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How to train staff for cybercrime safety

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Following the recent data breach in South Africa, HEINO GEVERS, Customer Experience Director at Mimecast, has outlined three tips for creating an effective cybercrime training initiative essential for companies.

Recent statistics released by Vanson Bourne and Mimecast show that less than half of South African companies are completely confident with the staff training they currently have in place to counter email cyber-attacks. As many as 46% only have some confidence and 6% have very little confidence. This is alarming, given that email phishing or spear fishing is responsible for more than 90% of all breaches.

While it’s essential for companies to invest in security technology to mitigate incursions and limit the damage of successful attacks, it only takes a single compromised email for a cybercriminal to breach an organisation’s perimeter. To ensure that money invested in email-security isn’t going to waste, companies will have to implement an effective awareness and training programme for staff.

Here are a few tips to consider when implementing this programme:

  1. Recognise the importance of leadership

Select leaders across the entire organisation to champion the importance of cybersecurity. The champion should have the trust and the ear of the executive team and must be able to secure the necessary financial and human resources.

A project leader or manager handles the strategic and tactical work of a team charged with developing and executing cybersecurity communications and training. Build out the team with employees from different departments and at different organisational levels to ensure a diversity of insights during the planning process. This also shows employees that this is truly an all-organisation endeavour.

It’s especially important to have someone from training and learning/human resources and public relations on the team since they are your internal experts on teaching and communicating.

Year-round communication is vital, so the message doesn’t lose its effectiveness. According to the Vanson Bourne and Mimecast research, only 21% of responding organisations in South Africa offer cybersecurity training monthly or more regularly, and more than a third only train employees annually or less frequently than that. It’s up to the champion to keep cybersecurity top of mind, with continuous training, throughout the year.

  1. Assess your capabilities and understand your risk

A complete audit of your cybersecurity is the best way to understand the kinds of threats your organisation faces and will give you a clear sense of vulnerability. Your IT team may be able to perform these tasks, but it’s crucial that you work with an outside vendor that specialises in email cybersecurity, or cybercrime prevention in general.

It’s important for all staff to be familiar with different forms of cybercrime and to understand how they work. This includes techniques such as ransomware like the infamous WannaCry, whaling and email wire transfer fraud. You need to know what to look for and how to prevent such targeted attacks.

  1. Focus on the priorities first

It’s important that you develop awareness and training programmes that address known and/or anticipated threats first. That way you can successfully protect your organisation’s network, without putting a large drain on resources. At the same time, you don’t want to create an environment of fear and anxiety, where users think cybersecurity is too big to handle and are scared away from best practices.

A successful cybersecurity campaign can do wonders for your organisation, potentially saving you from disaster. Smart security technology is still your number one priority, but ultimately, your organisation is as vulnerable as your most unassuming end user.

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Huge appetite for foldable phones – when prices fall

Samsung, Huawei and Motorola have all shown their cards, but consumers are concerned about durability, size, and enhanced use cases, according to Strategy Analytics

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Foldable devices are a long-awaited disrupter in the smartphone market, exciting leading-edge early adopters keen for a bold new type of device. But the acceptance of foldable devices by mainstream segments will depend on the extent to which the current barriers to adoption are addressed.

Major brands have been throwing their foldable bets into the hat to see what the market wants from a foldable, namely how big the screens should be and how the devices should fold. Samsung and Huawei have both designed devices that unfold from smartphones to tablets, each with their own method of how the devices go about folding. Motorola has recently designed a smartphone that folds in half, and it resembles a flip phone.

Assessing consumer desire for foldable smartphones, a new report from the User Experience Strategies group at Strategy Analytics has found that the perceived value of the foldable form does not outweigh the added cost.

Key report findings include:

  • The idea of having a larger-displayed smartphone in a portable size is perceived as valuable to the vast majority of consumers in the UK and the US. But, willingness to pay extra for a foldable device does not align with the desire to purchase one. Manufacturers must understand that there will be low sell-through until costs come down.
  • But as the acceptance for traditional smartphone display sizes continues to increase, so does the imposed friction of trying to use them one-handed. Unless a foldable phone has a wider folded state, entering text when closed is too cumbersome, forcing users to utilize two hands to enter text, when in the opened state.
  • Use cases need to be adequately demonstrated for consumers to fully understand and appreciate the potential for a foldable phone, though their priorities seemed fixed on promoting ‘two devices in one’ equaling a better video viewing experience. Identification and promotion of meaningful new use cases will be vital to success.

Christopher Dodge, Associate Director, UXIP and report author said: “As multitasking will look to be a core selling point for foldable phones, it is imperative that the execution be simplified and intuitive. Our data suggests there are a lot of uncertainties that come with foldable phone ownership, stemming mainly from concerns with durability and size, in addition to concerns over enhanced use cases.

“But our data also shows that when the consumers are able to use a foldable phone in hand, there is a solid reduction of doubt and concern about the concept. This means that the in-store experience may more important than ever in driving awareness, capabilities, and potential use cases.”

Said Paul Brown, Director, UXIP: “The big question is whether the perceived value will outweigh the added cost; and the initial response from consumers is ‘no.’ The ability for foldable displays to resolve real consumer pain-points is, in our view critical to whether these devices will become a niche segment of the smartphone market or the dominant form-factor of the future. Until costs come down, these devices will not take off.”

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Huawei puts $1-bn into local developer programme

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Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) South Africa has announced the launch of a local Developer Programme called Shining-Star. Huawei announced an investment of $1-billion in support of this programme across global markets, of which South Africa forms part.

‘‘HMS already has more than 570 million global users, including more than 15 million in Africa, with our business covering more than 170 countries,’’ says Likun Zhao, vice president of Huawei Consumer Business Group for Middle East and Africa. “We provide a trusted, device-centric and inter-connected eco-system that improves the user experience, helping them to discover quality content while ensuring security and privacy.”

The developer programme, announced at AfricaCom in Cape Town last week, is the first of its kind in South Africa. Huawei says it “will provide an encompassing eco-system that aims to encourage local developer innovation and support, while Huawei’s AppGallery provides a platform for developers to showcase and publish their apps”.

The platform offers open e-point access and intelligent global distribution for all apps, ranging from smart home, gaming and music to education and health-related apps.

The Shining-Star Programme has been successfully implemented in Malaysia, which has the highest number of Huawei users relative to other smartphone brands in this country. Like Malaysia, South Africa has a considerable number of Huawei users.

Shining-Star will focus on assisting local app developers who face challenges like lack of funding for app eco-systems, testing, and monetisation of their apps. South African developers particularly struggle to market their games and find investors.

“We are committed to working on empowering local app developers by offering them some much-needed infrastructure, guidance, skills and support to grow local talent,” said Zhao. “Our focus is to provide an open platform for developers that they can use to launch and market their apps, as well as give them extensive support in the form of technical development, testing, and legal and marketing tools.”

Huawei HMS Core is a hub with tools like the Account Kit, which enables users to access developers’ apps using Huawei IDs; Game Service, which enables game development; Location Kit, which provides developers with hybrid locations; Drive Kit, a data storage and management solution; and Map Kit, which offers customisation of map formats to developers.

In addition to these developer-specific tools, the Huawei HMS Core hub has growth enablers like the Push Kit and an Analytics Kit, which enable, respectively, the sending of messages and analysis of user behaviour. An Ad Kit and In-App Purchases Kit are also available, so developers can earn income from their apps. Key resources such as API reference, development guides and sample code assist are also part of the programme.

At present, more than 50,000 apps are connected to HMS Core worldwide.

* App developers with a completed app can visit https://developer.huawei.com/consumer/en/, or contact the Huawei SA Business Development team on developersa@huawei.com to find out how Huawei can support them.

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