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JSE accelerates x400



JSE has recently adopted a new trading platform called Millennium Exchange for the exchange’s equities market. This new platform is said to offer the JSE faster speeds, a boost in trading volumes and mitigation against the connectivity issues that the exchange has experienced in the past.

The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) announced that it has concluded a licensing agreement with technology solutions provider MillenniumIT to move its equity market trading activity onto Millennium Exchange. The migration is planned for the first half of 2012 and it is expected that JSE members will benefit from executing transactions almost 400 times faster than the present trading solution.

The agreement will also see the JSE’s trading system relocated from London to Johannesburg, enhancing operational efficiencies and ensuring trading optimisation for market participants.

Leanne Parsons, JSE Chief Operating Officer and Head of the Equity Market comments on the agreement: ‚We are excited about working with MillenniumIT and providing benefits to our market using their technology solutions‚ .

Parsons is confident that the adoption of the new trading system will increase the equity volumes traded on the JSE and therefore liquidity: ‚In our experience, whenever we take a step forward with our trading technology, trading volumes also follow. If we want to remain a world-class and relevant exchange in a highly competitive industry, we must remain abreast of technological advances.‚

Trading volumes increased significantly when the JSE adopted trading platform JSE SETS in 2002, and climbed again when the exchange moved to the present trading platform JSE TradElect in 2007. JSE TradElect is licensed from the London Stock Exchange, with the London bourse maintaining and operating the platform under the current technology services agreement with the JSE. Parsons adds that the adoption of Millennium Exchange could potentially have a significant impact on trading volumes by attracting a greater share of high frequency trading. ‚There is much anecdotal evidence to suggest that when exchanges increase their trading speeds they also boost levels of high frequency trading. This is important in order to deepen a market,‚ adds Parsons.

MillenniumIT, which has over a decade of experience in building technology solutions for the capital markets, is headquartered in Colombo, Sri Lanka and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG). Millennium Exchange is the company’s flagship product used by ten exchanges and other execution venues worldwide and is known for its speed and scalability. ‚Millennium Exchange is a next generation trading platform that offers ultra fast order processing capabilities, providing users with a trading experience that is amongst the fastest, most reliable and technologically advanced in the world,‚ comments Tony Weeresinghe, CEO of MillenniumIT and Director of Global Development at the LSEG.

Speed is becoming increasingly important in the exchange industry as exchanges cope with the rapid rise of high-frequency trading. Those exchanges that have trading systems with the lowest latency ‚ the time between when an order is received, processed and acknowledgement sent ‚ will retain and grow market share. ‚Low latency trading systems with latencies in the microseconds will soon become a commodity,‚ adds Weeresinghe.

Parsons explains that one of the reasons for the decision to relocate the trading engine to Johannesburg was for the increased operational stability that this move would offer. ‚The handful of incidents that we have had requiring the equity market to be halted, with reputational impacts, have been related to our international connectivity links. By moving the engine to Johannesburg, we eliminate this problem and are able to offer our clients improved service availability and stability.‚

The move will mean that the JSE will manage and operate the trading engine itself. Parsons adds that operational costs will remain roughly the same. While not willing to disclose the value of the agreement, she comments that the structure of the deal allows the JSE to aggressively grow trading volumes without incrementally increasing trading software costs.

The move also offers significant benefits for the JSE itself and opens up a new potential revenue stream for the exchange by offering JSE members co-location services. Co-location allows trading firms to place their computer servers near an exchange’s matching engine to cut the time it takes for messages to be sent to and from the trading engine ‚ thus shaving microseconds off trading times and reducing bandwidth requirements. Many exchanges worldwide currently earn revenue from renting out computer space in co-location centres. The move of the trading system to Johannesburg has been welcomed by market participants and will give JSE members faster trade executions.

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Scammers cleaning up with gullible computer users



Kaspersky experts have detected a two-fold rise in the number of users being attacked with fake system cleaners – fraudulent programmes designed to trick users into paying for alleged serious computer issues to be fixed. The number of users hit reached 1,456,219 in the first half of 2019, compared to just 747,322 for the same period in 2018. During this time, some of the attacks have become more sophisticated and dangerous.

A slow-working or poorly performing computer is a common complaint among PC users, and there are many legitimate tools available to solve such issues. However, alongside genuine system cleaners, there are fake ones developed by fraudsters that are designed to trick users into believing their computer is in critical danger, for example through memory overload, and needs immediate cleaning. The attackers then offer to provide such a service in return for payment. Kaspersky defines and detects such programmes as ‘hoax system cleaners’.

Upon receiving user permission and payment, the fraudsters install the hoax programmes that claim to clean the PC, but which often either do nothing or install adware – an annoying, but not critical, storm of unsolicited advertising – on the computer. Increasingly, however, the cybercriminals are using the installation of hoax cleaners to download or disguise malware such as Trojans or ransomware.

The countries most affected by attacks with hoax cleaners in the first half of 2019 show how geographically widespread the threat is; leading the list is Japan with 12% of affectedusers, followed by Germany (10%), Belarus (10%), Italy (10%) and Brazil (9%).

“We’ve been watching how the phenomenon of hoax cleaners has been growing for the last couple of years, and it is a curious threat. On the one hand, many samples that we have seen are spreading more widely and becoming more dangerous, evolving from a simple ‘fraudulent’ scheme into fully functioning and dangerous malware. On the other hand, they are so widespread and seemingly innocent, that it is much easier for them to trick users into paying for a service, rather than frightening them with screen blockers and other unpleasant malware. However, these two ways end up with the same results with users losing their money,” says Artemiy Ovchinnikov, security researcher at Kaspersky.

Kaspersky detects hoax system cleaners as:






To avoid falling victim to hoax threats, Kaspersky researchers advise users to:

  • Always check that the PC services that you are about to adopt are legitimate and easy to understand. If it sounds confusing, use a search engine to find out more about the service as there may be a more detailed explanation available
  • Use a reliable security solution for comprehensive protection with a clean-up function for a wide range of threats and PC cleansing, such as Kaspersky Security Cloud.
  • If you are purposely looking for a PC cleaner, use reliable, IT-targeted sources of information for recommendations, with a long-built reputation and software reviews.

Read the full report on Kaspersky Daily.

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Trend Micro unveils security suite for Azure in Africa



Cybersecurity leader Trend Micro Incorporated has announced highly optimised security solutions for Microsoft Azure workloads for customers in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Trend Micro Deep Security suite takes into consideration that a customer needs to approach cloud security differently than one would traditional security. As a result, it is fully optimised for Microsoft Azure. The suite ensures that a customer can tap into a solution that provides flexible, scalable protection of operating systems, applications, and data without slowing you down.

“Microsoft is an important partner to Trend Micro and as a result we have built a series of technologies that support their position in the cloud,” says Indi Siriniwasa, vice president at Trend Micro Sub-Saharan Africa. “Our security solutions are uniquely optimised for Microsoft Azure and complement Microsoft Azure Security Centre so customers across the world continue to turn to Trend Micro to help better secure their Azure real estate. With Microsoft Azure now available from new cloud regions in South Africa, customers can rest assured that we support the use of Microsoft to streamline provisioning of security for Windows virtual machines and SharePoint workloads. 

“This will help customers to ensure that their security follows them from their physical environment to the cloud and back again, customers can automate security with Microsoft PowerShell scripting to streamline provisioning of security for Windows virtual machines and SharePoint workloads plus many other orchestration tools for Azure, including Chef, Puppet, and RightScale, we can also help clients to better automate security control deployments.”

With Deep Security for Azure, businesses can detect and protect against intrusions as well as protect their business against serious vulnerabilities with intrusion detection and prevention (IDS/IPS). The solution will also help uncover suspicious changes to a system and immediately highlight and alert the business to these activities – without security admins having to manually sort through logs.

It also has the ability to keep malware off of workloads by using predictive machine learning mechanisms to detect unknown threats and prevalent attacks, so that a user can identify and then remove malware and blacklist domains known to be command-and-control (C&C) servers. Customers can also stop applications attached with IPS rules that block XSS or SQL attacks and other serious vulnerabilities until systems can be patched, as well as increase application visibility and control.

A particularly relevant feature within the South African context is that Deep Security is able to speed up a client’s route to PCI DSS compliance. The Deep Security solution allows a client to meet multiple PCI requirements with a single product, including intrusion detection and prevention, file integrity monitoring, and log inspection.

“Trend Micro’s integration with Microsoft Azure reduces the dependence on multiple point security tools, helping you to identify and address security and configuration issues quickly,” says Adwait Joshi, director, Azure Product Marketing at Microsoft Corp.

Trend Micro provided the following information:

Trend Micro’s Deep Security currently secures more servers globally than any other solution and specialises in protection for cloud and virtualised workload. It acts as part of the Trend Micro Hybrid Cloud Security solution, powered by XGen and provides comprehensive, flexible security for Azure workloads in a single product, so you can build new applications or move existing resources to the cloud with confidence.

Deep Security protects workloads by:

  • Defending against network threats with intrusion detection and prevention (IDS/IPS)
  • Immediately protecting against vulnerabilities like Shellshock and Heartbleed
  • Keeping malware off Windows and Linux workloads
  • Alerting when unplanned or suspicious changes are made to systems
  • Stopping SQL injection and XSS attacks on applications
  • Gaining visibility and control of elastic workloads with application control that fits DevOps

Local Trend Micro customers can also turn to the company’s Trend Micro Cloud App Security which is directly integrated into Office 365 via APIs. This includes advanced email protection, as well as compliance on third-party cloud file sharing services such as: Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, SharePoint Online, and OneDrive for Business.

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