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Phone data safer than corporate networks?

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The data that resides on a mobile phone is better protected than the data that resides in most corporate data centres, says RONNIE MOODLEY, Server Solutions Sales Leader for IBM South Africa.

Eighty percent of the data on mobile phones is encrypted, according to a 2017 Solitaire Interglobal study, because it’s easier to encrypt data on millions of identical devices. Encryption is often largely absent in corporate and cloud data centers because current solutions for data encryption in x86 environments can dramatically degrade performance (and user experiences), and can be too complex and expensive to manage.

A recent study found that extensive use of encryption is a top factor in reducing the business impact and cost of a data breach. To put that in context, the IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence Index reported that more than four billion records were leaked in 2016, which was a 556 percent increase from 2015.

Regulatory bodies are establishing standards in response to growing security concerns. These include:

    • · The European Union, for example, has established the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), that will increase data protection requirements for organizations doing business in Europe starting next year. GDPR will require organizations to report data breaches to the regulatory authority within 72 hours and face fines of up to four percent of annual worldwide revenues or 20 million Euro, unless the organization can demonstrate that data was encrypted and the keys were protected.
    • · At the U.S. Federal level, the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC), which includes the five banking regulators, has provided guidance on the use of encryption in the financial services industry.

Three years ago, as it began the design process for the next generation of its iconic mainframe, our customers — representing the banking, retail, insurance and healthcare industries — asked if the massive scale of the world’s biggest transaction engine could be extended at the same massive scale for data security. In the end, more than 150 companies had a say in the development of IBM Z.

The new system is capable of running more than 12 billion encrypted transactions per day and also introduces a breakthrough encryption engine that, for the first time, makes it possible to pervasively encrypt data associated with any application, cloud service or database all the time. The system’s advanced cryptographic capability now extends across any data, networks, external devices or entire applications – such as the IBM Cloud Blockchain service – with no application changes and no impact on business service level agreements.

Building on the capabilities of the world’s most powerful transaction engine at the center of global commerce today, the IBM Z supports:

    • · 87 percent of all credit card transactions and nearly $8 trillion in payments a year.
    • · 29 billion ATM transactions each year, worth nearly $5 billion per day.
    • · Four billion passenger flights each year.
    • · More than 30 billion transactions per day, or more than the number of Google searches every day.
    • · 68 percent of the world’s production workloads at only six percent of the total information technology (IT) cost.

Banks and others in the financial services industry process thousands of transactions per second to keep the world’s financial systems running. The mainframe is more critical than ever for reliably handling high volumes of transaction data. Today, 92 of the world’s top 100 banks rely on the IBM mainframe because of its ability to efficiently process huge volumes of transactions.

Addie Buissinne, Executive for Financial Solutions at Emid, a subsidiary of EOH, says they took their retail banking and lending platform (C4) to the cloud 15 years ago, using IBM Z because it is highly efficient, scalable and offers unrivalled stability. They for example took a client from first engagement, to opening and transacting on 160,000 accounts in just a few months, and this had no impact on the performance level of the mainframe. Given the resilience of IBM Z, they have achieved uptime and stability rates unmatched by any other alternative.

My company believes that organizations should not wait to assess data risks and obligations, and instead, should proactively secure vital data. Businesses should prepare through a broad range of capabilities, which not only include technology, data governance, security and policy, but also people and processes.

Securing data should be seen as an opportunity. The process can accelerate digital transformation, if done properly, by introducing more efficient and integrated data processing. IBM has long held the position that privacy is foundational to trust and investing in a sustainable, governed data asset and data security can be a competitive advantage for businesses.

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Now download a bank account

Absa has introduced an end-to-end account opening for new customers, through the Absa Banking App, which can be downloaded from the Android and Apple app stores. This follows the launch of the world first ChatBanking on WhatsApp service.

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This “download your account” feature enables new customers to Absa, to open a Cheque account, order their card and start transacting on the Absa Banking App, all within minutes, from anywhere and at any time, by downloading it from the App stores.

“Overall, this new capability is not only expected to enhance the customer’s digital experience, but we expect to leverage this in our branches, bringing digital experiences to the branch environment and making it easier for our customers to join and bank with us regardless of where they may be,” says Aupa Monyatsi, Managing Executive for Virtual Channels at Absa Retail & Business Banking.

“With this innovation comes the need to ensure that the security of our customers is at the heart of our digital experience, this is why the digital onboarding experience for this feature includes a high-quality facial matching check with the Department of Home Affairs to verify the customer’s identity, ensuring that we have the most up to date information of our clients. Security is supremely important for us.”

The new version of the Absa Banking App is now available in the Apple and Android App stores, and anyone with a South African ID can become an Absa customer, by following these simple steps:

  1. Download the Absa App
  2. Choose the account you would like to open
  3. Tell us who you are
  4. To keep you safe, we will verify your cell phone number
  5. Take a selfie, and we will do facial matching with the Department of Home Affairs to confirm you are who you say you are
  6. Tell us where you live
  7. Let us know what you do for a living and your income
  8. Click Apply.

 

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How we use phones to avoid human contact

A recent study by Kaspersky Lab has found that 75% of people pick up their connected device to avoid conversing with another human being.

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Connected devices are becoming essential to keeping people in contact with each other, but for many they are also a much-needed comfort blanket in a variety of social situations when they do not want to interact with others. A recent survey from Kaspersky Lab has confirmed this trend in behaviour after three-quarters of people (75%) admitted they use a device to pretend to be busy when they don’t want to talk to someone else, showing the importance of keeping connected devices protected under all circumstances. 

Imagine you’ve arrived at a bar and you’re waiting for your date. The bar is busy, and people are chatting all around you. What do you do now? Strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know? Grab your phone from your pocket or handbag until your date arrives to keep yourself busy? Why talk to humans or even make eye-contact with someone else when you can stare at your connected device instead?

The truth is, our use of devices is making it much easier to avoid small talk or even be polite to those around us, and new Kaspersky Lab research has found that 72% of people use one when they do not know what to do in a social situation. They are also the ‘go-to’ distraction for people even when they aren’t trying to look busy or avoid someone’s eye. 46% of people admit to using a device just to kill time every day and 44% use it as a daily distraction.

In addition to just being a distraction, devices are also a lifeline to those who would rather not talk directly to another person in day-to-day situations, to complete essential tasks. In fact, nearly a third (31%) of people would prefer to carry out tasks such as ordering a taxi or finding directions to where they need to go via a website and an app, because they find it an easier experience than speaking with another person.

Whether they are helping us avoid direct contact or filling a void in our daily lives, our constant reliance on devices has become a cause for panic when they become unusable. A third (34%) of people worry that they will not be able to entertain themselves if they cannot access a connected device. 12% are even concerned that they won’t be able to pretend to be busy if their device is out of action.

Dmitry Aleshin, VP for Product Marketing, Kaspersky Lab said, “The reliance on connected devices is impacting us in more ways than we could have ever expected. There is no doubt that being connected gives us the freedom to make modern life easier, but devices are also vital to help people get through different and difficult social situations. No matter what your ‘connection crutch’ is, it is essential to make sure your device is online and available when you need it most.”

To ensure your device lifeline is always there and in top health – no matter what the reason or situation – Kaspersky Security Cloud keeps your connection safe and secure:

·         I want to use my device while waiting for a friend – is it secure to access the bar’s Wi-Fi?

With Kaspersky Security Cloud, devices are protected against network threats, even if the user needs to use insecure public Wi-Fi hotspots. This is done through transferring data via an encrypted channel to ensure personal data safety, so users’ devices are protected on any connection.

·         Oh no! I’m bored but my phone’s battery is getting low – what am I going to do?

Users can track their battery level thanks to a countdown of how many minutes are left until their device shuts down in the Kaspersky Security Cloud interface. There is also a wide-range of portable power supplies available to keep device batteries charged while on-the-go.

·         I’ve lost my phone! How will I keep myself entertained now?

Should the unthinkable happen and you lose or have your phone stolen, Kaspersky Security Cloud can track and protect your device from data breaches, for complete peace of mind. Remote lock and locate features ensure your device remains secure until you are reunited.

 

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