Better safe than sorry: Startups and security considerations

21st October 2016 was an extremely eventful day in the lives of the savvies in the Cyber world as well as common people. The large-scale DDOS attacks shook the entire world when multiple business giants like Twitter, The Guardian, Netflix, Reddit and CNN were deemed helpless due to inaccessibility to their websites. A DDOS attack is Distributed Denial of Service attack, wherein large number of servers are used to send multiple requests to client websites, which leads to the genuine customers unable to obtain services. This is food for everyone’s thought on how important security on internet platform is.

However, one might argue that the companies I listed above are all large-scale companies. Of course a cyber attack would not victimize a Startup, right? Well, that is where we need to pivot our minds towards the possibility of a what if scenario. Having limited resources to being with, an additional affordable security solution is difficult to deal with for startups. But its necessity should be as stressed upon as it would be for a company like Microsoft or Facebook. The implications of a security attack are disastrous for a startup. While, a large-scale company can limp towards normalcy with a dedicated IT setup to look into the breach of security, a startup might take days to recover from an attack. This can be financially disastrous for a company looking to increase its assets and financial resources.

A cyber-attack can be of varying nature. While major attacks like Distributed Denial of Service rear its ugly face and make the front page, small-scale attacks like masquerading or spoofing, wherein the attacker can gather the necessary information by posing as a genuine customer, can be equally harmful, especially if the company has just started to gain the trust of its valued customers. Every day, new attacks on the web world keep getting discovered and security features keep getting enhanced. When a client entrusts a company with information, it is a company’s moral as well as legal duty to secure the client’s data from malicious threats.

A client based attack is gaining popularity now days since servers are becoming more robust. How many of us would really notice the difference between PayPal and PayPa1 link? A malicious link created on a startups website to redirect the client’s information or resources can lead to loss of money to the attacker. A client is an asset and if a security solution is going to gain the company assets, it is worthy to implement.

Most startups will take into consideration the infeasibility of implementing a full-scale security solution which deters the company from taking action. But if alternatives are considered, wherein partial security is implemented, it can be worked upon later as financial position of the company permits. While this will not make the sensitive information fully secure, it is a start. When a security solution product is launched, the basic security features are made available in the market first and then it is further worked upon. A startup can implement the basic security solution. A security solution should be implemented right from the beginning.

A security breach is not always caused by a malicious attacker or code. It can be as simple as leaking of information through a company worker, or a third-party who has access to the sensitive data. The most cost-effective solution for startups to make the information secure is to take into account the access policies for the sensitive data. While a third party client may require access, the rights to change the data or access certain important and confidential parts of the data should be given only to concerned authority. This is a win-win situation for the company. A lot of finance does not have to be spared for implementation of policy control, whereas the objective is achieved as well.

Amidst the chaos of cyber attacks, it is better to be secure than sorry. A simple security solution is the basic necessity of small businesses and startups. The information with the company may be lesser, but that does not deem it less important. If in the future a security solution is to be implemented, when the product has been fully developed, it will be a hassle to integrate the product and the company’s growing assets with the potential security features. Hence, startup should start placing security as a part of business requirement and the journey from a small company to a large-scale one will be smoother and cyber attack free.

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Image source: 123F.com

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6

The end of a journey

Today was the fateful day. The end of a four year journey of engineering. After much speculation since last year of how this day was going to turn out, I experienced a day much different than my anticipation. I had an image of sorrow in mind, a one of goodbyes and always keep in touch. Hugs between best friends and the sorrow of bereavement from the companions that we so lovingly gathered in these years. But the day painted a different picture altogether and made me take a walk down the memory lane.

My last exam was today. The interest level in the exams was exponentially dipping as everyone anticipated the freedom. I wrote in the last few minutes of the exam very slowly emphasising every word, trying to make this a moment that I would remember forever.I wanted to imprint on my mind the last words I wrote in my engineering exam, the last feelings I felt, the last look of my classroom of four years. And it was over in a matter of three hours. I admit that freedom has never been so sought after as by an engineering student who has had gruelling four years.

I remember my first year in college like it was yesterday. I was always an ardent fan of Maths, but nothing brings out the true face of maths like engineering. As a student who always solved all the problems in the book twice for an added measure, I learned that maths could be read and studied. There was never enough time for solving! Then came a time where maths came into other subjects too, so much so that we could not do anything without coming face to face with equations, which was only curbed by the advent of 5th semester. I can safely say that engineering has effectively ruined my love bonds with the subject.

But to think of it, everyone of my fellow college mates will agree with me that the one thing that made these tedious years a beautiful journey were the friends we all gathered. Everyone entered engineering hoping for a new beginning after 12th standard. And all too soon friends were made and the new environment became a second home. Some stayed together for four years, some changed their confidantes. But everyone ultimately gathered a special someone with whom they could relive the years if a time machine would ever be invented.

I always thought of myself as being a shy, introvert girl with few friends. But these years made me change my perception about myself as I opened up to forming new relationships. In the first semester we made bucket list of exploring the college area together. Though I still would not boast of knowing every nook and cranny of Bandra even today, I can boast of remembering every outing with my friends since the college started. My friends and I studied together, shared our happiness and sorrows, i learnt things which i never knew before and we even went as far as watching sitcoms at the same time and commenting on them through WhatsApp. There were uncountable fights but there were uncountable making up sessions following it too.If I had to make an account of all the memories I have stored in my mind, the blog will not have space for any other article.

If I had the option to go back in time and go through these four years again, i would not. The moments cannot be recreated again. They are just that magical. And as i said, i did not expect to see what I saw today, as no one shed tears of sorrow. Because I think everyone has got their own box of memories too, filled to the brim. And this has made me hopeful that even though I regret leaving behind the part of my life I loved the most, there will be new  and unexpectedly beautiful memories to fill my mind as till now.

Au revoir!

 

4

F.R.I.E.N.D.S Forever

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Joey: how come you have two?

Chandler: This one’s for you.

Joey: Check it out! We’re bracelet buddies!

Chandler: That’s what they’ll call us!

No one who has ever seen FRIENDS can forget this scene.Joey’s sweet charm, Phoebe’s eccentricity, Monica’s tidiness, Ross’s lectures on palaeontology, Rachel’s immatureness and finally Chandler’s sarcasm; all of which has stayed with us for years after the series bid goodbye.

FRIENDS made its appearance on American television on September 22,1994. It started with a somewhat mild opening and was touted as a trivial counterpart of then prime sitcom ‘Seinfeld’. Of course, coming back in the present it will be hard to believe that such an opinion ever existed. It’s been two decades since its inception and what the series has left behind for its viewers is beyond expression.Every element of the series, whether character or place, had such an impact that it went on to feature in Time’s list of ‘Top 100 best TV shows of all time’.

‘How you doin’ ?’Joey made his way into every lady’s heart merely with these three words. Despite his flirting, Joey is a sweet character who cares excessively for his friends, especially his best friend Chandler. His innocence and  struggles of becoming an actor make him especially endearing. His love for food is tested to its limits when he refuses to share food even with Emma! He is shown as a person whose worries are little and heart huge. Of course, at some moments his advice outshines all, even the level-headed and mature Ross. He is always broke, leading him to borrow money frequently from Chandler.Small inconsequential things that he does, such as the speech he writes for Chandler and Monica’s wedding, giving up non-veg because Phoebe has cravings in her pregnancy, proposing marriage to Phoebe when he thinks she is pregnant, his pure love for Rachel, is what keeps his audience enraptured. And what can be said about his friendship with Chandler! It makes us yearn for best friend like him.

Joey in four dialogues:

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Princess Consuela Bananahammock aka the eccentric Phoebe Buffay has a troubled childhood as her mother ends up committing suicide. But her enthusiasm is not marred, as she leaves behind those days to become a masseuse. She has a talent for writing songs with out of  the world lyrics like ‘smelly cat’ and loathes her evil twin Ursula. When she opts to be a surrogate mother for her brother and his wife, she truly shows her selfless side in the series. She finds her soulmate in Mike and they make such an endearing couple that her breakup with David seems like a blurry past.What Phoebe subtly inculcates amongst us is that no matter how worse our past, leaving it behind and moving forward with positivity is entirely upon our outlook.

Phoebe in four dialogues:

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Ross’s three marriages are a running gag throughout the series.His shy, nerdy and sensitive attitude strike a cord with many of us. He has an on and off relationship with Rachel, ultimately ending in a relationship. The episode where he gives up his discovery channel appearance to take Rachel to the emergency room and the one where he buys Phoebe a bike because she had a troubled childhood makes us aware of his sensitive nature. Ross’ lectures on palaeontology and the others’ ignorance and lack of interest in the subject never fail to tickle our funny bone.He proudly presents his achievements in his family newsletter ‘The Geller yeller’.

Ross in four dialogues:

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A pampered and selfish Rachel sets foot into the real world after she leaves her fiancee at the altar.Her struggle from being a waitress at the Central Perk to working at Ralph Lauren reminds us of how leaving our comfort zone to seek outside may be difficult but nothing is impossible to achieve.Even though she is shown to place her own needs before others, she proves it wrong when she shows Ross the collection she has kept of their memories together. Her love for her best friend Monica is quite evident when she showcases the old things she has collected for Monica’s wedding.

Rachel in four dialogues:

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The mother hen of the group, Monica,is a caring yet dominating woman.She is shown to be an excellent cook.Having faced criticism because of being fat in her teens, she is compassionate and a tough woman.Her bitter-sweet love for her sibling Ross and general reserve in finding love is what makes her character stand out.Obsessive compulsive disorder is inadvertently linked with her in every episode, which adds a zing to the otherwise dominating persona.Monica’s matronly regard for everyone is what makes her so special.The episode where she cooks a separate thanksgiving dinner for everyone, because it has a special connotation in their hearts, is heartwarming to watch as a viewer.The special proposal that she plans for Chandler can never be forgotten.

Monica in four dialogues:

monica monica1 monica2 monica3

Chandler Muriel Bing. Funny man with a funny name. Could he BE more awesome?!.The first thing that comes to our minds on the word Chandler is sarcasm. Not even his name could downplay the popularity that his character has received. An executive in statistical analysis and data reconfiguration for a large multinational corporation, he is hardly an ideal image of a MNC guy.He constantly finds humour in situations and is anything but emotional. He finds it impossible within him to shed tears even when bambi’s mother dies which makes the entire group to target him as heartless. Having a gay father and a novelist mother, he has issues as a child, which makes him wear a tougher suit of protection against show of emotions. His endeavours in finding dates are hilarious throughout the series, until he falls in love and marries Monica. Monica and Chandler are what we would hardly expect as couple , but they gel together so flawlessly ,that they outdid the other couples in popularity amongst viewers.

Chandler in four dialogues:

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The show started as a simple rendezvous between six best friends. It was hardly an out of the box subject. Then what was it that FRIENDS managed to garner such massive fan following? The series managed to capture many hearts with its wit, comic timing and subtle reality.The characters are far from perfect,yet they are phenomenal together. Everything from Gunther, the Central Perk manager, to Janice, Chandler’s ex girlfriend, left a massive impact on not only the viewers who viewed the show first hand, but also the young generation like us. What worked in favour of the series was an eclectic of its hilarious dialogues, the relatable characters and a different,casual perspective on the otherwise boring daily activities between roommates. It was an era in itself leaving us to crave such a good company and a cup of coffee at Central Perk!

Pics:google images

Statistics:wikipedia

8

The changing rain

“Rain rain go away, come again another day”

This tune is sure to make its way in one’s mind the moment the seasons change. The hot Indian summer heat gives way gracefully to the torrential rain showering relief upon one and all.
Bound within the four walls of my home, my schedule marred by water logging, I sat pensively by the low window, laptop in hand, trying to focus on the work at hand. But it wasn’t for long that I could keep myself from enjoying the beauty outside, as the rain fell in rhythmic tunes.For the first time in many months, the busy streets were empty. No cars, no shrieking horns; just uniform silence and the sound of rain.
It reminded me of  my beautiful childhood. Rain was the most welcome guest, eagerly waited for, by me and my buddies. We prayed that it would be an off day at school, jubiliant when our wishes were answered. Jumping from puddle to puddle, we would occasionally be greeted by a forlorn frog. Paper boats dominated every flowing stream of water, battling amongst each other to make their way downstream first. And an extra packet of detergent was an absolute must for the nightmare that followed. Hot tea with refreshments was like a cherry on the cake after a tiring day. And the pleasant climate! It was like our very own theme park. Every second of it was joyous for our young hearts , as we left all the school worries behind , and entered another world of sheer enjoyment.
I slowly came out of my reverie only to have an epiphany .There are no paper boats anymore. There was no momentous escape from the daily schedule which spares no time to live freely. The blissful carefree behaviour of childhood appears only in diaries and memories now. How the times have changed! No, I would rather believe the rains have changed…

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Pics:google images