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How to become cyber resilient

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Despite the many cybercrimes we saw last year, many companies are not prepared in event of an attack. Cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility and organisations need to train staff to ensure a security-savvy workforce.

This year, we have seen some of the most high-profile victims of cybercrime across the world, including the NHS in the UK, and the attack of Equifax that impacted of millions of people in several countries. The damage has not only cost companies’ money, it has also hit their reputations hard. Yet despite the impending threats and, as cybercriminals only become more commonplace and grow in severity and scale, it’s worrying that a significant number of companies feel unprepared to deal with such an attack.

While cybersecurity can be a large – and sometimes overwhelming – investment in both time and money, it’s the “new normal in what companies need to do in order to protect themselves” as Stephen Cobb, Senior Security Researcher at ESET, has commented.  And training for staff needs to be a big part of this “new normal”

Cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility and organisations need to train staff to ensure they have a more empowered and security-savvy workforce.

Here are our tips for all organisations to consider:

  1. Know your enemy

For the workforce to protect itself against a wide range of threats, it first needs to know the enemy. Information about the most common threats like malware, phishing, ransomware and social engineering, as well as how they operate, could help allow employees to understand the problem and help them be less susceptible.

  1. Consider password safety

Frustration over creating and remembering passwords mean the vast majority of people use the same password for everything. It’s not just the same password for every account, but using the same password for everyone else.  The type of prompts users receive when creating passwords don’t help, and often mean people use easy and insecure passwords.

  1. Think before your click

This is one of the most underestimated threats – a form of psychological manipulation where cybercriminals trick people into handing over personal and sensitive information, usually through deceptive and fraudulent means.

Here is one of the most common phishing scenarios: you receive an email that appears to be from your bank. It asks you to politely check the settings of your account and, via the included link, provide your credentials and further information.  But it’s not your bank that will receive your personal details – it will be the cybercriminals behind this attack.

  1. Remember that security is everyone’s responsibility

Every piece of awareness and information needs to be matched to actions for employees, regardless of department or level within your company. The C-suite, especially, needs to adhere to the rules, as they are often the juiciest target for cybercriminals.  Making colleagues realise not only how their actions can be detrimental for the entire company, but also spelling out how simple steps can keep everyone protected will create a sense of collective responsibility and help build collective security.

While companies need to wake up to threats from hackers, becoming cyber-resilient is a straightforward process. Realising that remaining secure is everyone’s responsibility means training staff in even the most basic skills should be a top priority.

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Android Go puts reliable smartphones in budget pockets

Nokia, Vodacom and Huawei have all launched entry-level smartphones running the Android Go edition, and all deliver a smooth experience, writes BRYAN TURNER.

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Three new and notable Android Go smartphones have recently hit the market, namely the Nokia 1, the Vodafone Smart Kicka 4 and the Huawei Y3 (2018). These phones run one of the most basic versions of Android while still delivering a fairly smooth user experience.

Historically, consumers purchasing smartphones in the budget bracket would have a hit-and-miss experience with processing speed, smoothness of user interface, and app stability. The Google-supported Android Go edition operating system optimises the user experience by stripping out non-important visual effects to speed up the phone. Thish allows for more memory to be used by apps. 

Google also ensures that all smartphones running Android Go will receive feature and security updates as they are released by Google. This is a major selling point for these smartphones, as users of this smartphone will always be running the latest software, with virtually no manufacturer bloatware.

Vodafone Smart Kicka 4

At the lowest entry-level, the Vodafone Smart Kicka 4 performs well as a communicator for emails and WhatsApp messages. The 4” screen represents a step up for entry-level Android phones, which were previously standardised at 3.5”.

The display is bright and very responsive, while the limited screen real estate leaves the navigation keys off the screen as touch buttons. It uses 3G connectivity, which might seem like an outdated technology, but is good enough to stream SD videos and music. Vodacom has also thrown in some data gifts if the smartphone is activated before the end of September 2018. 

Its camera functionalities might be a slight let down for the aspirant Instagrammer, with a 2MP rear flash camera and a 0.3MP selfie snapper. Speed wise, the keyboard pops up quickly, which is a huge improvement from the Smart Kicka 3. However, this phone will not play well with graphics-intensive games. 

Nokia 1

Next up is the Nokia 1, which adds a much better 5MP camera, improved battery life and a bigger 4.5” screen. It supports LTE, which allows this smartphone to download and upload at the speed of flagships. It also sports the Nokia brand name, which many consumers trust.

Although the front camera is 2MP, the quality is extremely grainy, even with good lighting. This disqualifies this smartphone for the social media selfie snapper, but the 5MP rear camera will work for the landscape and portrait photographer. 

The screen also redeems this smartphone, providing a display which represents colours truly and has great viewing angles. Xpress-on back covers allows the use of interchangeable, multi-coloured back covers, which has proven to be a successful sales point for mid-range smartphones in the past. 

Huawei Y3 (2018)

The most capable of the Android Go edition competitors, the Huawei Y3 (2018) packs an even bigger screen at 5”, as well as an improved 8MP rear camera and HD video recording. The screen is the brightest and most vibrant of the three smartphones, but seems to be calibrated to show colours a little more saturated than they actually are. 

Nevertheless, the camera outperforms the other smartphones with good colour replication and great selfie capabilities via the 2MP front camera – far superior to the Nokia 1 despite the same spec. LTE also comes standard with this smartphone and Vodacom throws in 4G/LTE data goodies until the end of September 2018. The battery, however, is not removable and may only be replaced by a warranty technician.

Comparing the 3

All three smartphones have removable back covers, which provide access to the battery, SIM card and SD card slots. The smartphones have Micro USB ports on the bottom with headphone jacks on the top. The built-in speakers all performed well, with the Y3 (2018) housing an exceptionally loud built-in speaker. 

Although all at different price points, all three phones remain similar in performance and speed. The differentiators are apparent in the components, like camera quality and screen quality. It would be fair to rank the quality of the camera and battery life by respective market prices. The Vodafone Smart Kicka 4 performed well, for its R399 retail price. The Nokia 1, on the other hand, lags quite a bit in features when compared to the Huawei Y3 (2018), bwith oth retailing at R999.

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SA gets digital archive

As the world entered the centenary of Nelson Mandela’s birth on Mandela Day, 18 July 2018, South Africa celebrated the launch of a digital living archive. 

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The southafrica.co.za  site carries content about the country’s collective heritage in South Africa’s eleven official languages.

Designed as a nation building,  educational and brand promotion web based tool, the free-to-view platform features award-winning photographic and written content by leading South African photographers, authors, academics and photojournalists.

The emphasis is on quality, credible, factual content that celebrates a collective heritage in terms of the following: Cultural Heritage; Natural Heritage; Education; History; Agriculture; Industry; Mining; and Travel.

At the same time as reflecting on the nation’s history, southafrica.co.za celebrates South Africa’s natural, cultural and economic assets so that the youth can learn about their nation in their home language.

Southafrica.co.za Founder and CEO Hans Gerrizen conceptualised southafrica.co.za as a means for youth and communities from outlying areas to benefit from the digital age in terms of the web tool’s empowering educational component.

“We can only stand to deepen our collective experience of democracy and become a more forward planning nation if we know facts about our nation’s past and present in everyone’s home language,” he says.

Southafrica.co.za, with sister company Siyabona Africa, is the organiser and sponsor of the Mandela: 100 Moments photographic exhibition that runs until 30 September at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront-based Nelson Mandela Gateway to Robben Island.  The 3-month exhibition, which runs daily from 08h00 until 15h00, is showcasing one hundred iconic Nelson Mandela images taken by veteran South African photojournalist and self-taught lensman Peter Magubane.

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