Gartner Symposium 2017: The digital transformation roller coaster

Gartner Symposium 2017: The digital transformation roller coaster

Peter Sondergaard, the executive vice president at Gartner.

The 2017 edition of the Gartner Symposium kicked off on Monday 18 September 2017 at the Cape Town, South Africa at the International Convention Center (CTICC).

The four-day event was opened by Peter Sondergaard, the Executive Vice President at Gartner, who set the scene for the conference by likening the digital transformation journey to a roller coaster, in which expectations are currently at their peak but there is a digital dip of disillusionment on the horizon.

In his keynote presentation, Sondergaard highlighted that some business won’t make it through this transformation as they are too slow to adapt and focus on digital projects rather than transforming into a completely digital business.

Sondergaard, along with his colleagues Leigh McMullen and Tina Nunno, pointed out how CIO’s can best prepare themselves for inevitable roller coaster journey that their businesses will be going on.

“Whether you are a partner, builder or pioneer, every CIO will play a role in the digital transformation journey. They will need to look to create digital value at scale. Scale in this sense is not just about getting bigger but by scaling up, across and out, and by ultimately creating a new world of ecosystems,” said Sondergaard. He then highlighted how business can advance this scale by leveraging 3 digital accelerators.

Digital Accelerators  

1) Digital Dexterity
Digital Dexterity essentially deals with the people within the organisation. The employees are the people who will be driving the transformation, it is thus important that you have the right people. A further three building blocks of digital dexterity were pointed out by the Gartner team. The first one was technology, it was highlighted that technology should be used not only to enhance customer experience but employee experience as well. The second building block pointed out was engagement. The need for engagement in an organisation is integral to having decisive employee expectations. The third and final building block is diversity. Diversity, in all forms, allows an organisation to overcome bias and high diversity fosters innovation and growth as people with different ideas can create innovative solutions together.

2) Network Effect Technology
Network effect technologies will have a decisive impact on a company’s digital transformation. The three technologies highlighted by Gartner were Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) and Application Programming Interface (API). All these technologies will become essential in improving efficiencies, driving down costs and allow for better, faster decision-making.

3) Industrialise the digital platform
This scale accelerator pointed out by Gartner deals with creating a new digital marketplace where interactions can take place between anyone, no matter where they may be in the world. These digital platforms will aid organisations to extend their reach and expand their ecosystems.

The keynote address set the scene for the rest of the conference as all the CIO’s and high-level executive broke away to attend the various discussions and presentation on offer from Gartner’s array of top-class speakers.

By Dean Workman
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How digital disruption is shaping Africa

How digital disruption is shaping Africa

How digital disruption is shaping Africa.
(Image Source:

Some of the foremost challenges and drivers businesses face today when it comes to digital disruption are practically universal. On a global scale, these hurdles include efficiency, sustainability, regulations, customer intimacy and innovation.

However, each industry has a different journey ahead and it’s all about reaching a new kind of consumer who thrives on digital interaction. This means organisations should not only become digital, but rather become something unique.

Companies born digitally have changed customer expectations. This is sometimes referred to as the GAFA (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple) experience.
Consider the following:

  • 42% of in-store shoppers search for information online while in-store, a truly omni-channel behaviour
  • 75% of consumers say they will stop doing business with a company following a bad experience
  • 85% of consumers expect to do things by themselves. By 2020, 85% of relationships with a company will happen without interacting with a human
  • 68% of consumers leave a website if the experience is bad

If we look at specific solutions that exist to support businesses as they approach the future of digital, we see that everything except experiences is becoming commoditised. Companies should, therefore, introduce offerings that will compete with digitally native companies.

Business as usual types of offerings will not be good enough; organisations need to come up with agile, future-proof, one-click, self-served and omni-channel solutions. Some companies also prefer subscription-based services (and micro services), including agreed revenue sharing models with vendors.

From an architectural aspect, solutions should be natively cloud-enabled, smaller, configurable, interchangeable functional blocks that can easily be assembled as parts of different configurations and compositions to prevent re-engineering high-cost, time-consuming multi-million dollar projects.

Disrupt rather than be disrupted
If you had to describe today’s service culture in one word, it would be ‘now’. Take a look at all the services around us that deliver almost instantly. We can book flights to an exotic location while heading to a work meeting, deliver flowers to be received the same day across the globe, or use an app to order dinner from a hot new restaurant delivered to your home.

What most consumers fail to think about is the technology that enables a truly mobile lifestyle. Consumers are also privy to rewarding digital experiences from brands such as Amazon, Netflix and Uber. Behind the scenes it is the mobile network operators that have to maintain the infrastructure and systems being used by service providers like these.

Despite being the enabler for so many services that consumers love, our research has shown that operators often find themselves being compared to the digital experience they deliver. Wherever you are in the world, digital transformation is all around us and it has become critical to transform with it.

Before any of this can happen, a few things need to take place to ensure business agility. Lean and agile is top of the agenda while the business becomes more complex. The business and technology evolutions have implications and new requirements on the IT landscape.

Everyone wants simplified, rational, automated and responsive processes and organisations. However, few know how to disentangle rigid, tightly knitted legacy IT landscapes to create a configurable and automated platform that enables agile, speedy and flexible bi-modal operations. IT is not a question of making old processes digital. Rather, it is about rethinking the entire operating model.

From our expertise and experience working with operators across the globe, we have created a set of principles that outline a clear path to becoming a powerful digital enterprise based on six core principles:

Target a unique digital position
A successful transformation should always be a journey towards a clear destination. The first step in any transformation must always be to define that destination and let it steer actions and the experiences created for customers.

Design magical experiences
The front-end should be a starting point for a love story with a company’s brand. Brands that excel at creating great customer experiences grow revenues four to eight percent and get up to 14 times larger lifetime value from customers.

Engage with the digital services ecosystem
Telecommunications was built on two simple services: voice and text. Today, consumers look for much more than that. The good news is that businesses don’t have to do it all by themselves. Collaborate with a wider service ecosystem and open closed systems to become an essential hub in the digital ecosystem.

Create services at digital speed
Customers expect new services before they even know they need them. Companies need to break down silos inside the organisation to make collaboration easier, on top of a modern, catalogue-based platform.

Operate a digital organisation
Not being fully digital could soon put companies out of business, but building a digital operating model is not a question of one size fits all. Businesses need to think about the unique experience they want to create and let that impact the organisation, culture, processes and the way they run their technology.

Evolve technology into digital
As we move into digital, we need to treat it with respect and ten make it a thing of the past. Either businesses choose an incremental path, gradually replacing legacy systems, or they choose a side-by-side approach where they build a fully-functional architecture to live alongside legacy and move entire chunks of functionality to the new environment.

By Indranil Das, Head of Digital Services, Ericsson MMEA

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BlueBorne Attacks: Tips to protect yourself and your Bluetooth-enabled devices

BlueBorne Attacks: Tips to protect yourself and your Bluetooth-enabled devices

BlueBorne Attacks: Tips to protect yourself and your Bluetooth-enabled devices. (image source: Fortinet)

Fortinet has urged caution regarding a new Bluetooth exploit, known as BlueBorne, that has been discovered to exploit a number of Bluetooth vulnerabilities, making billions of devices potentially vulnerable to attack. While there is no evidence that such attack vectors currently exist in the wild, it is possible that proof-of-concept exploits exist in labs, or could easily be developed and released in the wild.

BlueBorne is a hybrid Trojan-Worm malware that spreads via Bluetooth. Because it includes worm-like properties, any infected system is also a potential carrier, and will actively search for vulnerable hosts. Unfortunately, vulnerable hosts can include any Bluetooth-enabled device, including Android, iOS, Mac OSX, and Windows systems.

The implications of this threat vector are far-reaching because Bluetooth is one of the most widely deployed and used connectivity protocols in the world. Everything from electronic appliances to smartphones uses it, as do a growing number of IoT devices, including smart TVs, smart car gadgets and even home security systems.

“Tackling the BlueBorne exploit is challenging because Bluetooth is not a communications protocol that is monitored and inspected by most network security tools. Therefore, traditional security devices such as intrusion detection systems will most likely not be able to detect BlueBorne attacks,” said David Maciejak, Director of Security Research, Fortinet. “Since this technology has not really been a focus for security researchers, it is highly likely that we will see an increase in attackers looking to exploit Bluetooth implementations in the future.”

To protect yourself and your Bluetooth-enabled devices, you need to immediately do three things:

  • Disable Bluetooth on your devices unless it is absolutely needed. If you turn it on, then turn it off as soon as you are done using it.
  • Identify the devices you own or that are attached to your network. Closely monitor those manufacturers for Bluetooth updates.
  • Patch systems as soon as updates become available. Apple iOS was patched in 2016 with an iOS 10 release. Microsoft issued a patch for Windows this July. And Google is reportedly now working on distributing a patch.
  • The BlueBorne malware works by scanning for Bluetooth-enabled devices and then probing them to see if they have relevant vulnerabilities.

“Once a target is identified, the hack takes less than 10 seconds, and targeted devices don’t even need to accept an incoming connection in order to be compromised,” warned Maciejak. “Once a device has been compromised, attackers are able to run arbitrary commands on the device and even access and potentially steal data. The attack also immediately begins to seek out and spread to other vulnerable Bluetooth-enabled targets.”

Edited by Fundisiwe Maseko
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New mobile rewards app launched in South Africa

New mobile rewards app launched in South Africa

Van Schaik Bookstore has enhanced its rewards programme with a lock-screen replacement android Rewards App.

Van Schaik Bookstore has enhanced its rewards programme with a lock-screen replacement android Rewards App. The app will offer student consumers rewards, freebies, deals and information, as well as free Wi-Fi and WhatsApp benefits. Van Schaik has also launched a mobile virtual network called Van Schaik Mobile, that through a Van Schaik SIM card, offers airtime and data linked to rewards in the app.

Through the app, students can generate income and stay informed and be entertained with a wide range of general, course-related and university-specific content.

Stephan Erasmus, MD for Van Schaik Bookstores explained that, “Funding is an issue for university students, and Van Schaik Bookstore is striving to be proactive about the problems that their customers face by introducing an easy way for students to make money for themselves. Students interact with their smartphones all the time, and using the Van Schaik Rewards App offers them an easy way to earn extra income while on their mobiles.”

It also provides students with relevant information that enhances their lives… Erasmus said. Erasmus added that “The Van Schaik Rewards App makes the lock screen on Android phones a source to view, and enjoy interesting content, and at the same time, rewarding the user with points every time they interact with the lock screen, which includes simply swiping to unlock the screen. The points earned by unlocking the phone will be available on the App Wallet for spending on Airtime and Data as well as purchases at any Van Schaik Bookstore. Spending money from the App wallet is regulated via a User PIN.”

To unlock certain benefits, such as access to free Wi-Fi at all Always On hotspots, free WhatsApp, and special deals, users must spend a minimum amount on airtime or data, purchased through the Van Schaik Rewards App or USSD.

Nick Wallander, who has been appointed as mobile manager to bring more focus to the MVNO and App, said: “Providing content that’s relevant to students’ lives and giving them the ability to earn rewards by simply engaging with it, makes the Van Schaik App a really attractive offering.”

“And the rewards are tangible – For instance, students can earn up to R2 per day to spend on items available through the app.”

All Van Schaik customers can get a free SIM card which needs to be RICA’d instore and upon inserting it into their Android phones, are prompted to download the free Van Schaik Rewards App via a link. Students register on the app and create a unique, customised profile by selecting topics they would like to receive info about, from fashion and beauty, to sport, recipes, news, what’s on in their area, and information on the courses they are studying.

App advertisers
The app offers an effective way for Van Schaik Bookstore, its partners and tertiary education institutions to reach a large body of students. Erasmus explained that: “Mobile has become a vital platform for advertisers, but users dislike in-app pop-ups and other intrusive display ads – and the last thing we want to do is to alienate loyal customers. The Van Schaik Rewards App target users based on indicated areas of interest, study, location, purchasing patterns and in-app usage, and engages them in a positive and relevant way.”

For companies wanting to communicate and get their message through to the students it’s an ideal platform, says Erasmus: “The app offers an affordable way for companies to focus their messages on niche, profiled target audiences, and gather data from the way the students interact with their adverts.”

Erasmus said that with 100 000+ students expected to use the Van Schaik Rewards App it’s a win-win: “The students will benefit financially, academically and personally from their interaction with the App, our partners can benefit from affordable, targeted and interactive advertising, and Van Schaik will benefit with improved customer engagement and loyalty.”

Stephan Erasmus added that: “When we repositioned the brand as far back as 2011, we introduced ourselves as a knowledge navigator – somebody that students could partner with on their journey to knowledge and future success. We shifted our focus so that it is all about helping students to get ahead, by growing their knowledge, creating opportunities and leading the way.

“With this in mind, we launched our Rewards Card in 2015 – quite a milestone for an academic textbook supplier and a great way to reward our customers. It has been exceptionally well received, and to date, our Rewards Card membership numbers have grown to over 130 000. With the new app, we believe that members and partners alike will be able to secure even better rewards than before,” Erasmus noted.

Edited by Fundisiwe Maseko
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NCC reveals that internet users in Nigeria are decreasing

NCC reveals that internet users in Nigeria are decreasing

Internet users in Nigeria decreasing (Image source: Buzz Nigeria)

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) revealed that the number of people using the internet in Nigeria decreased in the month of July 2017. The number of users declined from 91,629,066 in June 2017 to 91,450,252 in July 2017, a decrease of 178,814, according to a report by Nigerian Communications Week.

The telecommunications industry regulator made this known in its monthly internet subscribers’ data fact sheet, which is published on its website. The figures revealed by the NCC represent internet users on both Global System Mobile (GSM) and Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) networks. The drop in users has been attributed to a number of conditions which include the drop in a number of subscribers of major telecoms companies.

The stats showed that out of the 91,450,252 internet users in July 2017, 91,419,943 were on GSM networks, while 30,309 users were on CDMA networks. It also noted that GSM service providers lost 178,814 internet customers in July 2017, while CDMA operators retained their 30,309 subscribers.

When looking at the number of subscribers the stats showed that MTN had 31,863,373 subscribers browsing the internet in the month under review, recording an increase of 172,303 subscribers, as against 31,691,070 in June. Globacom had 26,912,061 customers surfing the net in July 2017, revealing a decrease of 271,941 users from the 27,184,002 that surfed the internet on the network in June 2017. Airtel had 20,549,596 internet users in July 2017, showing an increase of 414,179 customers from 20,174,089 recorded in June 2017. While 9mobile had 12,056,241 customers who browsed the internet in July 2017 – a decrease of 493,355 users from the 12,549,596 it recorded in June 2017.

While the battle for market supremacy between the telecoms companies in Nigeria continues to rage on, the number of internet users will likely fluctuate over the next few months.

By Dean Workman
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Top 16 statistics revealed at Gartner Symposium 2017

Top 16 statistics revealed at Gartner Symposium 2017

Top 15 statistics revealed at Gartner Symposium 2017. (Image Credit: Darryl Linington).

Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2017 is where the world’s top CIOs and senior IT executives immerse themselves in the emerging trends shaping IT and business. Through an unparalleled confluence of Gartner analysts, industry experts, peers and solution providers, those in attendance will uncover new ways to approach critical challenges, make decisions with confidence and become an even more effective leader.

At the 2017 Gartner Symposium, which is currently being held at CTICC in Cape Town South Africa, Gartner revealed some rather intriguing statistics relating to various technology sectors.

The 2017 Gartner Symposium is being held between 18 – 21 September 2017.

The top 16 statistics revealed at Gartner 2017 can be found below:

1. IT spending in South Africa is forecast to total R266 billion in 2017, a 2.4 percent increase from 2016
2. Worldwide semiconductor revenue is forecast to total USD $401.4 billion, an increase of 16.8 percent from 2016
3. 58 Percent of CEOs see “growth” as their highest business priority
4.  Worldwide shipments of PCs, tablets, and smartphones are expected to exceed 2.3 billion units in 2017, a decline of 0.3 percent from 2016
5. PC shipments are on pace to drop 3 percent in 2017
6. Smartphone shipments will grow 5 percent in 2017, reaching nearly 1.6 billion units
7. The supply chain management market will exceed USD $13 billion in total software revenue by the end of 2017, up 11 percent from 2016
8. By 2021, SaaS deployments are forecast to account for more than 35 percent of total supply chain management spending
9. Growth in worldwide cloud-based security services will remain strong, reaching USD $5.9 billion in 2017, up 21 percent from 2016
10. Gartner estimates the cloud-based security services market will reach close to USD $9 billion by 2020
11. Public cloud will be the prime delivery model for more than 60 percent of security applications by the end of 2017
12. By 2022, smart machines and robots may replace highly trained professionals in tasks within medicine, law, and IT
13. Global spending on consumer video media services will total USD $314 billion in 2017, a 4.2 percent increase from 2017
14. In 2017, emerging Asia/Pacific (20.8 percent) and Middle East and North Africa (17.4 percent) are forecast to record the highest growth in end-user spending on consumer video media services
15. 8.4 Billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2017, up 3 percent from 2106, and will reach 20.4 billion by 2020
16. Middle East and North Africa IT spending is projected to reach USD $155.8 billion in 2017, a 2.4 percent increase from 2017

By: Darryl Linington
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It’s time to bring more African countries into the digital economy

It’s time to bring more African countries into the digital economy

Byron Clatterbuck, SEACOM, CEO.

Since 2009, the African telecoms industry has come a long way in connecting people and businesses to reliable, affordable and fast Internet services. The new submarine cables that started to land off the continent’s east and west coasts from 2009 onwards brought with them more affordable and plentiful international bandwidth. They now circle the continent, offering a reliable and resilient ring of connectivity at faster and faster speeds.

Meanwhile, telecoms players have also invested in connecting metropolitan areas in most major economies with fibre as well as in building national and regional fibre backbones to connect towns and cities to the Internet. We’re also seeing the industry make investments in more fibre to the home and business as well as LTE/4G in many of the larger cities. This offers telecoms users seamless and fast connectivity, as well as a more consistent quality of service.

The effect on many African economies and people has been nothing short of transformative. In many countries, connectivity costs have fallen by a factor of ten and the quality of the Internet experience has dramatically improved for people across the continent. The result is that organisations and consumers have been able to put the Internet to work in powerful ways that helps drive growth while reducing costs.

Two focuses for the future
Against that backdrop, there are two major focuses for telecoms players for the next few years: improving links to predominantly landlocked countries that don’t yet have access to affordable international bandwidth, and facilitating the hosting and creation of content at open and neutral data centres within African countries.

When it comes to the first point, we’ll see innovative partnerships between governments, the private sector and multilateral financing institutions to help the smaller and landlocked countries that risk falling behind the rest of the continent. According to the World Bank, there are many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa with less than 2.5 Internet users per 100 people.

By contrast, Kenya has 43 Internet users per 100 people and South Africa has 49 per 100. Thus, the digital divide is no longer just between Africa and the wealthier economies off-continent, but also between the leading and lagging countries in terms of their access to quality connectivity.

Building terrestrial fibre networks to connect towns and cities with each other, as well as to neighbouring countries and undersea cables, is challenging because of the sheer cost and long payback period involved. The road forward is for governments to work with neighbouring countries, the telecoms industry, and multilateral financing institutions to pool resources and drive efficiency in how those resources get deployed.

Private telecoms operators have been driving expansion from the cable stations of key high-speed international subsea cables to more landlocked countries and to the borders of landlocked countries, where regulations often block new private operators from entry. The pace of this is accelerating as more governments recognise that liberalisation, clear regulations, and competition drive Internet growth and the benefits associated with access to quality high-speed Internet.

From consumers to creators
As for hosting more content in Africa, the growing choice of reliable, carrier-neutral, data centres, open peering exchanges, content data networks and cloud ICT infrastructure are quickly changing market dynamics. More and more multinational telcos and Internet companies are now providing their content from within Africa’s borders.

User-generated content and collaboration, especially video, are growing as people flock to Facebook, YouTube, Skype and so on, to share and communicate. As the end-user experience on the web improves, local content proliferates and people become content creators and drivers rather than mere consumers.

We’re also seeing a heavy emphasis on the enterprise market from hosting and cloud companies in Africa, all looking to host locally so as to improve the user experience of cloud-based applications for business users. African enterprises tend to want cloud services hosted in their own countries because laws and regulations in many countries demand that sensitive corporate data be stored within the nation’s borders rather than offshore and because they want the best possible performance and lowest latency.

The future comes to fruition
We’ve been talking about the cloud, video-on-demand and many other concepts for years, but Africa didn’t have the infrastructure to support these services. Now it’s finally coming to fruition because market deregulation, growing competition and end-user demand in most parts of Africa have forced content, application and infrastructure providers to speed up the deployment of new offerings.

We can expect significant social and economic benefits to follow in the wake of closer digital integration across Africa. Businesses will be able to become more efficient and more integrated with the rest of the world, thanks to the cloud. Governments will be able to deliver richer electronic services – for example, health and education – to their citizens. And for consumers, social media, video streaming, and other rich media services will quickly become a part of everyday life.

By Byron Clatterbuck, CEO, SEACOM

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South African software developers are in high demand

South African software developers are in high demand

Local fintech software developers are pursuing opportunities in markets all over the world.

South African software developers that service the financial sector are in high demand locally and internationally as they capitalise on expertise gleaned from operating in one of the most sophisticated banking and advanced mobile tech environments in the world.

The country’s highly progressive banking system, good technical skills, mobile know-how and competitive pricing are making it an important destination for international fintech software development.

The mobile space particularly is growing increasingly important as consumers around the world perform more financial transactions from their mobile devices.

Local financial services organisations are leading the way in demonstrating how these mobile apps can be functional, transactional and secure.

“South Africa has a developed banking system, and our mobile technology is equally modern. Put that together with innovative software developers, and you have a combination that’s ready to take on the world,” said Martin Dippenaar, CEO of Cape Town software developers, Global Kinetic.

“We spend a lot of time abroad, building products, which gives us a good perspective on the state of banking in other regions too,” added Dippenaar.

South Africa has a relatively small banking community of just 13 banks, made up of the big five, and then second-tier operators. By comparison, Dippenaar says, there are around 12,000 banks and credit unions in the US, each with separate licences, and operating autonomously.

“We can effect change here in South Africa a lot faster than is possible in such a disparate environment,” he adds.

“The US banking system as a whole is also not particularly advanced. For example, around a quarter of all payments in that country happen by cheque. There are few organisations in South Africa still using such a dated process.”

While banking in the US is market-driven, in Europe the impetus behind innovation is spurred by regulation.

“More innovative mobile banking products are likely to come out of Europe in time, as progressive legislation starts to make deployment of mobile banking technology a lot easier there,” said Dippenaar.

In 2018, Europe will introduce the Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2) protocol. The objective of PSD2 is to standardise the sector and make payments safer, increase consumer protection, and stimulate innovation and competition.

Although all banking apps need to allow users to do similar things like check balances and perform transactions, the real challenge for developers lies in consolidating and standardising the underlying technologies that allow these transactions to be carried out across multiple systems.

Schalk Nolte, CEO of mobile security specialists, Entersekt, based in Stellenbosch, says developing fintech apps requires an understanding of a wide range of issues and disciplines.

“These include regulatory compliance, privacy, accuracy, and protection of personal information. Development needs to be highly secure, super accurate, and involves intensive testing, especially for banking platforms.

“There are huge opportunities for tech companies designing new ways of delivering financial services to end-users,” he edded.

“South Africa stands out as an attractive destination for fintech software development not least because development costs here are in rands. Our rates are highly competitive, with a higher quality of service and expertise than at other development sites around the world, including those in Eastern Europe, India and the Philippines,” concludes Dippenaar.

Nolte added that: “Banks, insurance companies, and many other financial services organisations are turning to South African specialist software developers because they are likely to have already encountered and dealt with the challenges of bringing secure banking and mobile technology together.”

Edited by Fundisiwe Maseko
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Security should be a priority in an increasingly connected world

Security should be a priority in an increasingly connected world

Simon Campbell-Young, CEO of Intact Software Distribution.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly expanding to include a previously undreamed of amount of connected devices – cars, toys, medical devices, home appliances – and all these smart things connecting to the Web have to be secured. Unfortunately, security seems to be bottom on the list of priorities for IoT manufacturers and developers.

This is according to Simon Campbell-Young, CEO of Intact Software Distribution, adding that there’s the widest possible array of applications for the IoT, for end users and businesses alike, and with this expansion, protecting an organisation’s sensitive information becomes increasingly crucial. “Gartner estimates some 25 billion devices will be connected by 2020. Alongside this, the potential attack surface is growing exponentially too. How does a company manage security when there are multiple points of vulnerability, and the number is getting bigger every day?”

He says this is a major challenge for businesses of all types and across all industries, and there is no silver bullet solution.

“If anything, the slew of breaches that have littered the news over the past few years has shown that current security measures are simply not enough. We know we are not resilient, particularly in light of the IoT, which is why securing IoT devices has to begin from the ground up, at the very beginning of the development process, and not added on as an afterthought. This is simply not optional any longer.”

Information security is crucial to the growth of the IoT, and if it is not moved to the top of the priority list, the business opportunity will be undermined, Campbell-Young adds. “OEMs need to have security specialists on board from the beginning. Product managers and security guys need to work side by side to plan the product’s development, and ensure security is a fundamental consideration.”

In addition, he says risk management plays a vital role. Executives and managers must pinpoint where their business might be vulnerable by examining a variety of attack scenarios, and should also consider bringing penetration testers in to evaluate their measure. “Following this, the impacts, both financial and reputational, need to be carefully evaluated. Each business must decide how much appetite for risk they have, and plan security around that.”

Finally, Campbell-Young says organisations need to educate consumers on best practice such as regularly changing passwords, which is amazingly still one of the main causes of a security breach, and offering advice on security patches for their IoT devices.

In terms of privacy, IoT vendors must have privacy policies in place that clearly define how any data is collected from IoT devices. “These must be readily available to consumers and must leave no room for ambiguity. All of us are more aware and concerned about how our personal data is being used and stored, and IoT vendors who are transparent about this process will instil confidence, which in turn will help their businesses.”

The IoT is set to be huge for individuals and businesses alike, but security must be core to every element of the process. “You wouldn’t buy a car that had no locks, or a bottle without a lid. Why should buying an IoT device be any different?” Campbell-Young concludes.

Edited by Fundisiwe Maseko
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Kenya’s new election date set to change

Kenya’s new election date set to change

Kenya’s new election date may change.
(Image source: eruditiononline.co.uk/)

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) will potentially set a new date for Kenya’s elections, which were initially scheduled for 17 October 2017. This comes after the two main political parties in Kenya refused to agree on the past election process.

The opposition party, National Super Alliance (NASA), last week addressed a letter to the IEBC with a list of demands which included the dismissal of certain officials, a change in the procurement of election materials, and live media coverage of the declaration of results at tallying centres.

The IEBC has been thrown into a spin as the demands will lead to an almost-complete overhaul of the election process, which includes buying 40,883 new ballot boxes. The body will also have to train more than 300,000 contract employees who will man the elections. Additionally, two different electronic systems used in the vote would have to be reinstalled for a re-run.

French-firm OT-Morpho has submitted a six-page report to the IEBC, in which it is detailing how long it will take to reconfigure the 45,000 kits for the fresh election.

An audit ordered by the Chief Justice David Maraga had found massive clerical errors in 42 of the 290 constituencies. These included missing names of the constituency, name of the constituency written by hand, lack of security features such as the serial number and watermark on results forms, cases where the IEBC stamp looks different and others where the form runs into several pages.

Kenyans on Twitter have expressed their concerns on how the French firm conducted the elections.

It’s clear that no hacking took place in The just concluded Presidential election. I lost to Mr Uhuru,#MorphoFraudInKenya is just baseless. pic.twitter.com/Y1cpxvv0Yv

— Raila Odinga (@RailaOjinga) September 18, 2017

Kenyans must reject jubilee narrative that NASA is not ready for elections. This was yesterdays rally! Retweet if Ready
#MorphoFraudInKenya pic.twitter.com/im9JgYNzoq

— Hon Lee Makwiny ™ (@leemakwiny) September 18, 2017

@Morpho sold the rights to access the servers to unwarranted persons. Thats why their audit confirmed No Hacking. #MorphoFraudInKenya

— Collins Munzatse (@CollinsMayieka) September 18, 2017

2. @Morpho claims to have audited @IEBCKenya servers without the Knowledge of Kenyans , How Now ? @FranceinKenya #MorphoFraudInKenya

— Charles Mark Dienya (@MarkDienya) September 18, 2017

3. That @Morpho can claim they Audited themselves when Kenyans are still waiting for Access of the Servers is OUTRAGEOUS #MorphoFraudInKenya

— Charles Mark Dienya (@MarkDienya) September 18, 2017

Queuing for same many hours then manpluating the will of Kenyans #MorphoFraudInKenya @morpho

— #ElvisNeverGetsMad (@ElvisNever) September 18, 2017

Edited by Fundisiwe Maseko
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