The adoption of digital rural products and payments have accelerated since the onset of the pandemic, as per Omnivore’s report. Intermediary reduction and tech-enabled payments are the prime boosters of digitization. Investment in horticulture, dairy, poultry etc are much-needed. Robots, automation and other techs will take over manual tasks, making agriculture more gender diverse. Tech-adoption will increase transparency between farmer and customer.
TCS has launched ‘TCS Safe Workplace’ – a return-to-work solution for enterprises to enable safer office return of employees within four weeks. It uses existing enterprise platform to design and create a workplace command centre that assesses the readiness of employees and work environment; automates contact tracing, workspace planning, and monitors critical risk factors. It also identifies COVID hotspots and enables firms to take proactive measures.
Cybersecurity firm Kaspersky, in a report, said that the Q2 of 2020 saw a 300% rise in DDoS attacks as compared to the same period last year. The figure is almost the same as it was in the Q1 of the year, Kaspersky noted. Security experts believe that just like ransomware attacks the rise in DDoS attacks was due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In a WFH environment, cybercriminals find it easier to target enterprise networks, which are usually more secure.
Google amended its ads policies after a UK-based research group claimed that it promotes coronavirus-related misinformation advertisements. Starting 20 August, the firm will ban ads that promote conspiracy theories that coronavirus is China-made bioweapon or was created by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates etc. Vaccine-related misinformation will also be banned. In case of violation, a 7-day warning will be given prior to account suspension.
Cybersecurity firm Check Point said that COVID-19 related cyber-attacks witnessed a 7% dip in May compared to April. Conventional malware attacks, however, rose by 16% during the same period, following the resumption of businesses. As organisations started laying off workforce across the globe use of malicious CV and medical leave forms to spread banking trojans and infostealers have increased.
Cybercriminals are using email attachments containing malicious Excel 4.0 macros to put malware on user devices. The attachment contains excel sheets having trackers, data and graphs on the pandemic and it looks very real. The campaign began on May 12 and has used 100s of unique attachments. The attack, falling under a subcategory of phishing, has caught up over the years.
Governments are using Artificial Intelligence tools for medical research and manage public health. Popular usage is contact tracing and symptom tracking to check COVID-19 spread. The promising tech, however, at no point undermine human rights. China, Iran, Israel, Italy, Poland, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea are leveraging personal data in their containment efforts. The possibility of misuse of personal information in future, however, cannot be denied.
Aarogya Setu has helped the authorities to identify “more than 3,000 hotspots in 3-17 days ahead of time ” said NITI Aayog CEO, Amitabh Kant. He said that the app has reached to “50 mn subscribers in 15 days and 100 mn subscribers in 40 days.” The CEO revealed that of the over 114 mn users, two-thirds have taken the self-assessment test to evaluate exposure to COVID-19. Aarogya Setu, so far, has helped identify about 500,000 Bluetooth contacts.
Uno Minda, auto component manufacture, is investing in an AI-based app and video analytics to maintain social distancing. The new tech identifies those violating social distancing rules and sends out an alert to admin teams. Similarly, video analytics powered camera captures the face, match it with the database to mark attendance. It also records body temperature by thermal screening. It has 21000 employees working 75 manufacturing plants in 7 countries.