Cyber-threats and Security in Computing

Tablets, smartphones, TV set-top boxes, GPS navigation devices, exercise monitors, home security stations all have your data. This data is freely shared to devices and you have no control over this.

With cyber-threats like Ransomware doing the rounds, a lot needs to be done in the field of Computer Security.

On the one hand people want the convenience and benefits that added connectivity brings, while on the other hand, people are worried, and some are seriously harmed by the impact of such incidents.


It is a type of malicious software from cryptovirology that threatens to publish the victim’s data or perpetually block access to it unless a ransom is paid. While some simple ransomware may lock the system in a way which is not difficult for a knowledgeable person to reverse, more advanced malware uses a technique called cryptoviral extortion, in which it encrypts the victim’s files, making them inaccessible, and demands a ransom payment to decrypt them.  In a properly implemented cryptoviral extortion attack, recovering the files without the decryption key is an intractable problem – and difficult to trace digital currencies such as Ukash and cryptocurrency are used for the ransoms, making tracing and prosecuting the perpetrators difficult.

CryptoLocker.F or TorrentLocker

Computer security brings the two threads together as technology races forward with smart products whose designers omit the basic controls that can prevent or limit catastrophes.

Vulnerability: weakness
Threat: condition that exercises vulnerability
Incident: vulnerability + threat
Control: reduction of threat or vulnerablity

Computer security is the protection of the items you value, called the assets of a computer or computer system. There are many types of assets, involving hardware, software, data, people, processes, or combinations of these. To determine what to protect, we must first identify what has value and to whom. A computer device (including hardware, added components, and accessories) is certainly an asset. Because most computer hardware is pretty useless without programs, the software is also an asset. Software includes the operating system, utilities and device handlers; applications such as word processing, media players or email handlers; and even programs that you may have written yourself.

The thing that makes your computer unique and important to you is its content:

photos, tunes, papers, email messages, projects, calendar information, ebooks (with your annotations), contact information, code you created, and the like. Thus, data items on a computer are assets, too. Unlike most hardware and software, data can be hard—if not impossible—to recreate or replace.

Emerging Topics:

Medical Devices
Mobile Phones Security
Electronic Voting

Books and References:

Information Security by Mark RhodesOusley,  McGrawHill Publications

Essential Cybersecurity Science by Josiah Dykstra, O’Reilly Publications

Principles of Computer Security: CompTIA Security+ and Beyond Wm.Arthur Conklin, Greg White, McGraw Hill Publications

Reference: Security in Computing, Fifth Edition by Jonathan Margulies, Shari Lawrence Pfleeger, Charles P. Pfleeger

Exam preparation tips for First Year Engineering

It’s not like you are totally unaware about studying for exams. In fact, you have been doing it right all your life, that’s exactly why you’ve landed up here, right? But, what gets you a little worried for preparing for your very first semester exam in engineering is that all subjects, in a way, are new to you. Oh yeah, and haven’t we heard about KTs? Scary much?

But, don’t you worry for here’re some tips for you to clear your semesters:

    • Analyse your syllabus: The best part about our (Mumbai) University is that you can estimate what questions can be asked and from where. You can easily gauge from past question papers, the number of questions / weightage of every chapter. On this basis, you can figure out the time that you want to give to every chapter.
    • Make a schedule: Making a schedule is a must. Not only will that give you direction, but, will also make you understand your position in terms of your preparations and will bring you back on track, in case you procrastinate. This is what every other blog tells you. What it doesn’t tell you is ‘how’ to make a schedule.
      1. If you have ample time in your hands, then you must start with the most difficult topic carrying the maximum weightage. Get thorough with it. This will give you enough confidence and will keep you motivated.
      2. Start with the last paper in your exam schedule and then schedule the second last, so on and so forth. This will give you maximum time for every paper (subject).
      3. Also include time for revision and solving QPS. This is the most important strategy. Just knowing the answer right is not enough for our University boards, presenting it appropriately is a must. So, solve QPs and check with solutions.
      4. Also include your free time in the schedule. Most of the times, we skip on this as we do not give it due importance. But, it’s important to include breaks and free days in your schedule. One cannot study for 6 or 8 hours at a stretch. Make a schedule for 2-3 hours instead. For example, 9:00 a.m. to 12 noon-LUNCH BREAK-1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.-Play time/TV-5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.-DINNER BREAK, likewise. Also make time for festivities, relatives etc. right in your schedule, because, you’re anyway not going to study during that time.
    • Do not leave any topic: Any topic left undone automatically makes you underprepared for scoring your pointer score.
    • Subject preparation:Engineering Math – This is a subject you must focus on as Math gives most of us nightmares. For engineers, however, Math is your wings for you to fly. The stronger, the better and smoother your flight will be.Mechanics – The newest and a subject dreaded by most as it has chances of getting you a backlog. Statics and dynamics should be majorly focussed. Practice all problems twice-thrice. Check previous exam papers.

      BEE – This is also one of the two new subjects for you, but, students with vocational subjects in XII Std. kind of have an hang of it. Nevertheless, get thorough with the basics. Get in touch with your professors with any little query. Get it resolved.

      With all these tips, I am sure your engineering syllabus will quite be under your grasp. Extra effort will have to be put to iron out any weakness from your end, though. All the best!

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How to crack corporate interviews of mass-recruiters

Hello! So, you are in the final year of engineering! And like every common engineer in India, you are now looking forward to crack corporate interviews. Oh yes, and you want to give it your best shot. So here are a few basic tips to get your dream job.

Depending upon your college and the branch you take, here are some mass recruiting companies that may conduct corporate interview rounds at your college campus:

Mass recruiters Tech Giants Others/Start-ups:
TCS Amazon Codenation
Cognizant Flipkart Snapdeal
IBM Microsoft ThoughtWorks
Accenture Goldman Sachs BankBazaar
Infosys Adobe Groupon
HCL LinkedIn MakeMyTrip
Hewlett-Packard Qualcomm Quikr
Ericsson Bloomberg
Godrej Intuit Amdocs
Siemens Intel Aricent
Reliance Energy Samsung NEC
  Expedia Orange
  Morgan Stanley  


Most mass recruiters are IT companies and hence, there is a high demand for CS/IT engineers. These companies do have a set recruitment criteria, depending upon their requirement for that particular year. Some companies have criterion that the candidate should not have any KTs in any semester, as opposed to that, others would not want KTs in current semesters and yet others would not bother with KTs at all as long as you have a good CGPI in current semesters.

Now, depending upon this criterion, candidates are finalised for Written Test comprising of GA and English. Once this is through, an interview round is scheduled that is either technical or with the HR.

The recruitment procedure, however, may differ with panellists and HR who are conducting that particular round. With respect to CS/IT, IT giants like TCS, Infosys, Accenture, etc. do not look much for technical skills in a candidate. However, basic understanding of programming languages is required. The focus is always on logic building capability and the way you articulate and communicate your thoughts and ideas for any given piece of code/ problem rather than just writing down a piece of already existing code. Most of the companies do train the newly hired in specific technology as per the business requirement.

Other than this, they do look for good communication skills. You need not worry about all your engineering subjects but, be prepared for at least two of those. If you are from CS, then a basic knowledge of operating systems and time complexity is expected form the candidate. If you have mastered any one language, then that would suffice, but, please ensure that you have good grades and NO KTs. However, if there is a cut off, and due to your last semester marks, your CGPA drops below the cut off or you get an arrear, you could be dropped off. So, do be consistent in maintaining your average.

Electrical and electronics engineering is considered almost on par with computer science engineering as they also have the knowledge of basic programming languages like C, C++, etc. and all you need is to focus on logic building.

With this, try to maintain eye contact with the interviewer. If there’s a panel, try to distribute your attention to everybody.

Certain questions that you can be prepared for:

What is your dream job like?

Tell me about yourself.

What are your greatest strengths?

What are your greatest weaknesses?

Tell me about something you did or failed to do or how did you cope up with success/failure?

Corporate companies also hire for core branch engineers. Companies like Godrej, Siemens and Reliance Energy and other companies looking for core branch engineers might be interested more in your final year project and may ask you more questions based on your technical skills. So, be thoroughly prepared with your final year project.

A nicely packed fresh engineer with ability to learn, communicate and cope with stress is what matters and you will be trained as per their business requirements. With these basic preps, may the winds be in your favour and may you sail through (with the best package in the industry, of course!).

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Getting the Most Out of the First Year Engineering Process

So you’ve taken the CET and are now waiting for results. At this point, we’re sure that your mind is buzzing with several questions – what’s the best possible engineering college for my score? Which branch should I choose? How should I fill the option form? Do I need to do anything to prepare myself for engineering? Will I be able to cope with the first year of engineering?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! So take a deep breath and read on.

The entire engineering admissions process for 2018 is centralized, conducted by the DTE (Directorate of Technical Education) and is a merit based online allotment system. Allotments are given in 3 rounds based on an option form that you fill. You can fill anywhere between 1 and 300 options (course + college combinations) in your engineering option form. So to get the best possible allotment, you need to fill your option form as best as you can. Here’s what you have got to do to make that happen. Note that you should execute each step in the order mentioned below:

Make a list of courses that you are interested in

Make a list of courses that you are interested in. This is easier said than done because there’s so much variety! But there are things that you can do to get clarity. For example, you could download the entire engineering syllabus of branches that you are interested in and study that. This will give you insights on whether you might like a particular branch.

Make a list of colleges that have the courses which you are interested in

Once you have chosen 1 branch of primary interest and 2-3 other allied branches, you need to choose colleges which offer these courses and to which you want to apply. Unfortunately, we can’t point you to any authentic government ranking that includes all colleges. Even the governments’ NIRF ranking includes only a fraction of the total colleges. This means that you need to do your own research. You should shortlist colleges based on factors such as teaching quality, cost, distance and placements.

Balance your course – college combinations

Next, you need to decide whether to give more preference to courses or colleges. Our general advice would be to give more preference to courses because you will spend the next 4 years of your life, and maybe the rest of your career in that field. So you need to enjoy what you learn.

Write the option form

After having complete clarity on the options that you want to include, it’s time to start arranging these in the option form. Evaluate each option completely (i.e. college + course) on the basis of its own merit and then arrange them in descending order of preference. You should do this because the online system scans each option form from top to bottom. Note that it’s a good idea to include Dream Options (20-30 marks above your CET score), Optimistic Options (10-20 marks above your CET score) and Realistic Options (-10 to +10 marks from your CET score).

Participate in the Institute Level Process

To maximize your chances of getting into a quality seat (i.e. course of your choice & institute of repute) you should simultaneously participate in college institute level processes (available only in private colleges) too. To participate, you need to approach to each college that you are interested in and purchase its institute level quota application form.

Study a few of your first year subjects in the next 2 months

Once you’ve got admission into your dream college and course, your goal is to do well academically. This is really important – especially from the placements point of view because the first thing companies look at while reviewing applications for internships and placements are the candidates’ percentage and whether the candidate has failed in any engineering subject. This is a real challenge because around 65% of the students fail in at least 1 of the 12 subjects of first year engineering.

Because students are free for the next 2 months i.e. till the end of the online application process, we highly recommend joining coaching during this time and studying at least 2 subjects out of the 6 that you will face in the 1st semester of engineering. At Vidyalankar, vacation batches begin from 11th June at all our centres. The exact schedule for this can be downloaded from the following link:

We understand that you still might have questions about the admissions process. To know more, we’d love to host you at our Mission Admission Seminar series. You can get the upcoming schedule of seminars at the following link:


How Students Can Maximize Their Chances of Securing Admission to a Great Engineering College

Did you just give your CET exams and now waiting to get your CET score? Are you worried about which Engineering college you may get into? Do you know everything about the new CAP rounds for engineering admissions? If you have these questions, then we have the answers.

Here are some hard core truths about the new engineering admissions process that you need to pay careful attention to!

  1. Number of students taking engineering CET (MHT-CET) has gone up from 2 lakhs in 2016 to 3.89 lakhs in 2017. Number of seats for engineering in Maharashtra is 1.5 lakhs. Competition to get into engineering colleges has nearly doubled.
  2. Though you may have read reports that a few seats in colleges go vacant each year, this is unlikely to be the case this year. Further, even if seats go vacant, they are from colleges in small towns or villages. There is always high demand for good colleges and colleges based out of cities.
  3. This year, all seats in Government colleges will be filled through the Centralized Admission Process (CAP). For private colleges, 80% seats are filled through CAP and 20% through Institute Level Quota.
  4. Due to the sharp increase in competition, if students do not fill in their option form carefully, they may not be allotted a seat of their choice. To avoid this from happening, students need to adopt a methodical approach to filling the option form. As such, students should, in order follow the steps mentioned below:
    > Identify courses / branches of their interest
    > Identify colleges of their interest
    > Decide whether to give preference to the course or college
    > List down all college-course combinations of their interest in descending order of priority
    > Assess the feasibility of the options listed
    > Finalizing the course-college combinations that they are interested in and which are feasible for their CET merit rank
  5. Finalizing the option form is only half the battle. Students should simultaneously apply to private institutes through the institute level processes to maximize the chance of getting the engineering course and college of their choice.
  6. Lastly, students who think that their CET score may not be good enough to get them into an engineering college of repute and a course of their choice should consider other good options such as BSc(IT).

Now that you have the low down of how difficult it could be to get into an engineering college / branch of your choice, you need to plan well in advance. To help you out, we are organizing informative seminars across multiple locations in Mumbai. All of these seminars have been packed to the limits, so we’d request you to reserve your seat today!

Here are a few reasons why you need to attend FREE Mission Admission Seminars conducted by Vidyalankar:

  • The seminars are conducted by industry veterans – All informative seminars are conducted by experienced personnel who have a firm grip over the admissions process. For instance, below we have a video of Mr. Avinash Chatorikar, one of the Vidyalankar Group Directors, taking the info session. Mr. Chatorikar has delivered these seminars for more than 15 years! He holds a B.Tech degree from U.D.C.T, an M.Tech from I.I.T Mumbai and an MS from Okhlahoma State University , U.S.A.

To register for our Free Seminar, please visit:

  • You get real, unbiased answers: Feel free to come to the seminars with a ton of doubts about the engineering admission process and leave with no questions unanswered. Most of the seminars are attended by parents and their wards and become an open Q&A platform for the most pressing questions you have.
  • Discover strategies of getting into the best engineering college / branch of your choice: We will provide you with all the tips & tricks you need to get into the engineering college / branch of your choice. As stated earlier, this is no mean feat! Our strategies include tips for filling out Engineering admission forms and wisely making your selections!
  • We need extra seating! Yes, we do: All our seminars are packed to the rafters! To ensure that you do get a seat, its best to reserve one earlier. Come in early as seats fill on a first come, first serve basis.




To know more about the engineering admissions process and how to optimize your chance of securing a quality engineering seat, attend Vidyalankar’s informative seminars on Understanding the Process of Engineering Admissions. You can register at the link below:

First Year Engineering Admission

The euphoria of good results leads on to the next step in one’s academic life. What next? Which Engineering college? How do I go about it? Though the admission happens through the DTE online admission process, it’s not as simple as it sounds. The students and also the parents are in a state of total confusion about how do theyI make their choice of branch and match it with a college of their choice.

To put an end to this anguish and turmoil, Vidyalankar, over the years have been at the side of the student community, doing their best to help solve the queries that keep arising with the change of the DTE norms every year. Their well-planned seminars at popular places in Mumbai have just one aim in mind; that is to make the process of filling the application form easy and to help every student realise their dream of studying in their college of preference without compromising on their choice of branch of study. The speakers at these seminars are people, who are well versed with the norms of the form filling and have, over the many years, helped thousands of students get into the stream and college they most preferred.

Attending these seminars come with no hidden cost, but benefits in abundance. Parents and students can make the best use of these platforms and fill up their online forms in peace and freeze on their choice of college and branch.

Career Choices After Engineering

What have you thought about doing next? M.Tech? OR MBA? OR a job? Even if you have decided on something, it is advisable to explore the other options lying in front of you.

Here are some career options which every student should consider while making this decision:

  1. Campus Placement

Already bored of studying? Then getting selected in a decent company visiting your campus seems a good option. If you don’t have any intentions of studying further, or at least immediately after B. Tech,  you can opt for a job. This is considered to be a safer option where you get time to decide which field you want to stick to-Technical or management to some other stream.


  1. Go for an M.Tech degree

If you studied engineering out of passion and not because you were forced by your parents or just for sake of doing it, then MTech is a good option. You can opt for the field of study you aspire to expertise in. For this, you need to prepare well for the entrance exams to get into a good college.


  1. Do an MBA

Don’t feel you are the technical guy you wanted you to be? Always felt like you are a manager and want to see yourself in a business suit in some MNC? If you want to make a career in the management sector, hold managerial positions, then MBA is the right choice. You may specialize in your area of interest like HR, Marketing, Sales or the new growing domains like Digital Marketing, International Relations, Operations, IT, etc.


  1. Prepare for Civil Services

Always saw yourself as an IAS or IPS officer. Indeed it is one of the toughest exams in the world to crack and there lies a huge competition to be a civil servant. Civil Services is not just about cracking an exam and then clearing an interview, it judges you on everything you can think of, who you are and what you stand for! For that you need to – Believe in yourself.


  1. Short Term Courses

There are various short term courses and diploma courses you can opt for after your B.Tech. It can be a certificate course in embedded technology, VLSI, robotics, ethical hacking, protocol testing, machine designing etc. Such courses are generally job oriented and serve as a bridge between what you know and what the industry expects you to know in order to absorb you into their organization.


  1. Entrepreneurship-Start your venture

Do you have dreams of being a job provider? Always wanted to be your own boss? Then starting something of your own is a great option. But before you think about it you need to be sure about your options. Startup is trending more as a fashion than a career option. Being your own boss does not mean you can ignore work and life would be easy. Starting your venture and making it succeed would be the toughest of all the things you can do. It will have ups and downs every new day. Maybe you would not get any client for the whole year. Be ready for the challenges and immense learning if you are determined to be an entrepreneur. This is the road less travelled.


  1. Go Abroad

It is also a very good option to explore. If you choose to study abroad, you will get a lot of exposure and learning along with the education part. You might also be able to get a job at international locations if you have plans to settle abroad permanently in the future. You can also explore integrated opportunities abroad. Along with options of MS abroad you may explore options of MS+PhD and other research oriented courses.


  1. Join the army

Give a chance to the patriot in you. Joining the Army/Navy/Air Force or any other wing of the defense services can be exciting and high paying at the same time. You can join as technical staff by applying through the University Entry Scheme (UES), which requires you to apply on their respective websites or appear for the AFCAT (Air Force Common Admission Test). These positions will give you an opportunity to live your life for the nation, a life with good facilities and a decent sum to take home as well.

How To Select Engineering Branch

Mechanical, Electrical, Computer Science or something else? Deciding upon the right engineering stream is quite tricky for both students and their parents.

Most of us go through the same dilemma after clearing different entrance exams. A lot of thought goes into choosing the right branch in engineering. Most students go by the job prospects of the field while making this decision, interest and aptitude could get ignored in the process. Some students are confused about the selection of the suitable branch of Engineering.

Well, the confusion is justified. Today, there are number of Engineering branches! Earlier, there used to be only the core branches- Electrical, Mechanical and Civil Engineering. Now, the number of branch has increased rapidly and so has the confusion about selecting the suitable one. Many students are even unaware of certain new branches of Engineering

Here are 5 tips which every student should consider while making this decision:

1. Go for interest, not scopeWhile we may say that scope for a field keeps changing with time, as we see new trends coming up every few years. The reality is, every branch has good scope and opportunities if you perform well in it. Contrary to this, if you take up a branch just based on its job prospects and lack interest in it, you’ll end up getting nowhere.


2. Branch vs College

It is that time in your life, where you have to choose from a platter. Whether you choose college A over college B or branch X over branch Y should not be a random decision and instead be based on research on these colleges and the electives they offer under each course. Run through the college websites and the course material they offer under the branch you aspire for to make the right decision.


3. Specialization is good

Engineering provides opportunity to specialize. Choosing one from the various types of engineering disciplines is not an easy job. Digging deeper and knowing more about every branch can help you in making the right choice. Clearer the approach better will be the results.


4. Work life after graduation/ Job Prospects

It is critical to understand what kind of professional work is expected out of you once you take up a job. For instance, Civil Engineering means a lot of field-work and if you are not suited for that, you better not choose Civil Engineering in the first place. So, while choosing your Engineering branch, keep in mind the job prospects related to that branch.

5. Options for Post graduation

If you aspire to do post graduation, and have some ideas already, it might be a good idea to do a quick check on the opportunities for the post graduation. For example, if you choose to pursue Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering, you can do your Masters in Robotics, Automobile or Industrial apart from core mechanical opportunities like manufacturing etc.


If you are still confused and want help from a counselor, Contact Vidyalankar