, resources planning, sales and inventory management.

Similarly, SAP has also tied up with universities and training institutes to develop digitally skilled workforce. At present more than 320 Indian universities and educational institutes are part of SAP University alliance program.

The software firm also aims at expanding its SAP authorised training cnters in the country. At present the company has 55 centers which it wants to expand to 100 by the end of this year.

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Huawei, MapD Join Hands For GPU Based Data Analytics


Partnership with MapD will enable Huawei customers to query and visualize hundreds of billions of records in milliseconds


Chinese tech major Huawei has partnered with San Francisco based analytics firm MapD Technologies to develop GPU based data analytics solutions. Both the firms have signed an MoU in this regard.

The joint effort will see collaboration between Huawei’s FusionServer hardware and the MapD analytics platform to develop enterprise analytics solutions that would help organizations to search and visualize multiple billions of rows of data sets in milliseconds.

Under the terms of the agreement, both parties will commit engineering resources to a joint R&D initiative that will not only improve software and hardware integration, but also increase support for and connection to third-party applications. The teams will create demo environments at Huawei’s headquarters and OpenLab for enterprise solutions, where customers can road-test the solution with their own data.

According to the MoU, Huawei can sell MapD products across the globe and MapD will join Huawei’s solution partnership plan. Huawei is implementing the analytics firm’s Core database and Immerse visual analytics client internally on the FusionServer G5500. The G5500 is a heterogeneous server that can be used to build a supercomputing cluster composed of up to 32 GPUs.

“This partnership with Huawei will ensure complete compatibility with FusionServer G5500, delivering lightning-fast analytics and stronger support for our customers,” said Todd Mostak, CEO of MapD Technologies. “The sheer scale of many organizations means they create enormous volumes of data in their daily operations, which they then need to analyze. As MapD’s partner, Huawei can now provide a linearly scalable analytics platform which runs natively on their hardware.”

Qiu Long, President, IT Server Product Line, Huawei, said, “We are seeing stronger and stronger demand for real-time data queries, analysis and visualization of hundreds of billions or trillions of rows of machine-generated logs. Achieving ad-hoc data analytics at this scale in real-time is extremely challenging. We believe that GPU acceleration will play a pivotal role in the future of analytics and are excited to work with MapD to deploy its cutting-edge technologies to address these challenges.”

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Cashing On Digital Payments Android Banking Trojans Grew 166%


As digital payments gained traction and online and mobile banking increasingly became mainstream, miscreants like banking trojans also wished to cash in on the situation. A QuickHeal report has revealed that the banking trojans on Android platform saw an increase of 166% in Q2.

Quick Heal Security Labs, the threat research and response division of Quick Heal Technologies, the leading IT security solutions provider, detected over 2.3 million infections and 13 families of Ransomware on Windows in Q2 2017. According to the Quarterly Threat Report released by Quick Heal Technologies, malware detections saw a drop of 23%, but continued to emerge over 1700 times every minute.

With the advent of Ransomware attacks such as WannaCry and Petya (a.k.a NotPetya), Quick Heal Security Labs observed that attackers are now shifting their attention towards attacks that make them more money and in an easier way as Ransomware campaigns have higher returns compared with data stealing and other malicious campaigns.

Apart from WannaCry and Petya, the active ransomware families which emerged in the quarter include Jaff, Crisis, Cry128/Cry9 among others. Trojans continued to rise with 37% detections followed by Infectors, Worms and Adware & Potentially Unwanted Applications (PUA).

According to the report, attackers are increasingly using Remote Desktop Services (RDS) feature to enter into targeted systems by acquiring weak login credentials, password stealer software and credential access techniques. RDS is a key feature that allows Windows users to take control of a remote computer over a network connection.

On the Android platform, Quick Heal Security Labs received over 1 million malware infections – a decline of 21%, while ransomware grew 16% in comparison to the first quarter. Android Banking Trojans witnessed a massive growth of 166% as digital payments gained traction and became a popular source for banking transactions.

Sanjay Katkar, Joint Managing Director and Chief Technology Officer, Quick Heal Technology said, “Although malware detections on Windows and Android saw a decline compared to last quarter, ransomware attacks have increased – WannaCry and Petya being the notable ones. This trend proves that cyber criminals are working on attacks that require fewer resources but at the same time, give higher returns. Even novice cyber criminals who may not be able to create a ransomware are outsourcing crimes through Ransomware-as-a-Service.”

He said WannaCry couldn’t have been the biggest attack in history if people were prudent enough to keep their operating systems up-to-date with security patches released by Microsoft way before the attack happened. It’s about time people paid heed to warnings, understand the types of digital threats, be wary of sharing their personal details and treat our digital lives in the same manner as we treat our real lives – with a sense of security.

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India Ranks Highest In Cloud Adoption For Sensitive Data : Report


It has become a trend in India that as soon as it adopts a new technology, it leads the way putting all other early adopters far away. Cloud adoption, too, is no exception. A recent study revealed that Indian organisations top the chart in putting their data in cloud, public or private.

The report commissioned by Thales, the French firm that specialises in critical data security, and prepared by Ponemon Institute, reveals that 70% of organisations in India transfer sensitive or confidential information to the cloud, a rate that is highest of all the countries in the survey. The global average for cloud adoption by organisations is 53%.

The study named ‘Global Encryption Trends 2017’ primarily surveyed organisations of their data security and encryption policies.

The study also found that 82% of organisations in India embrace some type of encryption strategy, demonstrating the importance of encryption and key management in achieving a strong security posture.

“As organisations embark on their digital transformation and embrace the cloud it is imperative that their most sensitive data remains secure and protected. This study is part of a global initiative by Thales to educate leaders from the private and public sectors on the privacy and data protection practices companies can follow today” – Emmanuel de Roquefeuil, country director India, Thales.

The top drivers for encryption in India are to protect against specific, identified threats and to protect customer information. This is in contrast to the global data where compliance is, and historically always has been, the top driver for encryption. In India, compliance ranked third on the list at 55%.

Organisations are increasingly adopting encryption to protect sensitive information, but with more use of encryption comes additional requirements to manage keys, something that organisations in India found more painful to manage than any other country.

“This study is a call to action for organisations in India to strengthen their security position with strong data security and encryption plans in order to secure sensitive data and adhere to risk and compliance best practices and regulations. Thales is a strong player in the Indian public sector banks and most private sector banks, securing their information with its Hardware Security Module (HSMs). It is estimated that over 90% of the card transactions in India are secured by Thales payment HSMs” – James Cook, sales director South Asia, Thales e-Security.

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Vodafone Business Services Launches Enterprise Solution To Manage Field Staff


Vodafone’s enterprise arm, Vodafone Business Services (VBS), today launched a cloud based enterprise solutions through which firms can manage their field staff more efficiently. Named Mobile Workforce Essentials, the solution is a part of  Vodafone’s CloudStore portfolio that includes Collaboration Productivity and CRM among other cloud-based offerings.

Mobile Workforce Essentials helps enterprises manage their mobile workforce better to increase productivity, gain efficiency, improve accountability and reduce costs. Employees can remotely manage their attendance from their mobile app as well as receive and despatch work orders while on the field. Employers, on the other hand, can monitor workforce routes through the GPS Tracking feature.

The flexible platform also allows for replacement of manual, paper-based forms with 200+ pre-built industry specific forms and added features like Photo Capture, Digital Signature, Calculations and Emails for digital receipts.

One of the early customers of Mobile Workforce Essentials is a major state’s Election Commission which deployed the solution during a recently concluded state assembly elections.

Vodafone has partnered with ActSoft, a leading field-force management application vendor, to launch Mobile Workforce Essentials in the Indian Market.

Anil Philip, Senior Vice President, Vodafone Business Services adds “In today’s digital world, organizations need to rapidly evolve and manage the dual challenges of cost optimization with workforce productivity. Vodafone Mobile Workforce Essentials is a 360-degree application suite with which enterprises can gain a competitive edge by better mobilizing and empowering their employees.”

Kevin Thigpen, Chief Operating Officer, Actsoft, Inc. said, “Vodafone Mobile Workforce Essentials empowers businesses to enhance operational efficiencies, while reducing costs across their organization. Partnering with Vodafone was critical to our strategy to penetrate the Indian market. Leveraging the power of their wireless data network, our software solution delivers businesses an immediate return on investment from a single, integrated platform.”

Mobile Workforce Essentials is available on the Vodafone CloudStore, an online automated marketplace that features the full range of Vodafone’s cloud-based business applications.

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Prysm Unveils New Unified Communication Solutions


Unified communications player Prysm today announced new functionality for its digital workplace platform. The offering will support enterprises looking to execute on new revenue opportunities and save money in productivity through collaboration agility regardless of location, device or individual employee application preferences. Today’s release demonstrates Prysm’s commitment to providing its customers with innovative collaboration technology that drives employee efficiency and productivity.

The new features include Co-browsing that allows all Prysm participants accessing content via an approved mobile device to view and interact with web content. Prysm claims to be the first to offer web application co-browsing among teams, enabling all users to make edits while empowering the content owner to monitor permissions and even view content in a secure manner.

Co-browsing brings web-based applications to Prysm workspaces via the mobile interface for the first time, further building out Prysm’s virtual meeting room offering in bringing meeting content to any device at any time by enhancing the collaboration experience for both in-room and remote participants.

“Co-browsing feature is long awaited by software designers and developers in innovation centers in India. Co-browsing enables designers to simulate, share and collaborate with engineers across boundaries with codes running side by side. “Said GB Kumar, Vice President, Asia Pacific, Prysm Inc.

The new features also include Quick Start with video conference integration that enables employees to access Prysm’s digital workplace platform without logging in to provide an instant start to meetings. It brings together content and advanced video conferencing into a single experience, including rooms equipped with advanced video conferencing solutions that are underutilized due to their complexity and lack of interoperability.

Quick Start integration with video conferencing is expected to be generally available in fall 2017. It will integrate with existing video conference codecs from Cisco, Polycom, and Logitech, among others, as well as unified communications solutions like Skype for Business to maximize current technology investments and offer key improvements to the meeting experience.

Besides, Prysm also launched a  new mobile user interface (UI) that makes the mobile experience of the Prysm digital workplace platform faster, simpler and more personalized. The new UI provides additional search and browsing capabilities to easily access and navigate through projects and preview workspace content. Prysm tools, including sticky notes and annotations, were also updated. In addition, the solution now provides other impactful experiences, such as notifying a user of other participants in a project space for quick meeting start and team interaction.

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