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AWS switches on Direct Connect in South Africa

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Amazon Web Services (AWS) has launched the AWS Direct Connect in South Africa, making it the first time that the Amazon network has come to Africa, giving customers local access to redundant and diverse network infrastructure.

Having AWS Direct Connect in the country allows customers based in South Africa to have dedicated, reliable, and high bandwidth connectivity to the Amazon Global Network, bypassing the public internet. Customers can connect to all AWS infrastructure Regions around the world (except China) from locations in Johannesburg and Cape Town and their traffic will remain in the Amazon backbone network throughout the entire journey.

For many years AWS has been working with organisations of all sizes in South Africa, from the newest startups, like Entersekt, NicheStreem, and Paygate through to some of the most well-known, household names, such as Pick ‘n Pay and TravelStart to help them move workloads to the cloud. One of the main requests AWS has received from South African customers has been to help reduce costs and improve network performance from on-premises environments to AWS infrastructure Regions located in Europe, the US, and around the world.

The new AWS Direct Connect location in Johannesburg is located at the Teraco JB1 facility and in Cape Town at the Teraco CT1 facility. If customers have equipment within these facilities they can use Direct Connect to optimize their connection to AWS. If their equipment is located somewhere else, they can work with one of AWS’ APN Partners supporting Direct Connect or their carrier to establish a connection from their location to the Teraco AWS Direct Connection location nearest to them, and from there on to AWS.

This is good news for customers in South Africa for several reasons:

Reduced Bandwidth Costs

For customers in South Africa that have bandwidth-heavy workloads that they wish to run in AWS, AWS Direct Connect reduces their network costs, in that, by transferring data to and from AWS directly, they can reduce their bandwidth commitment to their Internet service provider.

Consistent Network Performance

Network latency over the Internet can vary given that the Internet is constantly changing how data gets from point A to B. When looking at the distance from South Africa to Europe, the US, or Asia, this can get magnified. With AWS Direct Connect, customers choose the data that utilizes the dedicated connection and how that data is routed, which can provide a more consistent network experience over Internet-based connections.

Elastic

AWS Direct Connect provides 1Gbps and 10Gbps connections, and customers can easily provision multiple connections if they need more capacity. Customers can avail lower bandwidth connections of 50Mbps to 500Mbps through our APN Partners supporting AWS Direct Connect. Customers can also use AWS Direct Connect instead of establishing a VPN connection over the Internet, avoiding the need to utilize VPN hardware that frequently can’t support data transfer rates above 4 Gbps.

With global access enabled, customers using AWS Direct Connect can reach their AWS resources in any region worldwide (except China). With global public VIFs (Virtual Interfaces), customers get all global Amazon public routes allowing global access to publicly routable services like Amazon S3, Amazon EC2 etc. For private resources such as Amazon VPC, customers can use Direct Connect Gateway with private VIFs to reach multiple VPCs in multiple AWS regions from a single AWS Direct Connect location.

Customers can get started by logging into the AWS Management Console and ordering their AWS Direct Connect port today! Both Teraco CT1 and JB1 can be found in the EU West (Ireland) region. More details about AWS Direct Connect can be found on the website here:

https://aws.amazon.com/directconnect/

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Now download a bank account

Absa has introduced an end-to-end account opening for new customers, through the Absa Banking App, which can be downloaded from the Android and Apple app stores. This follows the launch of the world first ChatBanking on WhatsApp service.

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This “download your account” feature enables new customers to Absa, to open a Cheque account, order their card and start transacting on the Absa Banking App, all within minutes, from anywhere and at any time, by downloading it from the App stores.

“Overall, this new capability is not only expected to enhance the customer’s digital experience, but we expect to leverage this in our branches, bringing digital experiences to the branch environment and making it easier for our customers to join and bank with us regardless of where they may be,” says Aupa Monyatsi, Managing Executive for Virtual Channels at Absa Retail & Business Banking.

“With this innovation comes the need to ensure that the security of our customers is at the heart of our digital experience, this is why the digital onboarding experience for this feature includes a high-quality facial matching check with the Department of Home Affairs to verify the customer’s identity, ensuring that we have the most up to date information of our clients. Security is supremely important for us.”

The new version of the Absa Banking App is now available in the Apple and Android App stores, and anyone with a South African ID can become an Absa customer, by following these simple steps:

  1. Download the Absa App
  2. Choose the account you would like to open
  3. Tell us who you are
  4. To keep you safe, we will verify your cell phone number
  5. Take a selfie, and we will do facial matching with the Department of Home Affairs to confirm you are who you say you are
  6. Tell us where you live
  7. Let us know what you do for a living and your income
  8. Click Apply.

 

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How we use phones to avoid human contact

A recent study by Kaspersky Lab has found that 75% of people pick up their connected device to avoid conversing with another human being.

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Connected devices are becoming essential to keeping people in contact with each other, but for many they are also a much-needed comfort blanket in a variety of social situations when they do not want to interact with others. A recent survey from Kaspersky Lab has confirmed this trend in behaviour after three-quarters of people (75%) admitted they use a device to pretend to be busy when they don’t want to talk to someone else, showing the importance of keeping connected devices protected under all circumstances. 

Imagine you’ve arrived at a bar and you’re waiting for your date. The bar is busy, and people are chatting all around you. What do you do now? Strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know? Grab your phone from your pocket or handbag until your date arrives to keep yourself busy? Why talk to humans or even make eye-contact with someone else when you can stare at your connected device instead?

The truth is, our use of devices is making it much easier to avoid small talk or even be polite to those around us, and new Kaspersky Lab research has found that 72% of people use one when they do not know what to do in a social situation. They are also the ‘go-to’ distraction for people even when they aren’t trying to look busy or avoid someone’s eye. 46% of people admit to using a device just to kill time every day and 44% use it as a daily distraction.

In addition to just being a distraction, devices are also a lifeline to those who would rather not talk directly to another person in day-to-day situations, to complete essential tasks. In fact, nearly a third (31%) of people would prefer to carry out tasks such as ordering a taxi or finding directions to where they need to go via a website and an app, because they find it an easier experience than speaking with another person.

Whether they are helping us avoid direct contact or filling a void in our daily lives, our constant reliance on devices has become a cause for panic when they become unusable. A third (34%) of people worry that they will not be able to entertain themselves if they cannot access a connected device. 12% are even concerned that they won’t be able to pretend to be busy if their device is out of action.

Dmitry Aleshin, VP for Product Marketing, Kaspersky Lab said, “The reliance on connected devices is impacting us in more ways than we could have ever expected. There is no doubt that being connected gives us the freedom to make modern life easier, but devices are also vital to help people get through different and difficult social situations. No matter what your ‘connection crutch’ is, it is essential to make sure your device is online and available when you need it most.”

To ensure your device lifeline is always there and in top health – no matter what the reason or situation – Kaspersky Security Cloud keeps your connection safe and secure:

·         I want to use my device while waiting for a friend – is it secure to access the bar’s Wi-Fi?

With Kaspersky Security Cloud, devices are protected against network threats, even if the user needs to use insecure public Wi-Fi hotspots. This is done through transferring data via an encrypted channel to ensure personal data safety, so users’ devices are protected on any connection.

·         Oh no! I’m bored but my phone’s battery is getting low – what am I going to do?

Users can track their battery level thanks to a countdown of how many minutes are left until their device shuts down in the Kaspersky Security Cloud interface. There is also a wide-range of portable power supplies available to keep device batteries charged while on-the-go.

·         I’ve lost my phone! How will I keep myself entertained now?

Should the unthinkable happen and you lose or have your phone stolen, Kaspersky Security Cloud can track and protect your device from data breaches, for complete peace of mind. Remote lock and locate features ensure your device remains secure until you are reunited.

 

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