Author Archive Jayanthi

ByJayanthi

Why does each state of India have a separate language?

Well, almost, each state…

And sometimes, I feel like I am answering questions on Quora… πŸ™‚ but I love to find answers for questions like these.

Now let us try to answer the question, first though some introduction. Each of the four(or is it five states, now?) southern states of India – Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka each have a separate language and there are other local dialects too… (amazing, isn’t it?! :))The Northern states mostly adhere to Hindi. The western state of Gujarat has Gujarati as its language and the eastern states of India have their own languages (Assamese, Bengali etc) India is stated to home to 23 official languages and another 1650 languages!! (can you imagine?)

India might be the only country in the world or one of the few countries that has so many languages. No sooner do we drive 5-6 hours(roughly – not perfect here) in India , are we in another state with a different language and entirely different customs and traditions. 

 

But how did so many languages come into existence in India? 

India is an old country with rich traditions and customs. It is shaped by a beautiful history from the Mughal empire, Ashoka empire, Hoysala empire and so on.  As each dynasty left, they carved out beautiful traditions and new languages. It mixed with local languages and new dialects must have been born. This might have passed down generations and ultimately that became the language of a particular area of land… till a new dynasty came to power. This is my thought to this question – what is yours?

The reason that the languages stayed for so many years and it is still living:

The only answer that came to my mind was that we could not move as much(new forms of transportation like cars, bikes, boats, air travel have been achieved only of late) – so the languages that mushroomed stayed where they were. Moving from one place to another is a chore even in this day and age – imagine how it would have been several years ago. 

So, if Tamil was spoken in the state of Tamil Nadu and if people could not move much, they stayed there and propagated the language there alone. The same might be the case for other languages too. This has been continuing till date and the beautiful languages of India have stayed, grown and have continued to embellish our lives!

 

 

 

Jayanthi Manikandan has an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from India and a Master’s degree in Information systems with a specialization in Information security from Detroit, MI, USA.

She has been passionate about Information security and has several years of experience writing on various technical topics. Additionally, she loves to pen a few personal thoughts here as well! πŸ™‚

ByJayanthi

Video or Text?

I am sure this question might have appeared in other forums – but after writing innumerable blog posts, I am always curious as to what should be the apt medium of communication for creating blog posts. Should it be videos or should it be plain text to get the point across? I am not going to be using any marketing terminology πŸ™‚ …but rather a layman content writer’s viewpoint…

Let us see the pros and cons of each type.

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Jayanthi Manikandan has an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from India and a Master’s degree in Information systems with a specialization in Information security from Detroit, MI, USA.

She has been passionate about Information security and has several years of experience writing on various technical topics. Additionally, she loves to pen a few personal thoughts here as well! πŸ™‚

ByJayanthi

What is Information security?

After having dealt with a huge number of posts on Information security, I thought I will answer one of the fundamental questions about Information security in this post – “What is Information security?” πŸ™‚

Definition:

Information security or “InfoSec” is that discipline of study that broadly seeks to counter and prevent cyber attacks. It also seeks to keep data/information safe by employing different techniques and strategies.

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Jayanthi Manikandan has an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from India and a Master’s degree in Information systems with a specialization in Information security from Detroit, MI, USA.

She has been passionate about Information security and has several years of experience writing on various technical topics. Additionally, she loves to pen a few personal thoughts here as well! πŸ™‚

ByJayanthi

The toughest job in the world…

I think most women might know it and most men might have guessed it too… πŸ™‚ 

Every job is nerve racking and highly demanding with its timings and different styles of working but this one job demands you to be a super juggler and the stakeholders in this career tug at your heart strings more! πŸ™‚ 

THAT JOB IS THAT OF A ‘MOTHER’! πŸ™‚

The transformation:

Right from the time when the child/children enter a woman’s life, her life is totally transformed a complete 180 degrees! It is amazing how one’s life goes from being a totally in-control life to a super busy life(really, that kind of ‘busy’ has to be only experienced!!) by a small human being who might be only approximately 21 inches long! This transformation of course, is forever, and will last a life time and beyond.

And for first time mothers, in spite of what you have read and re-read from all mom’s diaries, and all mom-preparations, the surprise might be huge! πŸ™‚ (not to scare any first time moms, though)

From raising a child from a new born baby to adulthood, each stage requires different skills and patience. 

The chaos:

Let us look at one chaotic situation in a mother’s life:

While kid #1, demands attention in homework, kid #2, would have injured herself terribly at school demanding an immediate doctor consultation. In all possibilities, it might just be dinner time and food might be half cooked on the stove and hey… the husband might be travelling too! πŸ˜‰ (Now, isn’t this a fine example of a mother juggling all the duties by herself) 

And if you are in the western world, you can add a fine hint of disaster weather to above menu too( a snowstorm might be a distinct possibility!! :()

Chaotic situation #2:

I am sure most mothers have faced this. When kid #1 falls sick with fever, cold, vomiting etc etc, in all possibilities , kid #2 will be down too and that too after a few days. It might spread to other family members and seeing the doctor becomes the norm!

Re-entering the work force:

Let us look at the mothers and work too. Now, most mothers are well educated and most “were” working before they became “moms”. Trying to get back to work, is a thought most mothers have at the back of their mind.

Most new mothers take a short/long breaks in view of motherhood. Some might think of taking a short break which might become a looong break! While getting back to work is much easier in India(or in your own home country) because of the excellent support system(grandparents, cooks, maids, baby sitters, drivers etc) In the US, it is mostly the grandparents who are the most trusted “baby sitters” (or “daycare” if you have the heart to put them in one)when the kids are young.

And even after re-entering the workforce after a while, many women choose careers based on their kids schedule rather than their own qualification or  experience(odd, but true!) Many mother’s do not opt for the same corporate grind…(while there are some exceptional women who do that – and hats off to them!! :))

In spite of everything, it is a beautiful profession and I love the toughest job in the world!! πŸ™‚

And as I conclude, I am reminded of the saying “God could not be everywhere, so he made mothers!”! 

 

 

 

 

Jayanthi Manikandan has an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from India and a Master’s degree in Information systems with a specialization in Information security from Detroit, MI, USA.

She has been passionate about Information security and has several years of experience writing on various technical topics. Additionally, she loves to pen a few personal thoughts here as well! πŸ™‚

ByJayanthi

Social engineering

Introduction:

” 22 bank accounts hacked, β‚Ή5.3 lakh stolen in 48 hours” scream the headlines in a local newspaper on 28th January, 2018 morning.(Source: http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/22-bank-accounts-hacked-53-lakh-stolen-in-48-hours/article22538891.ece)

How did it happen? Two customers were duped of nearly 20,000 Rs and 50,000 Rs by a two conmen(or was it one?) who called the customers in the guise of “bank agents”. They were  asked for their bank details and OTP(one time password) The customers readily obliged since the call was from their “bank”. In a short time, they noticed, that their money was fraudulently withdrawn. 

This is the social engineering technique used by hackers and fraudsters.Let us see this in greater detail.

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Jayanthi Manikandan has an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from India and a Master’s degree in Information systems with a specialization in Information security from Detroit, MI, USA.

She has been passionate about Information security and has several years of experience writing on various technical topics. Additionally, she loves to pen a few personal thoughts here as well! πŸ™‚

ByJayanthi

The drive

Years ago, a newly married girl in her early twenties stepped into the US with her  husband. After a number of tiring flights from India, she was finally at home in her new home in College station, TX. Life decently settled down after a while and  she had to master a few things before being comfortable in a foreign country. The first thing was to learn driving so that she could have her mobility.

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Unlike India, where one could learn driving from a driving school,  it was only cheaper and more sensible to learn driving from those around u in the US(friends, peers etc)  So, who else to teach the girl to drive but the husband! πŸ™‚ She had never driven any sort of motored vehicle in her life so, this was going to be an interesting experience! πŸ™‚ 

Most cars in the US were automatic but as luck would have it, the husband had a ‘manual transmission car’ or ‘stick shift’. She saw other newly wedded husbands teaching their wives on automatic transmission cars and they got licenses in a jiffy!(much to her misery!) 

The first day:

If anybody who knew the girl thought she was patient – the husband was patient++!! πŸ™‚ He was very methodical, there were diagrams for everything, from cars to family trees! πŸ™‚

On the first day, she was taught about the accelerator(“it was also called the ‘gas pedal’ in the US” – she was told! :)) , the clutch and the brake and their positions.  She felt her head totally spin – she could never remember the position of the clutch, the brake and accelerator.

He being a good Mechanical engineer wanted to explain all about the inner workings of the clutch, brake and the gas pedal – but the Computer science engineer would hear nothing of it! πŸ˜‰ Who really cared about the clutch, and other things when the mind was thinking about programming?!! 

It was decided that he would teach her driving every Monday, Wed, Friday for about an hour and the routine was followed in spite of a few emotional outbursts here and there! πŸ™‚

First day, First gear:

She was told to “press the clutch and then change to first gear”. Once she was in first gear, she was told to slowly remove the foot from the clutch and press the gas pedal….but once she removed the foot from the clutch and pressed the gas pedal, the car shuddered to a stop!! And she wondered why!! πŸ™‚ (any ideas?!) 

As the days went by the car was behaving erratically and understanding a newly wedded husband teaching you was even more amusing! (Was he pushy, was he slow in  teaching u, or was he harsh, she wondered!! )

Other gears:

A few days later, they moved onto the second, third and fourth gears and each gear change was an interesting experience!! The car never failed to unnerve her with its constant gasping, grinding and shuddering experience! πŸ™‚ The husband as methodical as ever, thought of appropriate routes for each change in gear(and corresponding change in speed too) in the tiny TX town. 

Soon, after a quite a period of time, she had graduated to fifth gear and what place to practice fifth gear, than the highway! They went to the highway just outside the city of College station, TX and practiced diligently. 

Finally!

Finally, after nearly 6 months(yes, this was an extremely patient couple!! :)) she had learned to change all the gears without the engine rumbling too much and all that there was to master was the ‘reverse gear’ and ‘parallel parking’. 

He would always praise   the “smooth change in gears of certain individuals” – but she wasn’t one of those “smooth changing individuals for sure!!” πŸ™‚

‘Reverse gear’ was equally nerve racking and she was told to strictly turn back and look and not just look at the rear view mirror before reversing! 

Parallel parking was a big story in itself and she was taught with the exact rules in the safety book. (In those days, the Internet was in its infancy and there was nobody else to teach her – but her husband!)

“Park by the side of the car, turn all the way to the left, and start reversing to the spot, and once you are in, start straightening and so on… “!! πŸ™‚ were the directions of parallel parking from him!

Finally, after a very, very loong period of 11 months, she was ready to take the driving test. She was given strict instructions on what to do and what not to do on the test and she did pass the test with flying colors on the very first try! πŸ™‚

And last but not least, I am sure you would have guessed the characters in the story! πŸ™‚

Dedicated to all husbands teaching their wives to drive or any wives teaching their husbands to drive too! πŸ™‚

Note: 

For those, wondering what is “parallel parking?” It would be good to read this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parallel_parking

 

 

 

Jayanthi Manikandan has an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from India and a Master’s degree in Information systems with a specialization in Information security from Detroit, MI, USA.

She has been passionate about Information security and has several years of experience writing on various technical topics. Additionally, she loves to pen a few personal thoughts here as well! πŸ™‚

ByJayanthi

Security policies

‘Security policies’ are yet another aspect of Information security that is all around us – but we are hardly aware of it. We will see the meaning of security policy, the reasons for having security policies and some examples of security policies in this post.

A security policy in a nut shell is a document that lays out in detail how an organization is planning to safeguard its business and technological assets.

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Jayanthi Manikandan has an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from India and a Master’s degree in Information systems with a specialization in Information security from Detroit, MI, USA.

She has been passionate about Information security and has several years of experience writing on various technical topics. Additionally, she loves to pen a few personal thoughts here as well! πŸ™‚

ByJayanthi

Biometrics

‘Biometrics’ is gaining more recognition in today’s world – thanks be to popular organizations embracing it. What is ‘Biometrics’ and what are the different types of biometrics? Read on to find out:

Biometrics – Definition:

Biometrics is uniquely used to identify a person by making use of the distinct characteristics of a person. According to the Michigan State University Biometrics research group, β€œThe field of biometrics examines the unique physical or behavioral traits that can be used to determine a person’s identity”.  These unique traits can be fingerprints, palm scan, hand geometry, retina scan, iris scan, keyboard scan to name a few of them.

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Jayanthi Manikandan has an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from India and a Master’s degree in Information systems with a specialization in Information security from Detroit, MI, USA.

She has been passionate about Information security and has several years of experience writing on various technical topics. Additionally, she loves to pen a few personal thoughts here as well! πŸ™‚

ByJayanthi

Security trends for 2018!

With the New Year upon us, it is but natural to write about my thoughts on the security trends that might shape 2018! πŸ™‚ So, here goes:

  1. Overall, security trends will closely follow technical trends for a particular year. If AI(Artificial intelligence) , ‘Data analytics’ and IoT(Internet of things) are said to be game changers in the technical industry for 2018 – Infosec trends will definitely exploit the security issues with the mentioned concepts. 
  2. ‘Expect the unexpected’

This might be life’s greatest quote but it holds good for the Infosec industry as well. Equifax, eBay, Uber, University of  Oklahoma, Washington State University were all victims of data breaches of 2017.

These data breaches compromised personal data and 2018 will be yet another year, which steals more personal data. More organizations will lose their precious data or the data will be at the mercy of yet another ingenious way to grab it!

3. ‘Bitcoin’ and other cryptocurrencies:

Will ‘Bitcoin’ hold its sway and continue its meteoric rise? From a humble value of 1000$(for 1 Bitcoin) in the beginning of 2017 to a massive rise of 15,000$(for 1 Bitcoin) by the end of 2017, Bitcoin sure did raise a few eyebrows.  It is quite a possibility that the rise will continue and ‘Bitcoin’ and other cryptocurrencies will be a game changer in the Infosec industry in 2018.

4. Ransomware, fileless malware… what next?

Viruses,phishing emails,Trojan horse were already on the prowl than, that new attacks came to the fore in 2017. We heard new security jargon like ‘ransomware’ and ‘fileless malware’ in 2017 and were scrambling to read all about it , understand it and see if were affected by it in any way. 

2018 will continue to see newer types of attacks and newer security lingo thrown around as hackers get smarter. The more a technology or product is used – the higher the possibility it will be exploited in a novel manner for personal gains. 

5. Data privacy 

Data privacy continues to be a lost issue with every new device monitoring our conversation, location, likes, dislikes. There is a huge electronic virtual  dictionary being built on us with the digital footprint that we are constantly leaving. This will continue into 2018 and beyond!

These are the five points that I think might shake the InfoSec world in 2018!

 

Jayanthi Manikandan has an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from India and a Master’s degree in Information systems with a specialization in Information security from Detroit, MI, USA.

She has been passionate about Information security and has several years of experience writing on various technical topics. Additionally, she loves to pen a few personal thoughts here as well! πŸ™‚

ByJayanthi

Digital Detox

With most of us(or is it ‘all’ of us?!) being being plugged onto electronic devices like cell phones, laptops, tablets, IPads all the time, it is but necessary that we need a ‘digital detox’ from time to time.  It will be one of my New Year resolutions for sure! What is a ‘Digital Detox’ you may ask…well, read on to find out more…

 

What is ‘Digital detox’?

‘Digital Detox’ is when we divorce all our digital assets and keep away from it at least for a day in a month.

Is anything even possible without our smartphone and the countless apps that are on it? From bill payments, to booking tickets and ordering groceries – there is an app for everything and we are completely dependent on them.

Considering that social media rules our life, and we are always in a crouched position at any place in life(it maybe the grocery store, in the car, in India – we are in a crouched position even in our scooters!) it could also mean keeping away from Facebook, Whatsapp,Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter etc.

It will also mean keeping away from emails and not responding to the millions of emails that clutter our office work space. 

What are its simple advantages?

Giving our self a ‘digital detox’ will definitely help us in the following ways:

  1. To sleep better
  2. To connect with people the old fashioned way
  3. The compulsive urge to ‘like’ and respond to queries immediately will diminish
  4. Kids will imitate their parents and they will be less digitally dependent too
  5. One will lead a much more healthier life without an app tracking every step of theirs
  6. Others will get used to the ‘digital detox’ routine too!

How do we do it?

  1. Keep the smartphones away for a day
  2. Do not check messages or update statuses on any social media platforms
  3. Keep the laptops, tablets, iPads away for a day too
  4. Do not check email messages or respond to them under any circumstances

Why not try it today? Happy New ‘digitally detoxified‘ Year, 2018!! πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

Jayanthi Manikandan has an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from India and a Master’s degree in Information systems with a specialization in Information security from Detroit, MI, USA.

She has been passionate about Information security and has several years of experience writing on various technical topics. Additionally, she loves to pen a few personal thoughts here as well! πŸ™‚