The world is engaged in an invisible war, with honest businesses at one end and cybercriminals at the other. Cyber security is no longer just a concern, but is inevitable, writes NITHEN NAIDOO, CIO of Snode
Cybersecurity is no longer just a pressing concern for the IT industry, it is a very real issue that every business has to contend with. Put plainly, a cyberattack is not just likely, it’s inevitable.
What’s more, many organisations’ security can already have been compromised, without them necessarily knowing even it. Today’s security landscape is no longer defined by the known and familiar attack vectors, responded to by the traditional defences of installing a firewall, antivirus solutions and constantly updated threat signatures. Rather, companies are being attacked in ways they cannot predict and often, don’t even detect using traditional approaches to cybersecurity.
Furthermore, companies are understandably reluctant to share details of how and when their security has been compromised, for fear of their reputations being damaged. This is exacerbated by the fact that they are facing advanced, highly motivated, and extremely well organised attackers, who are globally dispersed and often part of a much larger crime syndicate. This gives cybercriminals a structural advantage, making it all the more likely that they will continue to win the battles they wage.
However, with the explosion of information, we are now facing a situation where we have too much data and too little intelligence. To address all these concerns, Snode was designed to offer clients always-on intelligence solution, by concentrating on and examining the behaviour of data packets on a network. It is analogous to examining and focusing on what a person does inside your building, irrespective of their credentials. This is a far cry from stopping at whether or not they have a key to the front door, an approach taken by the familiar firewall approach to cybersecurity. To put it bluntly, if any organisation thinks having a firewall in place will protect them from any and all attacks, they are quite simply wrong.
The good news is that attacks can be pre-empted. Because solutions like Snode focus on behaviour, rather than accepting log entries, its intelligent approach to security can detect precursor signs that an attack is imminent, by identifying the profile of abnormal behaviour and acting accordingly.
However, it is critical that those fighting cyberattacks have a united front. That doesn’t mean that companies need to share their data or disclose when they have been attacked. One of the advantaged of Snode is that it automatically and anonymously shares analytics and insights gleaned from existing attacks, while learning the patterns behind criminals’ attempts to attack their network. This means that the more customers using an augmented intelligence solution, the stronger it becomes as a line of defence.
From a local perspective, it is worth noting that cyber attackers are turning their attention to countries like South Africa. Indeed, emerging such as Bangladesh, Vietnam, and South Africa are viewed as soft, and lucrative, targets by organised crime syndicates with highly advanced cyber capabilities. The fact that these are advanced economies that have not made the same kind of security investments as their developed nation counterparts make them a dream target for hackers.
To confirm this, you only need to look at the list of countries being targeted by the recent wave of SWIFT attacks which are plaguing the banking sectors.
Even as dire as the cybercrime situation may sound, it doesn’t mean that the fight against cybercrime is hopeless, but rather that businesses need to be considerably more intelligent about their security, and stand together, figuratively speaking, to defeat this scourge.
South Africans are searching in the dark, according to the latest Google Search trends.
With more 1 million search queries generated in the space of 76 hours, load-shedding was by far the top trending search on Google South Africa this week.
Valentine’s Day came a distant second.
After news emerged last Sunday of the impending stage 3 load shedding, South Africans had generated more than 1-million load-shedding search queries by the time Tuesday came around:
- “Loadshedding schedule” – generated more than 100k searches on Sunday
- “Load shedding schedule” – generated more than 100k searches on Sunday
- “Eskom load shedding” – generated more than 100k searches on Sunday
- “Load shedding Cape Town” – generated more than 50k searches on Sunday
- “Load shedding schedule” – generated more than 400k on Monday
- “Load shedding Johannesburg” – generated more than 20k searches on Monday
- “Load shedding schedule” – generated more than 200k search queries on Tuesday
Leading up to Valentine’s Day, South Africans generated close to 300k search queries related to the romantic festival, including searches for quotes and gift ideas:
- “Valentines Day” generated more than 100k search queries on Thursday
- “Happy Valentines Day Images” and “Valentines Day Images” generated more than 10k search queries each on Thursday, with “Happy Valentines Day 2019” generating more than 20k search queries on Wednesday
- “Valentines Day Specials 2019” generated more than 5k search queries on Thursday
- “Love quotes” generated more than 5k search queries on Thursday
- “Valentines Day quotes” generated more than 100k search queries and “Valentine messages” generated more than 50 000 search queries on Wednesday
Search trends information is gleaned from data collated by Google based on what South Africans have been searching for and asking Google. Google processes more than 40 000 search queries every second. This translates to more than a billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide. Live Google search trends data is available at https://www.google.co.za/trends/hottrends#pn=p40
Thanks to the growing popularity of video-on-demand services, there’s a new opportunity to help kickstart the careers of local filmmakers.
Numerous Hollywood blockbusters (District 9, Tomb Raider 2018, and The Avengers: Age of Ultron to name a few) have featured substantial shoots in Johannesburg and Cape Town. While providing great opportunities for SA’s production talent, aspiring writers and directors don’t get the same benefit.
So where can local creatives showcase their work? Broadcast TV isn’t a natural home for unknown short films, and while self-publishing platforms are readily available hosting options, it’s tough to get noticed and get traffic when competing with videos from across the planet.
But with the emergence of video-on-demand services into the mainstream, there’s now a solution. The African film school AFDA has teamed up with the streaming service Showmax to give local talent a much larger platform than ever before. From 18 February, eighteen of the best recent short films made by AFDA students from their Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth campuses will be live on Showmax. Drama, documentary, fantasy, and animation are all represented, in pieces running from under eight minutes to almost half-an-hour long. The full list of movies is included below.
Teresa Passchier, CEO of AFDA, said: “AFDA, Africa’s number-one school for the Creative Economy, is proud to kickstart this exciting and meaningful journey with Showmax and AFDA students, ensuring emerging young African filmmakers’ voices are heard and given a platform. It’s ground-breaking to share young, local, culturally relevant content on the same platform as Hollywood blockbusters. I am certain that this unique initiative will serve to boost and develop the African film industry and the careers of many young South African and African students alike.”
Included in the short films coming to Showmax are the award winners Junior and O-Puncha. Junior, directed by Bert Dijkstra, picked up the Audience Award in the Made in South Africa Competition at the shnit Worldwide Shortfilmfestival Awards 2017. O-Puncha, directed by Adam Hansen, won two awards at the 5th annual Eldorado Film Festival: Best Student Made Short, and Best Editing – Alexander La Cock.
Another celebrated film is Sicela Amanzi directed by Mlu Godola, which talks to the subject of water shortage. The film’s heroine Zoleka is a mild-mannered young woman forced to go to extreme lengths when a small community’s only source of water unexpectedly collapses. The power of films like this is they shine a light on critical topical issues in new ways.
Speaking about working with the film school, Candice Fangueiro, Head of Content for Showmax, said: “There’s
AFDA is an Academy Award-winning institution, founded in 1994, and the first and only African film school to win an Oscar – for the Best Foreign Student film in 2006, the postgraduate film Elalini, directed by Tristan Holmes.
The full list of AFDA short films coming to Showmax is as follows:
|Lullaby from the Crypt||Keenan Lott & Raven Davids||Animation|
|Ko Ga Cherenyane||Sibonokuhle Myataza||Documentary|
|Mallemeule||Jaco Van Bosch||Drama|
|Canal Street||Brodie Muirhead||Drama|
|On the Fence||Warrick Bews||Drama|
|The Righteous Few||Lindo Langa||Drama|
|Hlogoma Peak||Luke Ahrens||Drama|
|Frozen Flame||Cameron Heathman||Animation|
|Wolf||Brett van Dort||Fantasy|
|The Walk Home||Sisanda Dyantyi||Drama|
|Doreen||Luvuyo Equiano Nyawose||Drama|
|Sicela Amanzi||Mlu Godola||Drama|