Corporations, both large and small, are now increasingly sinking resources into perfecting their online and offline security for their data. In this age, where data is the new gold, organisations are taking care not to let the data be leaked because a breach of data will signal their inability to protect themselves from security threats.
A bug is an error, flaw or fault in a computer program or system which causes it to produce an incorrect or unexpected result, or to behave in unintended ways. Bugs lead to a huge loss in infrastructure, finances and reputation. For example, a Mars climate orbiter, which was launched in 1998, crashed onto the martian surface due to a bug. A sub contractor, who designed the navigation system, used the Imperial units of measurement instead of the metric system which was specified by NASA, leading to the orbiter crashing. The famous Y2K bug led the entire world to believe entire systems would come crashing down because of the belief the time on the computers will reset to the year 1900 instead of 2000 after the year 1999.
There are many bugs like these, some harmless, some which cause considerable harm. Bugs like these can be exploited by anyone with a malicious intent and corporations are trying to counter it by offering bounties for bugs which are reported. A bug bounty program is a deal offered by many websites, organizations and software developers by which individuals can receive recognition and compensation for reporting bugs, especially those pertaining to exploits and vulnerabilities.
Let us have a look at five famous companies with bug bounty programs.
It is no surprise Google is on the list because of the amount of user data and confidential information to which it has access, considering most of the world uses Google’s products or services in some way or the other. Google currently offers six reward programs which are:
Google Vulnerability Reward Program (VRP)
Patch Reward Program
Vulnerability Research Grants
Chrome Reward Program
Android Reward Program
Google Play Security Reward Program
Google offers rewards ranging from $ 500 to one million dollars, depending on the severity of the bug.
The social networking platform, which also owns WhatsApp and Instagram, has access to large amounts of private information of its users. The recent Facebook security breach saw founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mark Zuckerberg sit in front of an American congressional panel to address the concerns of the Government and the public. A Brazilian engineer was paid a bounty of $ 33,500 for reporting a bug which showcased vulnerabilities that would allow anyone to read arbitrary files on a web server.
One of the world’s largest corporations, Microsoft has a bug bounty program called the Researcher Recognition Program. It allows white hat hackers (ethical hackers) to report bugs on all of Microsoft’s services and products. Microsoft offers up to $ 300,000 dollars, depending on the type and nature of the bug.
In a bid to compete with Google Maps, Apple released its own version of Maps, called Apple Maps. The utility this application provided was, however, nowhere close to that provided by Google Maps. There was a bug which left motorists stranded in the middle of nowhere in Australia. The motorists, who were supposed to go to the town of Mildura, were instead led to a location which was 45 miles away from the location of the town and was instead a place in a remote national park. Since then, Apple got on to the bug bounty program, which lets white hat hackers and its users report bugs in return for rewards. At a recent Black Hat Briefings conference, Apple announced it would increase its rewards to one million dollars. Apple offers its rewards through its Apple Security Bounty program available on its website.
PayPal offers rewards through its program called the PayPal Bug Bounty Program, which allows users or hackers to report bugs on their domains like PayPal, Braintree, Paydiant, Venmo and Xoom. Paypal currently offers bounties ranging from $ 50 to $ 30,000.
There are many other companies and corporations as well whichwho have a bug bounty program in some form or the other in order to protect their security interests. These programsThis program also attractattracts hackers to test their skillsskill in order to gain recognition from their peers. Even the American Pentagon has a bug bounty program, whichand that goes on to show the importance of security of data in this day and age.
All You Need To Know About Patents In India
India is home to the third largest startup ecosystem in the world trailing behind America and China which rank first and second, respectively. The startup ecosystem is a rapidly evolving mechanism with more and more new ideas coming to life year after year. Imagine having a unique idea which solves a problem and can be converted into a business model. If the individual who comes up with the idea fears the idea might be stolen by another person to be replicated into a business model, the individual could apply for a patent to safeguard the idea. A patent is a form of intellectual property that gives its owner the legal right to exclude others from making, using, selling and importing an invention for a limited period of years, in exchange for publishing and enabling public disclosure of the invention.
The Indian Patents Act was established in 1970 and came into effect from 1972. The Patent Act establishes what kind of inventions can be patentable and non patentable.
For an invention to be established as a patented invention, it needs to satisfy the criteria listed below
- The invention should be a one of its kind. This means the invention shall be completely new and there should be nothing similar of its kind.
- The invention should be unique in itself which means if the invention is making an existing technology or design better, it cannot be classified as a patentable invention.
- It should be useful by developing and improving the life of the common man without the use and support of illegal things.
An additional thing to remember would be discovery of laws of nature could not be quantified as patentable inventions. Examples of this would be Newton’s discovery of Gravity or Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.
Non Patentable Inventions:
According to the Indian Patents Act 1970, Section 3 and 5, there are certain types of inventions that cannot be patented as inventions and are listed below
- A frivolous invention or any claim which contradicts known laws of nature.
- Anything which is used for commercial purposes but contradicts public order and morality or which is prejudiced and causes harm to humans, animals and plant life.
- Discovery of a new or unknown form of substance which does not enhance the known efficacy of the substance.
- A method of agriculture or horticulture.
- Any process or discovery relating to medicine, surgery, curative, prophylactic diagnostic, therapeutic or other treatment of human beings or similar treatment in animals.
- Discoveries pertaining to atomic energy.
Patent Application Process In India
In order to apply and obtain a patent in India,there are certain steps to be followed. The steps for the patent application process are given below.
- Collect and Journal all the important and relevant information pertaining to the invention with as much detail as possible. Information related to how and why the patent works, the advantages and description of the invention should be present.
- Include drawings or designs related to the invention which explain the working of the idea/invention.
- Check if the idea qualifies as an invention for the patent application.
- Check if the invention meets all criteria and requirements according to Indian Patent Act 1970.
- Draft a patent application. A provisional application can be filed if the invention is in the early stages of research and development. Filing for a provisional application grants a person twelve months to come up with complete specifications.
- Upon filing the complete specification along with the application for patent, the application is published after 18 months of first filing.
- The application is examined only after the submission of a request for examination (RFE.) Upon receiving this request the controller gives the patent application to a patent examiner who examines the patent application for various criteria and submits a first examination report which is shared with the patent applier.
- Majority of patent applications would be subject to objections and the patent applicant should ensure all objections are resolved.
- After resolving all the objections the application would be placed in order for grant once it is found to be meeting all patentability requirements.
Owning a patent will help in prevention of theft of intellectual property, gives the right to exclusivity, right to commercialize the idea and increase the marketability and monetary value.
Although the patent application process in India is a very long process and is susceptible to slow bureaucracy, it is important to remember that in the end, owning a patent will be a worthwhile investment. There is also the possibility of the application process being made digital as well due to the technological advancements in digital security.
Coronavirus Pandemic Testing Startups By Disrupting Supply-Demand
When the news about Coronavirus slowly broke on to the world, countries were totally unaware about what was about to happen. The virus which originated in the Wuhan province of China, spread so rapidly that China had to lockdown the entire province in order to combat the virus. However,the virus,which was later classified as a pandemic, quickly spread across the world at an exponential rate bringing countries to a standstill. Many countries had to declare national emergencies in order to cope up with the rising number of positive cases and in some places, high fatality rates. The impact of the virus was not restricted to just the quality of life, rather the economies all over the world were affected. Stock exchanges plummeted so low that it is being compared to the great American economic depression.
Needless to say, once the economy was impacted by the virus, investors started pulling out of the stock markets and startups along with small businesses were the worst hit. India is home to the third largest number of startups in the world ranking behind America and China. When the stock market was taking a tumble and news of the lockdown reached the public, startups in aviation, hospitality, events and transportation took a big hit. The lockdown completely disrupted the supply and demand with people staying at home on government orders. Companies like Uber, Ola, Rapido and Bounce in transportation, airlines along with hospitality startups like Oyo and Treebo, did not see any business during the last month. Sales teams which rely on travelling on ground are now grounded and many startups are being forced to let go of employees or withhold salaries.
However, this time of crisis has been a boon to startups in the healthcare, food, logistics and digital marketing/news sectors that are seeing heavy growth. Startups like Swiggy, Zomato, BigBasket, 1mg, Practo and Dunzo are able to operate even during the lockdown as the government orders allow them to do so.
Most often startups work on a lean organizational structure which means, employees have to often take up cross functional roles. At stressful times like these, work productivity will take a hit. Logistics supply chains across the world are unable to keep up with the demands of the population. This is leading to large delays in deliverables and with vendors unable to operate there is an obvious reduction in revenues.Venture capital firm Sequoia warned of an impending recession following on the backdrop of the pandemic and has asked startups in its portfolio to dig in. Because they see this impending recession may only be contained after several quarters and it may take even longer for economies to recover and become stable. Sequoia even urged companies to rethink their business models and consider cutting jobs.
However the startup ecosystem is coming together to help their stakeholders in this time of need. Zomato raised more than 10 crore rupees in a crowd sourcing funding round to support its driver partners. Ola group and its employees will contribute 20 crore rupees to support its driver partners. This entire phase would be a litmus test for startups to see how they can adapt and boost their immunity to the economic aftereffects of the Coronavirus. Many startups will struggle but if they make it to the end of the tunnel, there is no doubt there would be a wealth of learning and opportunities gained.
Enactus – Student Run Organisation Uplifting Marginalised Individuals With Project Syahi
Most businesses and organisations in the recent years have realised the importance of hiring talent with entrepreneurial mindsets. However, in India, which churns out millions of graduates every year, the stark reality is that companies are unwilling to hire them, mostly for lacking entrepreneurial and business skills.
However undergraduate students always have the option of joining in student run organisations. Many student organisations nowadays are not for profit organisations and have clear hierarchies and democratic ideals. The working model of these organisations are designed in such a way that students develop competitive and entrepreneurial skills and at the same time help contribute to the betterment of the society along with developing a sense of strong sense of social responsibility and sustainability.
Enactus is one such global organisation founded by Robert T. Davis in 1975 and is currently operating in 37 countries worldwide in the form of student chapters. Enactus Kirori Mal is one such student chapter located in New Delhi, India.
Project Syahi launched on September 19th,2019, is one of the three projects taken up by the Enactus Kirori Mal Chapter which aims to combat and reduce the usage of single use plastic pens by introducing hand made paper pens by marginalised women. The whole project aims to uplift the marginalised community of women based in Tilak Nagar, Delhi. Project Syahi offered the students a chance to analyze a prevalent problem in the community and come up with a sustainable business model after thorough research, prototyping and testing. The whole project also aligns with the sustainable development goals laid down by the United Nations.
Handcrafted by indigenous women, the pens come in three different models and can be customised. The pens are made from recycled paper and help reduce plastic usage but another unique feature is that the pens carry a seed in the rear end of the pen, which lets the user plant a sapling after disposing of the pen.
These pens have already gained popularity due to collaborations with CNBC, IBM and the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS.) The pens are also available in various stationary shops in Delhi and have even managed to reach the Northern city of Ludhiana.
Project Syahi rightly lives up to its motto Scribble. Sow. Save.
- All You Need To Know About Patents In India
- Coronavirus Pandemic Testing Startups By Disrupting Supply-Demand
- 8 Best Business Ideas To Start In 2020
- Enactus – Student Run Organisation Uplifting Marginalised Individuals With Project Syahi
- How The Tech Industry Is Coming Together To Fight The Coronavirus Pandemic
- Social Media Paves The Way For Cosmetic Entrepreneurs
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