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BCX launches first pay-as-you-go for Windows Azure

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Business Connexion (BCX) has launched the first pay-as-you-go service for Windows Azure Pack out of its carrier-neutral, certified Tier IV data centre.

The solution combines enterprise-class control and compliance with a fully managed service and self-provisioning, providing clients with flexibility and increasing their agility in the market.

“There is no doubt that local markets are becoming increasingly competitive,” says Jacques Loubser, Managing Executive of Converged Infrastructure Solutions, at Business Connexion. “Technology in itself is also no longer a differentiator, but has rather become an enabler. This, coupled with a need to be more innovative and agile, is driving cloud adoption across the continent and is transforming the data centre.

“One of the biggest benefits of this solution lies is that it is hosted locally. It reduces latency, or the amount of time it takes for a data packet to travel from source to destination and solves the issues around data sovereignty,” says Loubser. Comparing the movement of data to travel, he says: “Travelling to an international versus a local destination will naturally take longer and cost more and the movement of data is no different.”

According to IDC’s 2015 Top 10 ICT Predictions for Africa security concerns are increasing due the increase in mobile device, data and access methods. IDC believes this will drive governments on the continent to address cyber security legislation and look at further country-specific data protection that could require in-country presence and hosting.

“Clients are increasingly prioritising dealing with a local partner as it creates a sense of comfort being able to deal with directly with a person where the data resides. It also simplifies the support process and eliminates the need to bring an additional support partner into the fold. They are also looking to consolidate the number of vendors they deal with.”

“We are also the first COSN partner to make the self-service control panel available in Africa. Through this panel clients that know what they want can purchase the technology they need online, simplifying the procurement process,” he says. The Windows Azure Pack solution can also be deployed in the client’s own data centre.

The launch of this solution marks a major milestone in the Business Connexion journey. “We have evolved from being a system integrator to cloud integrator and our vision is to, by 2020, become the cloud integrator of the Internet of Things,” says Loubser. “We apply the same consistent framework that Microsoft uses in their data centres in our own. What is key, however, is that we can manage the subscriptions and services through one single pane of glass. As the cloud becomes more commercialised and we add more services, this will all be managed seamlessly through one interface that is easy to use and provides transparency to the client,” he concludes.

As a control panel for Windows Azure Pack delivery, Business Connexion chose Odin Service Automation, a leading end-to-end cloud enablement platform. “Business Connexion is the first in the market to offer a fully automated smooth customer experience for ordering and managing virtual infrastructure from the local cloud based on Microsoft Azure. Coupled with top-notch data center facilities and Business Connexion industry expertise, it creates for a unique offering for the South African market”, says Alex Fine, Sales Director Sub-Saharan Africa at Odin.

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Password managers don’t protect you from hackers

Using a password manager to protect yourself online? Research reveals serious weaknesses…

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Top password manager products have fundamental flaws that expose the data they are designed to protect, rendering them no more secure than saving passwords in a text file, according to a new study by researchers at Independent Security Evaluators (ISE).

“100 percent of the products that ISE analyzed failed to provide the security to safeguard a user’s passwords as advertised,” says ISE CEO Stephen Bono. “Although password managers provide some utility for storing login/passwords and limit password reuse, these applications are a vulnerable target for the mass collection of this data through malicious hacking campaigns.”

In the new report titled “Under the Hood of Secrets Management,” ISE researchers revealed serious weaknesses with top password managers: 1Password, Dashlane, KeePass and LastPass.  ISE examined the underlying functionality of these products on Windows 10 to understand how users’ secrets are stored even when the password manager is locked. More than 60 million individuals 93,000 businesses worldwide rely on password managers. Click here for a copy of the report.

Password managers are marketed as a solution to eliminate the security risks of storing passwords or secrets for applications and browsers in plain text documents. Having previously examined these and other password managers, ISE researchers expected an improved level of security standards preventing malicious credential extraction. Instead ISE found just the opposite. 

Click here to read the findings from the report.

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MWC: Next generation of inflight connectivity to be unveiled

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Next week at Mobile World Congress, the Seamless Air Alliance will reveal progress on its mission towards enabling the next generation of inflight connectivity. This follows a significant start for the Alliance, which has seen membership increase five-fold since the first meeting in June of last year. The Alliance has a new research laboratory setup and continues progress through its three working groups, writing specifications for the technology, requirements, and operations.

These developments represent a huge leap towards the goal of making connectivity as easy and enjoyable in the skies as it is on the ground. Appearing as part of the Airbus stand (Hall 6, stand 6G34), the Seamless Air Alliance will reveal specification topics that have been completed and published to its membership.

“The passenger experience with inflight connectivity remains one of the great technology challenges. From Day One we have been determined to deliver on our mission to bring industries and technologies together to make the inflight internet experience simple to access and a delight to use,” said the Alliance’s Chief Executive Officer, Jack Mandala.

“I have been tremendously encouraged by the enthusiastic and committed response we have seen and the widening areas of expertise we can call upon as more and more companies and organisations continue to join us,” he added.

Announced during MWC 2018, the Seamless Air Alliance has since grown to twenty-three membercompanies with more than one-hundred key personnel from across the membership participating in its three working groups, with numbers continuing to increase.

The Seamless Air Alliance was created by founding members Airbus, Airtel, Delta Air Lines, OneWeb and Sprint, and quickly joined by Air France KLM, Aeromexico, and GOL Linhas Aereas Inteligentes and global technology leaders including Astronics, Collins Aerospace, Comtech, Cyient, iDirect, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Latecoere, Nokia, and Panasonic. 

Today, the Alliance is pleased to announce five additional new members: Adaptive Channel, Etihad Airways, GlobalReach Technology, Safran, and SITAONAIR.

“We are extremely pleased to have these companies join and be a part of the companies driving the next generation of connectivity.” said Mr Mandala.

The Seamless Air Alliance will enable travelers boarding any flight, on any airline, anywhere in the world, to use their own devices to automatically connect to the Internet with no complicated login process nor paywall to scramble over.

The Alliance is also announcing the release of a new research study on the economic benefit of standardization on the inflight connectivity market at Mobile World Congress. This report is available for download at https://www.seamlessalliance.com/publications/

The Alliance is moving rapidly towards an expected demonstration of the technology later in 2019 and anticipates massive interest in Barcelona from the whole communications eco-system.

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