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Prediction beats prevention

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It is a human tendency to romanticise the past, to think what existed yesterday was bigger and better. There are examples where this is true, but the same cannot be said for technology and, in particular, security, says HEIN KERN regional sales manager for SA at RSA.

“If you think of where we are today, a lot what we still do is based on historical prevention and signature based technologies,” says Hein Kern, the newly appointed Regional Sales Manager for Southern Africa at RSA. “In the past companies would use various flavours of antivirus, firewalls, hoping that would be sufficient to control their (perimeter bound) IT environment.

“But the sophistication, speed and types of threats have grown considerably. Fortunately security solutions have not stayed reactive, but grown to enable a new type of predictive intelligence. The real difference between modern offerings is how easily they can integrate and grow with not only those challenges, but a company’s infrastructure investments.”

Kern is no stranger to security, having managed it as part of his portfolio at companies such as Computer Associates and IBM. But since joining EMC in 2011, Kern has seen how important convergence among the many parts of the third platform is, as well as the underlying role security plays in that. The third platform is a departure from the so-called second platform. It’s a shift away from static silos and towards the agility of data center platforms married with the cloud, big data and other modern business enablers:

“With EMC and moving to the third platform –  security is always at play within the four elements mobile, cloud, big data and social

After building on experience in EMC, Kern has moved to RSA, part of EMC’s Federation of companies. He is now eager to sharpen that focus around the role of security in enterprises:

“RSA is aligned with the broader EMC federation. It’s about doing new things better, making gains incremental and achievable. RSA focuses on the four tenets of modern security: access management, advanced security operations, governance risk compliance, and combatting online fraud”. The combination of these four and the power of integration between them deliver greater visibility to give better analysis and more effective action.”

That said, Kern and his team are not aiming to force clients into the new direction, but instead help them build towards it: “At RSA we don’t ignore previous investments. We can work together with previously acquired tools and pull that into the security operations centre environment. So you don’t lose that investment.”

Local enterprises are aware of this journey, he added. There is great and growing awareness that prevention is not that effective anymore. Local companies want to adopt security frameworks that helps manage risk and compliance across the organisation.

“From our dealings with enterprise clients, they are looking towards an integrated enterprise governance, risk and compliance capability but still perform core GRC tasks in siloed and often manual toolsets. With our use-case approach, so we can start small with a certain use-case to enable the journey towards an organizational maturity that an integrated eGRC solution provides.

Security is a bigger concern for companies than ever before, a rising tide that is not subsiding any time soon. But that growing risk has also delivered incredible security solutions that cover more bases that traditional prevention ever could. Kern and his team at RSA are ready to help customers take advantage of such developments, building the third platform future modern businesses thrive on.

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Load-shedding leads
local searches

South Africans are searching in the dark, according to the latest Google Search trends.

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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

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Showmax invites
student films

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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 9Tomb 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-PunchaJunior, 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 immense depth of filmmaking talent in Africa and it’s a privilege to be able to give that talent a home and a platform. Showmax is becoming part of the fabric of film and TV production in Africa, and importantly we’re doing this as a partner rather than just as a consumer. This is a key competitive advantage of being local and something we aim to continue to work on.”

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:

Film titleDirectorGenre
Lullaby from the CryptKeenan Lott & Raven DavidsAnimation
Ko Ga CherenyaneSibonokuhle MyatazaDocumentary
IzilwaneKyllian RouxDrama
MallemeuleJaco Van BoschDrama
Canal StreetBrodie MuirheadDrama
On the FenceWarrick BewsDrama
The Righteous FewLindo LangaDrama
Hlogoma PeakLuke AhrensDrama
Frozen FlameCameron HeathmanAnimation
WolfBrett van DortFantasy
The Walk HomeSisanda DyantyiDrama
BearWesley RoodtDrama
JuniorBert DijkstraDrama
O-PunchaAdam HansenDrama
UmngenoSiphosethu NdungeDrama
DoreenLuvuyo Equiano NyawoseDrama
ForeverLindo LangaMusical
Sicela AmanziMlu GodolaDrama

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