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Africa data flood set to shake off cloud lag

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Global cloud traffic is expected to rise almost fourfold, up from 3.9 zettabytes (ZB) per year in 2015 to 14.1 ZB per year by 2020, according to the recently released Cisco Global Cloud Index (2015-2020).

In Middle East and Africa, data center traffic will grow a little more than fourfold in the next four years.

This rapid growth of cloud traffic is attributed to increased migration to cloud architectures and their ability to scale quickly and support more workloads than traditional data centers.

With greater virtualization, cloud operators are also able to achieve greater operational efficiencies while flexibly delivering a growing variety of services to businesses and consumers with optimal performance. To better understand data center growth, new analysis on application workloads was developed for this year’s report.

The following business and consumer projections were revealed:

Business:

•          By 2020, business workloads will account for 72 percent (344.5 million) of total data center workloads, compared to 79 percent (142.3 million) in 2015 (2.4-fold growth).

•          By 2020, compute workloads will account for 29 percent of total business workloads, compared to 28 percent in 2015.

•          By 2020, collaboration workloads will account for 24 percent of total business workloads, compared to 25 percent in 2015.

•          By 2020, database/analytics/Internet of Things (IoT) workloads will account for 22 percent of total business workloads, compared to 20 percent in 2015.

Consumer:

•          By 2020, consumer workloads will account for 28 percent (134.3 million) of total data center workloads, compared to 21 percent (38.6 million) in 2015 (3.5-fold growth).

•          By 2020, video streaming workloads will account for 34 percent of total consumer workloads, compared to 29 percent in 2015.

•          By 2020, social networking workloads will account for 24 percent of total consumer workloads, compared to 20 percent in 2015.

By 2020, search workloads will account for 15 percent of total consumer workloads, compared to 17 percent in 2015

“The IT industry has taken cloud computing from an emerging technology to an essential scalable and flexible networking solution. With large global cloud deployments, operators are optimizing their data center strategies to meet the growing needs of businesses and consumers,” said Andy MacDonald, Vice President Global Service Providers; Middle East, Africa and Russia, Cisco. “In the six years of this study, cloud computing has advanced from an emerging technology to an essential scalable and flexible part of architecture for service providers.

For the first time, Cisco also quantified and analyzed the impact of hyperscale data centers. These data centers are expected to grow from 259 in 2015 to 485 by 2020. Hyperscale[1] data center traffic is projected to quintuple over the next five years. These infrastructures will account for 47 percent of total data center installed servers and support 53 percent of all data center traffic by 2020.

A key infrastructure trend is transforming hyperscale (and other) data centers. Software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) are helping to flatten data center architectures and streamline traffic flows. Over the next five years, nearly 60 percent of global hyperscale data centers are expected to deploy SDN/NFV solutions. By 2020, 44 percent of traffic within data centers will be supported by SDN/NFV platforms (up from 23 percent in 2015) as operators strive for greater efficiencies.

Middle East and Africa Global Cloud Index Forecasted Highlights and Projections:

1.      Data Center Traffic Highlights

  • In Middle East and Africa, data center traffic will reach 328 Exabytes per year (27 Exabytes per month) by 2019, up from 82 Exabytes per year (6.8 Exabytes per month) in 2014.
  • In Middle East and Africa, data center traffic will grow 4.0-fold by 2019, at a CAGR of 32% from 2014 to 2019.
  • In Middle East and Africa, data center traffic grew 40% in 2014, up from 59 Exabytes per year (4.9 Exabytes per month) in 2013.
  • In Middle East and Africa, 59.9% of data center traffic will remain within the data center by 2019, compared to 74.0% in 2014.
  • In Middle East and Africa, 33.0% of data center traffic will travel to end users by 2019, compared to 18.9% in 2014.
  • In Middle East and Africa, 7.1% of data center traffic will travel between data centers by 2019, compared to 7.1% in 2014.
  • In Middle East and Africa, consumer data center traffic will represent 65% of total data center traffic by 2019, compared to 32% in 2014.

2.      Cloud Traffic Highlights

  • In Middle East and Africa, cloud data center traffic will represent 86% of total data center traffic by 2019, compared to 61% in 2014.
  • In Middle East and Africa, cloud data center traffic will reach 280 Exabytes per year (23 Exabytes per month) by 2019, up from 50 Exabytes per year (4.2 Exabytes per month) in 2014.
  • In Middle East and Africa, cloud data center traffic will grow 5.6-fold by 2019, at a CAGR of 41% from 2014 to 2019.
  • In Middle East and Africa, cloud data center traffic grew 61% in 2014, up from 31 Exabytes per year (2.6 Exabytes per month) in 2013.
  • In Middle East and Africa, consumer will represent 61% of cloud data center traffic by 2019, compared to 30% in 2014.

3.      Traditional Traffic Highlights

  • In Middle East and Africa, traditional data center traffic will represent 14% of total data center traffic by 2019, compared to 39% in 2014.
  • In Middle East and Africa, traditional data center traffic will reach 47 Exabytes per year (4.0 Exabytes per month) by 2019, up from 31 Exabytes per year (2.6 Exabytes per month) in 2014.
  • In Middle East and Africa, traditional data center traffic will grow 1.5-fold by 2019, at a CAGR of 9% from 2014 to 2019.
  • In Middle East and Africa, traditional data center traffic grew 16% in 2014, up from 27 Exabytes per year (2.3 Exabytes per month) in 2013.
  • In Middle East and Africa, consumer will represent 89% of traditional data center traffic by 2019, compared to 35% in 2014.

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Wannacry still alive

One and a half years after its epidemic, WannaCry ransomware tops the list of the most widespread cryptor families and the ransomware has attacked 74,621 unique users worldwide.

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These attacks accounted for 28.72% of all users targeted by cryptors in Q3 2018. The percentage has risen over the last year, demonstrating more than two thirds growth against Q3 2017, when its share in cryptor attacks was 16.78%. This is just one of the main findings from Kaspersky Lab’s Q3 IT threat evolution report. 

A series of cyberattacks with WannaCry cryptor occurred in May 2017 and is still considered to be one of the biggest ransomware epidemics in history. Even though Windows released a patch for its operating system to close the vulnerability exploited by EternalBlue 2 months prior to the start of the attacks, WannaCry still affected hundreds of thousands devices around the globe. As cryptors do, WannaCry turned files on victims’ computers into encrypted data and demanded ransom for decryption keys (created by threat actors to decipher the files and transform them back into the original data) making it impossible to operate the infected device.

The consequences of the WannaCry epidemic were devastating: as the victims were mainly organisations with networked systems – the work of businesses, factories and hospitals was paralysed. Even though this case demonstrated the dangers cryptors pose, and most of PCs around the world have been updated to resist the EternalBlue exploit, the statistics show that criminals still try to exploit those computers that weren’t patched and there are still plenty of them around the globe.

Overall, Kaspersky Lab security solution protected 259,867 unique users from cryptors attacks, showing a substantial rise of 39% since Q2 2018, when the figure was 158,921. The growth was rapid yet steady, with a monthly observed increase in the number of users.

The rising share of WannaCry attacks is another reminder that epidemics don’t end as fast as they start – there are always long-running consequences. In the case of cryptors, attacks can be so severe that it is necessary to take preventive measures and patch the device, rather than deal with encrypted files later,” said Fedor Sinitsyn, security researcher at Kaspersky Lab.

 To reduce the risk of infection by WannaCry and other cryptors, users are advised to:

  • Always update your operating system to eliminate recent vulnerabilities and use a robust security solution with updated databases. It is also important to use the security solution that has specialised technologies to protect your data from ransomware, as Kaspersky Lab’s solutions do. Even if the newest yet unknown malware does manage to sneak through, Kaspersky Lab’s System Watcher technology is able to block and roll back all malicious changes made on a device, including the encryption of files.
  • If you have bad luck and all your files are encrypted with cryptomalware, it is not recommended to pay cybercriminals, as it encourages them to continue their dirty business and infect more people’s devices. It is better to find a decryptor on the Internet – some of them are available for free here: https://noransom.kaspersky.com/

·         It is also important to always have fresh backup copies of your files to be able to replace them in case they are lost (e.g. due to malware or a broken device), and store them not only on the physical object but also in cloud storage for greater reliability (don’t forget to protect your cloud storage with strong hack-proof password!)

·         If you’re a business, enhance your preferred third-party security solution with the newest version of the free Kaspersky Anti-Ransomware Tool.

·         To protect the corporate environment, educate your employees and IT teams, keep sensitive data separate, restrict access, and always back up everything.

·         Use a dedicated security solution, such as Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business that is powered by behaviour detection and able to roll back malicious actions. It should also include Vulnerability and Patch management features that automatically eliminates vulnerabilities and installs updates. This reduces the risk of vulnerabilities in popular software being used by cybercriminals.

·         Last, but not least, remember that ransomware is a criminal offence. You shouldn’t pay. If you become a victim, report it to your local law enforcement agency.

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Nokia 6.1 gets slice of Pie

HMD Global has announced that the Nokia 6.1 will start receiving Android 9 Pie – the second smartphone in the portfolio to receive the latest version of Android less than a month after the update arrived on the Nokia 7 plus.

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Packed with Google’s newest software and building on the features of Android 8.0 Oreo, Android 9 Pie’s focus on artificial intelligence and machine learning gives owners a more customised and tailored experience.

Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 Mobile Platform, the Nokia 6.1 is over 60% faster than its predecessor. Also, now offering enhanced Dual-Sight, ZEISS optics, USB-C fast-charging, Nokia spatial audio and pure, secure and up-to-date Android Oreo.

The Nokia 6.1 has been selected by Google to join the Android One family and therefore users get exclusive access to Apps Actions – a feature only available to Android One and Google Pixel devices.  App Actions helps users get things done faster by predicting their next move and displaying the right action on right away.

Now with Android 9 Pie, the Nokia 6.1’s already impressive battery life is further complimented with the introduction of Adaptive Battery, an update that uses deep learning to understand usage patterns and prioritise battery power on the most important apps.

Other key features of Android 9

·       Slices – Identifies relevant information on favourite apps to make them more easily accessible when needed

·       Adaptive Brightness – Automatically adapts phone brightness by learning from interactions with different settings

·       New system navigation – Features a single home button that provides intelligent predictions and suggestions (user enabled)

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