Tag Archives: India

Global Smartphone Shipments Set New Records for 2013

Recent statistics show that there has been a huge surge in the number of smartphones that were shipped during 2013.

According to statistics that were released from International Data Corporation (IDC), 1.004 billion smartphones were shipped in 2013. This is an increase of 38.4% from 2012 where a total of 725.3 million smartphones were shipped.

Therefore, the sales of smartphones accounted for more than half of the overall total of mobile phones sold in 2013 which totaled 1.8 billion.

Ryan Reith who is the program director with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker stated, “Among the top trends driving smartphone growth are large screen devices and low cost. Of the two, I have to say that low cost is the key difference-maker. “

Reith added, “Cheap devices are not the attractive segment that normally grabs headlines, but IDC data shows this is the portion of the market that is driving volume. Markets like China and India are quickly moving toward a point where sub-$150 smartphones are the majority of shipments, bringing a solid computing experience to the hands of many.”

Samsung led the way by capturing 32.3% of global smartphone sales in 2013 with Apple achieving 15.5%.

Neil Mawston who is an Executive Director at Strategy Analytics stated, “Apple grew a sluggish 13 percent annually and shipped 153.4 million smartphones worldwide for 15 percent market share in 2013, dipping from the 19 percent level recorded in 2012. Apple remains strong in the high-end smartphone segment, but a lack of presence in the low-end category is costing it lost volumes in fast-growing emerging markets such as India.”

Smartphones have become more popular over the years due to the multifunctional features they provide as they can be used for both business and personal purposes. As a result of this, there has been a large increase in the amount of data that is being stored on them. It is therefore vital that the owner of the smartphone takes responsibility to ensure that the device is properly protected and that a secure backup of the data on the phone is taken regularly.

By taking a regular backup of the data, the owner can be assured that the data on their phone will not be lost regardless if it is lost, stolen or becomes damaged.

UK government reconsiders IT outsourcing strategy

As deep cuts to the budget are being made to counteract the impact of the national deficit, the UK government is being advised and criticised over the money-saving option of outsourcing a variety of IT services both domestically and overseas.

Analyst Ovum suggests that the best way in which to save cash is to outsource services to India and it points out that despite the relatively small amount of business that the public sector gives to Indian vendors, it is expecting to see a dramatic rise as the government seeks to tighten the purse strings across the board.

Ovum’s Ed Thomas said that in previous years there had been reluctance within the government to outsource IT services to India, a nation that is keen to invest in cloud computing, because it could potentially be interpreted in a negative light by UK voters. He now believes that saving money will be a greater concern, resulting in the increased use of outsourcing to handle the data burden of the public sector.

The impact of outsourcing overseas could be significant, with some public sector organisations seeing their budgets reduced by 40 per cent and the resultant job losses in the UK could number in their thousands, according to Ovum.

Mr Thomas said that the recession had had an impact on the global IT outsourcing market, with public and private organisations less willing to commit to a single provider for extended periods.

Despite this negativity, there is hope for small and medium sized UK firms which deal in IT outsourcing, because the government has also committed to distributing a quarter of its external contracts to domestic businesses. This is seen as a step in the right direction that will help to stimulate the economy and grow the employment market, but experts have outlined the challenge facing this scheme, which include security risks and potential procedural problems.

Investment in the IT market in the UK is set to grow steadily as confidence returns, but those who rely on public sector money to make ends meet could face stiff competition from overseas providers who appear attractive because of low headline costs. The real costs of effectively managing such engagements are another debate entirely.

UK ranked fifth in cyber attack survey

For every 1000 computers in the UK there are 107 cyber attacks, putting the country in fifth place in global rankings according to a report from data protection firm SecureWorks.

Topping the chart, with the fewest attacks pro rata, was India, with only 52 attacks recorded for every 1000 PCs, suggesting that criminals are finding it easier to harness infected machines within organisations as well as those owned by individuals in the UK than in many of its contemporaries.

SecureWorks’ Jon Ramsey said that criminals were controlling vast domestic botnets in most nations around the world and it was because of unchecked vulnerabilities that many businesses were leaving themselves open to exploitation.

Mr Ramsey also pointed out that by allowing computers to become and remain infected and malleable, malicious parties were being given opportunities to attack others.

There are a range of factors that influence the number of cyber attacks and data thefts that occur within a country, including the average connection speeds and the way in which internet service providers (ISPs) protect their users and detect threats. The distribution of operating systems also plays a part, as most hackers target Windows in order to ensure the most widespread levels of infection.

SecureWorks concluded that although the threats are significant, in many cases avoiding infection can be as simple as following the basic rules of computer security whether at home or at work. This includes regularly updating data security software to combat new threats and only accepting downloads and attachments from sources you trust whilst avoiding unsolicited emails.

SecureWorks’ Don Smith said that cyber attacks can not only compromise precious data within an organisation, but also impact upon productivity and revenue as the ripples spread. Mr Smith believes that many businesses only act on security flaws once they have been exploited by a cyber attack and that this means that some incidents are entirely avoidable.

Mr Smith suggests that businesses need to take a multi-faceted approach to data security and data loss prevention, incorporating standard measures with modern analytical tools and encryption techniques to ensure that all systems are water tight and thus far more difficult for criminals to infect.

Festive season sees Phishing boom

Predictions as to the increasing prevalence of phishing sites during the last month of 2009 have been proven correct by a survey carried out by Network Box.

The study found that attempts to gather consumer data by phishing sites accounted for more than 50 per cent of all the online criminal activity that took place in December.

According to the statistics, under 30 per cent of web-borne threats were phishing sites in November 2009, but that doubled to nearly 60 per cent the next month as the promise of millions of innocent online shoppers looking for a bargain created easy targets for the criminals behind the sites.

Internet security analyst Simon Heron commented that the vast amounts spent online before Christmas had always attracted the attention of the unscrupulous element looking to exploit the trust and naivety of the average shopper.

Mr Heron suggests that although Christmas has been and gone, the number of active phishing sites is going to remain high for the duration of January as the sales period gets into full swing. As such, consumers are advised to keep on their guard, protect their personal information and beware of bargains that look too good to be true.

The problem of phishing sites and malware is an international one and the country harbouring the most sites in December 2009 was Brazil, which was the nation of origin for over 20 per cent of viruses and just under 10 per cent of spam emails with phishing ties.

India is increasingly being used as a base for phishing sites and virus creation by cybercriminals according to the study, with nearly 7 per cent of December’s spam generated there, which is an increase of 2 percent from the previous month.

Phishing sites can be problematic for businesses as well as for home users, particularly as the Christmas rush sees many shopping from their place of work when they have free time. In order to prevent personal data theft and infection from viruses, it is essential that anti-virus software is installed and kept up to date.

National Outsourcing Association defends industry in medical records scandal

The National Outsourcing Association (NOA) has been forced onto the back foot by recent revelations on ITN’s Tonight programme, broadcast on ITV 1. An undercover reporter demonstrated how he was able to purchase the medical records of UK patients from a criminal group based in India. Critics of outsourcing data were quick to blame the industry for the potentially damaging data leaks.

Chris Rogers, a reporter for the popular current affairs program, found that he was able to obtain medical records for around 4 each. Rogers was offered the chance to pick up in excess of 10,000 records if he was willing to make the trip to India. It was also made clear that these records originated from private organisations and not from the NHS. Continue reading

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