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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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Huawei Mate 20 unveils ‘higher intelligence’

The new Mate 20 series, launching in South Africa today, includes a 7.2″ handset, and promises improved AI.

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Huawei Consumer Business Group today launches the Huawei Mate 20 Series in South Africa.

The phones are powered by Huawei’s densest and highest performing system on chip (SoC) to date, the Kirin 980. Manufactured with the 7nm process, incorporating the Cortex-A76-based CPU and Mali-G76 GPU, the SoC offers improved performance and, according to Huawei, “an unprecedented smooth user experience”.

The new 40W Huawei SuperCharge, 15W Huawei Wireless Quick Charge, and large batteries work in tandem to provide users with improved battery life. A Matrix Camera System includes a  Leica Ultra Wide Angle Lens that lets users see both wider and closer, with a new macro distance capability. The camera system adopts a Four-Point Design that gives the device a distinct visual identity.

The Mate 20 Series is available in 6.53-inch, 6.39-inch and 7.2-inch sizes, across four devices: Huawei Mate 20, Mate 20 Pro, Mate 20 X and Porsche Design Huawei Mate 20 RS. They ship with the customisable Android P-based EMUI 9 operating system.

“Smartphones are an important entrance to the digital world,” said Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei Consumer BG, at the global launch in London last week. “The Huawei Mate 20 Series is designed to be the best ‘mate’ of consumers, accompanying and empowering them to enjoy a richer, more fulfilled life with their higher intelligence, unparalleled battery lives and powerful camera performance.”

The SoC fits 6.9 billion transistors within a die the size of a fingernail. Compared to Kirin 970, the latest chipset is equipped with a CPU that is claimed to be 75 percent more powerful, a GPU that is 46 percent more powerful and an NPU (neural processing unit) that is 226 percent more powerful. The efficiency of the components has also been elevated: the CPU is claimed to be 58 percent more efficient, the GPU 178 percent more efficient, and the NPU 182 percent more efficient. The Kirin 980 is the world’s first commercial SoC to use the Cortex-A76-based cores.

Huawei has designed a three-tier architecture that consists of two ultra-large cores, two large cores and four small cores. This allows the CPU to allocate the optimal amount of resources to heavy, medium and light tasks for greater efficiency, improving the performance of the SoC while enhancing battery life. The Kirin 980 is also the industry’s first SoC to be equipped with Dual-NPU, giving it higher On-Device AI processing capability to support AI applications.

Read more about the Mate 20 Pro’s connectivity, battery and camera on the next page. 

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How Quantum computing will change … everything?

Research labs, government agencies (NASA) and tech giants like Microsoft, IBM and Google are all focused on developing quantum theories first put forward in the 1970s. What’s more, a growing start-up quantum computing ecosystem is attracting hundreds of millions of investor dollars. Given this scenario, Forrester believes it is time for IT leaders to pay attention.

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“We expect CIOs in life sciences, energy, defence, and manufacturing to see a deluge of hype from vendors and the media in the coming months,” says Forrester’s Brian Hopkins, VP, principal analyst serving CIOs and lead author of a report: A First Look at Quantum Computing. “Financial services, supply-chain, and healthcare firms will feel some of this as well. We see a market emerging, media interest on the rise, and client interest trickling in. It’s time for CIOs to take notice.”

The Forrester report gives some practical applications for quantum computing which helps contextualise its potential: 

  • Security could massively benefit from quantum computing. Factoring very large integers could break RSA-encrypted data, but could also be used to protect systems against malicious attempts. 
  • Supply chain managers could use quantum computing to gather and act on price information using minute-by-minute fluctuations in supply and demand 
  • Robotics engineers could determine the best parameters to use in deep-learning models that recognise and react to objects in computer vision
  • Quantum computing could be used to discover revolutionary new molecules making use of the petabytes of data that studies are now producing. This would significantly benefit many organisations in the material and life sciences verticals – particularly those trying to create more cost-effective electric car batteries which still depend on expensive and rare materials. 

Continue reading to find out how Quantum computing differs.

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