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India’s exports up 36% in September, imports grow by 17.2%

Commenting on the data, commerce secretary Rahul Khullar said: “Good news is back. Exports continue to grow over last year, but the heady numbers have gone, it is clear there is deceleration”

New Delhi: India’s exports maintained their growth momentum in September 2011, rising by 36.3% year-on-year to $24.8 billion, though there was a ‘deceleration’ due to uncertainty in the US and Europe, reports PTI quoting commerce secretary Rahul Khullar.

On the other hand, India’s imports grew by 17.2% to $34.6 billion, resulting in a trade deficit of $9.8 billion for the month.

During April-September, 2011-12, the country’s exports increased by 52.1% to $160 billion.

Mr Khullar said there is growth in country’s exports, but a deceleration is clear. “Good news is back. Exports continue to grow over last year, but the heady numbers have gone, it is clear there is deceleration,” he told reporters in New Delhi.

During the first six months this fiscal, imports expanded by 32.4% to $233.5 billion. The trade gap during the period amounted to $73.5 billion.

The sectors that exhibited major growth during the April-September 2011 period include engineering, gems and jewellery and petroleum.

Engineering exports grew by 103% to $46.4 billion, petroleum shipments by 53% to $27 billion and gems and jewellery consignments by 23% to %18.5 billion over the same period last fiscal.

India’s petroleum imports during the six-month period grew by 42% to $70.4 billion.


Malware attacks zoom due to social media but organisations are not adequately prepared

A majority of Indian security experts think that social media is important for business productivity; but real-time content protection is not being provided

A global survey on social media risks released today reveals a dangerous gap in corporate social media security. A total of 63% of more than 4,000 respondents in 12 countries have said that social media in the workplace represents a serious security risk—yet, only 29% report having the necessary security controls in place to mitigate this menace. More than 50% of respondents report an increase in malware due to social media use.

The research, conducted by the Ponemon Institute and sponsored by content security provider Websense is a study that determines what IT and security practitioners throughout the world think about the security risks that are associated with employee use of social media.

The dynamic social Web is qualitatively different from the older static Web. It requires an IT security defence that goes beyond signature and fixed-policy Web technologies (like antivirus packages and firewalls). While these are necessary defences, they are not sufficient. And yet, while 73% of respondents identify secure Web gateways as an important way to reduce social media threats, 27%—more than one quarter—still don’t realise the importance of secure gateways.

For example, imagine a new link is posted to a popular social networking site and it directs users to a site that downloads or leads to data-stealing code via confusing JavaScript. Organisations need security technology that can analyse links as they appear, because the link path is new and doesn’t have a recognisable signature or known payload. New technologies like social media, Cloud services, and mobility require real-time content security, which analyses information on the fly—as it’s created and consumed.

Even with the risks, social media presents a large business opportunity for collaboration, reduced expenses, and more efficient processes. While organisations believe that bandwidth has been diminished due to social media, companies that block social media are in danger of being left behind.

The study surveyed 4,640 IT and IT security practitioners in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Mexico, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United States. All respondents have an average of 10 years’ experience in the field. A total of 54% are supervisors or above and 42% are from organisations with more than 5,000 employees.

The key findings from respondents in India include:

Most respondents agree that the use of social media in the workplace is important to achieve business objectives. But 64% of respondents believe that employees’ use of social media in the workplace represents a serious security threat to the organisation. However, only 33% believe they have the necessary controls in place to mitigate or reduce the risk posed by social media.

Out of the respondents, 39% do not have a policy that informs employees about the acceptable use of social media in the workplace or are unsure if such a policy exists (24%). Of those organisations that do have such a policy, just 49% of respondents say that the policy is enforced.

The most acceptable usage of social media in the workplace is networking with friends inside the company (94%). This is followed by networking with friends outside the company (73%) followed by use of social networks as an email or texting channel (54%). The least acceptable social media activity is downloading apps or widgets from social media sites (4%).

Diminished employee productivity and IT bandwidth are the two most negative consequences due to an increase in the use of social media in the workplace according to 90% and 73% of the respondents, respectively. Sixty percent worry about the loss of confidential information or violation of confidentiality policies and 49% think an increase in virus or malware infections will be a consequence of increased usage.

According to 48% of respondents, viruses and malware infections are increasing as a result of social media use and 30% are unsure of the same. Technologies considered by respondents to be most important at reducing or mitigating social media threats are identity & access management, endpoint security solutions and secure Web gateways.

Social media in the workplace is used both for non-business and business purposes. A total of 47% of respondents say that employees spend more than 30 minutes each day on non-business social media activities and 48% estimate that more than 30 minutes is spent on social media for business purposes each day.

Tom Clare, Websense senior director of Product Marketing, said in the study, “While antivirus and firewalls are traditional pillars of a security defence, a new security pillar is required for dynamic Web-content classification, advanced threat blocking, and data theft protection.”


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