At last night’s MTN App of the year awards the FNB Banking App won in the following categories: Best iOS (Apple) App, Best BlackBerry App, Best Android App and the best Overall App.
According to FNB CEO Michael Jordaan ‚”We are really proud of this achievement, and our in house development team, FNB Connect. It is testament to our drive for innovation. The FNB App, a first for South Africa and a key step in our innovations journey, has added convenience and value for many of our smartphone and tablet users. We set out to delight our customers.‚”
According to Jordaan the catalyst for success of the App has been a combination of value, usability, adoptability and desirability. Jordaan adds ‚”A great App has got to have value and be useful for the customer. On the FNB App for arguments sake we have Geo Payments, which makes face to face type once off payments simpler than ever. A great App has also got to be easy to use. The FNB App single sign on process is a good example of how we tried to make it easy for our customers to use. It has also got to be easy to adopt. By having native Apps for different operating systems, the adoption curve is less steep for our clients. Lastly it has got to be fun and engaging.‚”
The FNB App launched on Apple, BlackBerry and Android devices in July 2012, as the only retail banking App in South Africa and according to FNB has proved to be popular. There 230 000 active clients using the Banking App, with new users growing by over 30 000 per month. ‚”The growth rate has superseded our expectations,‚” says Farren Roper, Head of FNB Connect ISP.
Over R 6 billion has been transacted using the App, since the launch, with R1billion being transacted in June alone. Over R2 million has been transacted via GeoPay, the App’s cashless once-off, face-to-face payment function since its launch in May 2012.
The App user demographic shows that 51% of users are male and 49% are female, with the majority (57.5%) of users aged between 26-34 years. ‚”We have seen that user demographic behaviour has begun to shift, with the largest proportion of users being 25-36. In our 36 and older base we have seen the amount grow to 30.5% dispelling the myth that Apps and smartphones are for the youth only,‚” concludes Roper
The retail bank App landscape has changed with FNB’s competitors either having launched App’s post FNB’s and according to FNB the key to future success is not to be complacent and to continue to deliver firsts on the App platform which add value to the client.
Time is running out for Microsoft SQL Server 2008
Companies are urged to update from the dated database management software as end-of-support looms, writes BRYAN TURNER.
The 11-year-old Microsoft SQL Server 2008 database management software is reaching the end of its support on 9 July. The applications that use databases running on this software will be at risk of security and stability issues.
On self-managed databases, upgrading to the latest database version comes with a lot of risks. Many IT departments within companies go by the motto: “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it”.
Microsoft made it very clear that it would not be updating SQL Server 2005 after its extended support date and even left it vulnerable to Spectre and Meltdown by not releasing patches for the dated version.
Updating SQL Server versions may seem daunting, but the benefits far outweigh the effort it takes for a migration. In the last major version update, SQL Server 2016 introduced simpler backup functionality, database stretching, and always-encrypted communications with the database, to name just three features.
While backing up the database may be the last thing on the typical database administrator’s mind, it’s become increasingly important to do so. In SQL Server 2008, it’s clunky and causes headaches for many admins. However, in SQL Server 2016, one can easily set up an automated backup to Azure storage and let it run on smart backup intervals. Backing up offsite also reduces the need for disaster recovery for onsite damage.
Database stretching allows admins to push less frequently accessed data to an Azure database, automatically decided by SQL Server 2016. This reduces the admin of manually looking through what must be kept and what must be shipped off or deleted. It also reduces the size of the database, which also increases the performance of the applications that access it. The best part of this functionality is it automatically retrieves the less accessed records from Azure when users request it, without the need for manual intervention.
Always-encrypted communications are becoming more and more relevant to many companies, especially those operating in European regions after the introduction of GDPR. Encryption keys were previously managed by the admin, but now encryption is always handled by the client. Furthermore, the keys to encrypt and decrypt data are stored outside of SQL Server altogether. This means data stored in the database is always encrypted, and no longer for the eyes of a curious database manager.
The built-in reporting tools have also vastly improved with the addition of new reporting metrics and a modern look. It includes support for Excel reports for keeping documentation and Power BI for automated, drag-and-drop personalised reporting. Best of all, it removes the dreaded Active X controls, which made the reporting in a webpage feel very clumsy and bloated in previous versions.
A lot has changed in the past ten years in the world of SQL Server database management, and it’s not worth running into problems before Microsoft ends support for SQL Server 2008.
Why a messy fridge means a messy digital life
Businesses across the world are struggling to secure their data due to employees not recognising their responsibility for digital clutter; the proliferation of digital documents and files without thought for managing the security consequences. The global report “Sorting out digital clutter in business” from Kaspersky Lab1 found a number of correlations between the creation of digital clutter at work and human habits behind it, such as… organising a fridge. It revealed that nine out of ten (95%) people who see their fridge as organised said the same about their working digital life.
Digital clutter includes the files, documents and data created at work without the business’s full visibility or control over how they are stored and who has access to them. It becomes a security risk when we consider that 72% of employees store documents at work that contain personally identifiable or sensitive data, which if exposed could either reputationally or financially damage a business, its employees and potentially its customers.
Tackling digital clutter is a challenge for businesses and one of the most important steps is understanding who is responsible for it. Nearly three quarters (71%) of employees believe either business leaders, the IT or security team should be responsible for ensuring emails, files and documents have the appropriate access rights, rather than themselves. The problem is that while IT and security teams can control the access given to employees to access files and folders, there is room for human error. Whether accidentally or intentionally, for example, employees could give their colleagues or those outside the business access credentials or bypass IT administrators with new collaboration tools. With employees creating and collaborating on multiple documents simultaneously, they all must take responsibility for their actions causing digital clutter.
Source: ‘Sorting out digital clutter in business’, Figure 2
As the report showed, in employees’ everyday life there are habits that may correlate with the creation of digital clutter. As well as the majority of people who have similar habits with their fridge organisation as they do their digital life, 88% of those who re-organise their fridge before a holiday, also do so for their work files.
Source: ‘Sorting out digital clutter in business’, Figure 4
“With data volumes increasing exponentially, business leaders should take notice of digital clutter and its potential security risk,” said Maxim Frolov, Vice President of Global Sales at Kaspersky Lab. “It is true that organising your fridge won’t guarantee your defense against security breaches, but implementing the same mindset towards digital clutter will make you more resilient against cyber threats. Employees need to be educated on how to best manage their digital assets, and there should be simple but effective protection in place; one that does not add complexity but reduces it.”
To avoid becoming a victim of digital clutter, Kaspersky Lab urges businesses to consider:
- Getting employees trained up – it is very important that training teaches practical skills applicable to employees’ daily work such as with Kaspersky Automated Security Awareness Platform.
- Regularly reminding staff how important it is to follow cybersecurity rules to not to let cyber skills fade away, for example by hanging posters with advice around the office
- Making backups of essential data to ensure corporate information is safe and regularly updating IT equipment and applications to avoid unpatched vulnerabilities
- Finding a dedicated solution for small and medium businesses with simple management and proven protection features; such as Kaspersky Endpoint Security Cloud.
To read the full report on digital clutter, please follow this link.