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Microsoft names Security Shootout contest winners

Written by: Staff

Bangalore, Jun 29: Microsoft Corporation India Pvt. Ltd. today announced that Varun Sharma has won the Security Shootout contest. After competing with over 11,200 developers from across India and undergoing three strenuous rounds of secure coding, Varun Sharma is now the proud owner of a customized Scorpio Passion. Security Shootout was designed specially for the growing developer community in India and has been a great success in its first year of launch. The initiative was aimed at providing budding developers with an opportunity to gain knowledge on how to write secure code and develop secure software applications. Security Shootout is part of Microsoft's ongoing security mobilization efforts, under which it works closely with partners and customers to promote software security.

Vimal Rajyaguru and Ashwath Govindan emerged as the first and second runners up respectively and were presented a Toshiba M4 laptop each. Through the contest over 7500 prizes were won by the participants, including Pocket PC's and 80GB USB 2.0 powered external hard disk drives. Also, the top 500 participants received security certification vouchers, which will help them hone their code development skills over a long term. Through this initiative, Microsoft is also making an extensive collection of security resources available to developers, such as webcasts, blogs, articles, white papers and books.

Talking about Security Shootout, the winner Varun Sharma said "Microsoft Security Shootout has given me great opportunity not only to gain knowledge and skills on how to develop secure code but also to realize the magnitude and scale of the problem faced by software developers when it comes to security. Initiatives like these are relevant to the developer community as they act as stepping stones into our professional lives."

Commenting on the security scenario in India, Sivarama Krishnan, Associate Director - Security&Technology Services, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, said, "As per estimates from IDC, IT security spend is likely to grow from USD 17 billion in 2001 to US billion in 2006 and vulnerabilities have been increasing at a rate of over 40 percent year-on-year, which is an alarming trend. There is a clear trend in increasing vulnerabilities and attacks at the application level as the number of lapses the attackers can find in Operating Systems are reducing over the years. Application security is a growing problem and needs to be addressed at all stages - design, development, deployment." He further said "Initiatives such as the Microsoft Security Shootout contest, not only help developers realize the extent of this issue, they also provide them with skills to secure applications, which will benefit the industry as a whole."

According to Gartner research, 70 percent of all enterprise security vulnerabilities are at the software applications stage. Further, according to research conducted by Microsoft, 64 percent of in-house enterprise software developers agree that they lack the confidence to write secure applications. Based on these facts, it is evident that there is an urgent need to train developers on how to write secure code.

According to Ms Sheila Gulati, Director, Developer Platform and Evangelism Microsoft India, "Security is of paramount importance in today's technology driven world. Through our Trustworthy Computing program, we have been making significant investments at all stages of the process - product development, deployment and customer awareness. The security shootout contest was designed to take this a level deeper and educate India's large developer community on the need for focusing on security in every sphere of their work. We believe that this will help drive deeper skills among Indian technologists, and help address the security issue at the most fundamental level."

Microsoft is making significant investments in the area of security and has initiated the Trustworthy Computing initiative towards this. Under TWC, Microsoft is working on three specific areas - Technology investments, wherein it is committed to providing customers and users with the most secure products by eliminating all security vulnerabilities before a product ships; Prescriptive Guidance, which involves educating and empowering people; and industry partnerships, under which Microsoft is working with the government and industry to evolve security laws and standards.

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