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Disruption driving innovation – or causing chaos?

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Disruptive technologies are changing lives and transforming markets and according to GYS KAPPERS, CEO of Wyzetalk, this brings two elements to the fore – that a company is not being made obsolete and that rather than seeing chaos, businesses see the opportunity.

The only constant is change and today this has never rung truer. We are in an age of change where disruptive technologies are not only changing lives, but transforming markets. Accordingly to Wyzetalk, two critical elements become important – that your company is not being made obsolete and that rather than seeing chaos, businesses see the opportunity.

“We are in an era of engagement and those technologies that enable collaboration, communication and connection also provide a platform that allows businesses to create,” says Gys Kappers, CEO of Wyzetalk. “However many businesses are still beholden to traditional models driven by silos and hierarchies and as a result, are finding it difficult to truly capitalise on disruptive technology and the potential innovation that can be reaped from open collaboration and a culture of engagement.”

However, there are those businesses that have realised the potential of disruptive technology and ‘organised chaos’. In fact, according to Forrester, many organisations are making a fundamental bet on social business and collaboration to drive worker effectiveness (not only knowledge workers) as a competitive differentiator – stating that the next generation of market-leading organisations will digitise their enterprise model with new capabilities enabled by social technologies.

“Business as we know it has changed and continues to change, just more rapidly,” adds Kappers. “While business has always been about providing a service or product that a customer wants – today it’s about enabling them to consume it through their desired platform(s) – anytime, anywhere. In order to make this possible, business needs to truly listen to their customers, their wants and their needs and ultimately create not just a destination, but a portal for engagement with the brand.”

The role of mobile and technology even in Africa cannot be denied as it opens up enormous opportunities not only for increased productivity – but for broader engagement, collaboration and communication across all levels of the business not just externally, but internally as well.

“As businesses open up they need to be focused on not only creating communication channels for customers and external parties, but also internally for their staff,” adds Kappers. “In many respects, social media has created a culture of collaboration. People share information freely which often translates to a similar mindset in the workplace. This means that projects, in theory, should be able to get done faster as more people are working on the problem. Additionally, it helps organisations retain knowledge, drum up corporate spirit, get new employees up to speed, collaborate on business-purpose projects, foster innovation and improve customer service by creating highly engaged communities.”

“Businesses need to adapt. It’s as simple as that. They need to challenge paradigms and test hypothesis – looking to everyday challenges and experience and asking the question – how can this be improved or how can we make it better? Technology has been a catalyst in driving new behaviour and interconnectedness and has led to an awakening that helps us realise change is possible and that we can make it happen. Therefore, instead of viewing social networks and disruptive technology as a bad thing, organisations should harness the spirit of collaboration and ‘out of the box’ thinking and apply it into their own environment to truly reap the benefits,” concludes Kappers.

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Bring your network with you

At last week’s Critical Communications World, Motorola unveiled the LXN 500 LTE Ultra Portable Network Infrastructure. It allows rescue personal to set up dedicated LTE networks for communication in an emergency, writes SEAN BACHER.

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In the event of an emergency, communications are absolutely critical, but the availability of public phone networks are limited due to weather conditions or congestion.

Motorola realised that this caused a problem when trying to get rescue personnel to those in need and so developed its LXN 500 LTE Ultra Portable Network Infrastructure. The product is the smallest and lightest full powered broadband network to date and allows the first person on the scene to set up an LTE network in a matter of minutes, allowing other rescue team members to communicate with each other.

“The LXN 500 weighs six kilograms and comes in a backpack with two batteries. It offers a range of 1km and allows up to 100 connections at the same time. However, in many situations the disaster area may span more than 1km which is why they can be connected to each other in a mesh formation,” says Tunde Williams, Head of Field and Solutions Marketing EMEA, Motorola Solutions.

The LXN 500 solution offers communication through two-way radios, and includes mapping, messaging, push-to-talk, video and imaging features onboard, thus eliminating the need for any additional hardware.

Data collected on the device can then be sent through to a central control room where an operator can deploy additional rescue personnel where needed. Once video is streamed into the control room, realtime analytics and augmented reality can be applied to it to help predict where future problem points may arise. Video images and other multimedia can also be made available for rescuers on the ground.

“Although the LXN 500 was designed for the seamless communications between on ground rescue teams and their respective control rooms, it has made its way into the police force and in places where there is little or no cellular signal such as oil rigs,” says Williams.

He gave a hostage scenario: “In the event of a hostage situation, it is important for the police to relay information in realtime to ensure no one is hurt. However the perpetrators often use their mobile phones to try and foil any rescue attempts. Should the police have the correct partnerships in place they are able to disable cellular towers in the vicinity, preventing any in or outgoing calls on a public network and allowing the police get their job done quickly and more effectively.”

By disabling any public networks in the area, police are also able to eliminate any cellular detonated bombs from going off but still stay in touch with each other he says.

The LXN 500 offers a wide range of mission critical cases and is sure to transform communications and improve safety for first responders and the people they are trying to protect.

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Kaspersky moves to Switzerland

As part of its Global Transparency Initiative, Kaspersky Lab is adapting its infrastructure to move a number of core processes from Russia to Switzerland.

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This includes customer data storage and processing for most regions, as well as software assembly, including threat detection updates. To ensure full transparency and integrity, Kaspersky Lab is arranging for this activity to be supervised by an independent third party, also based in Switzerland.

Global transparency and collaboration for an ultra-connected world

The Global Transparency Initiative, announced in October 2017, reflects Kaspersky Lab’s ongoing commitment to assuring the integrity and trustworthiness of its products. The new measures are the next steps in the development of the initiative, but they also reflect the company’s commitment to working with others to address the growing challenges of industry fragmentation and a breakdown of trust. Trust is essential in cybersecurity, and Kaspersky Lab understands that trust is not a given; it must be repeatedly earned through transparency and accountability.

The new measures comprise the move of data storage and processing for a number of regions, the relocation of software assembly and the opening of the first Transparency Center.

Relocation of customer data storage and processing

By the end of 2019, Kaspersky Lab will have established a data center in Zurich and in this facility, will store and process all information for users in Europe, North America, Singapore, Australia, Japan and South Korea, with more countries to follow. This information is shared voluntarily by users with the Kaspersky Security Network (KSN) an advanced, cloud-based system that automatically processes cyberthreat-related data.

Relocation of software assembly

Kaspersky Lab will relocate to Zurich its ‘software build conveyer’ — a set of programming tools used to assemble ready to use software out of source code. Before the end of 2018, Kaspersky Lab products and threat detection rule databases (AV databases) will start to be assembled and signed with a digital signature in Switzerland, before being distributed to the endpoints of customers worldwide. The relocation will ensure that all newly assembled software can be verified by an independent organisation and show that software builds and updates received by customers match the source code provided for audit.

Establishment of the first Transparency Center

The source code of Kaspersky Lab products and software updates will be available for review by responsible stakeholders in a dedicated Transparency Center that will also be hosted in Switzerland and is expected to open this year. This approach will further show that generation after generation of Kaspersky Lab products were built and used for one purpose only: protecting the company’s customers from cyberthreats.

Independent supervision and review

Kaspersky Lab is arranging for the data storage and processing, software assembly, and source code to be independently supervised by a third party qualified to conduct technical software reviews. Since transparency and trust are becoming universal requirements across the cybersecurity industry, Kaspersky Lab supports the creation of a new, non-profit organisation to take on this responsibility, not just for the company, but for other partners and members who wish to join.

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