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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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Huawei Mate 20 Pro matches camera benchmark record

A benchmark by DxOMark sees the triple-cam handset tie with the P20 Pro for best smartphone camera on the market.

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The Huawei Mate 20 Pro has come out top in a camera benchmark test that assesses all aspects of smartphone camera performance.

DxOMark, which conducts rigorous hardware testing and is trusted as an industry standard for image quality measurements, has just released the results of its in-depth analysis of the Huawei Mate 20 Pro smartphone camera. 

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is the Chinese manufacturer’s latest top-end device. Building on the P20 Pro’s camera technology, the Mate 20 Pro comes with a Leica-branded triple-camera setup, but swaps its stable-mate’s monochrome camera for a super-wide-angle module, offering a 35mm-equivalent focal length range from 16 to 80mm—the widest of all current smartphone cameras.

The handset is in direct competition with the Apple iPhone XS Max, the Google Pixel 3 XL, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, among other. How does it fare?

“With a total photo score of 114, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro ties the record-setting score of its cousin, the P20 Pro,” says DxOMark. “The overall Photo score is calculated from sub-scores in tests that examine different aspects of its performance under different lighting conditions.”

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro achieves a photo score of 114 points. In stills mode, the Mate 20 Pro’s triple camera captures images with good target exposure and a wide dynamic range, recording both good highlight and shadow detail even in difficult high-contrast situations. Noise levels are well under control down to low light levels, and the camera’s white balance system and colour rendering settings produce a pleasant colour response in almost all circumstances.

At 97 points, the Mate 20 Pro is very close to the best for video as well, thanks to a fast and smooth autofocus system with good tracking performance, accurate white balance as well as pleasant colour rendering, and low levels of noise, especially in bright shooting conditions. Our testers also liked the exposure system’s ability to adapt quickly and smoothly to changes in illumination.

It was not all good news. DxOMark also had some criticism for the device.

Click here to read about the drawbacks of the Mate 20 Pro camera, and other positives.

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SA car wins
Dakar Rally

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The final stage of Dakar 2019 drew to a close at the bivouac in Pisco, Peru, and saw Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa’s Nasser Al Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel bring home their South African-built Toyota Hilux for an historic victory. Not only was it a first win for Toyota, but it was also the first petrol-powered car to win the Dakar in the South-American era.

The Qatari driver ensured his French navigator, who turned 43 years old on Thursday, 17 January, received a great birthday present, when the pair arrived at the final time control of Dakar 2019 with teammates Giniel de Villiers and Dirk von Zitzewitz in close formation. The two Toyota Hilux crews completed the entire stage together, as De Villiers / Von Zitzewitz waited nearly 55 minutes for the leaders to start the stage, in order to shadow them to the finish.

The emotions bubbled over for Team Principal Glyn Hall, who found himself without words as his two crews drove into the media area after the time control. “This victory was long overdue,” he finally managed, before being swamped in a sea of well-wishers.

The winning driver, however, was much more vocal: “We are so happy to win the Dakar – not only for ourselves, but also for Toyota and the entire Toyota Gazoo Racing SA team. Everyone has worked so hard for so long, and really deserve this. Thank you for letting us drive this car.”

Toyota Gazoo Racing SA led Dakar 2019 from the first to the last stage, with Al Attiyah/Baumel drawing first blood, before handing the mantle to De Villiers / Von Zitzewitz during stage 2. But then a disastrous Stage 3 saw the Qatari retake the lead – a lead he didn’t relinquish despite some of the toughest stages yet seen on any South-American Dakar.

“When we first heard that the rally was going to take place only in one country, we were skeptical,” said Hall after regaining composure. “But the organisers made sure that this year’s race will long be remembered as one of the toughest tests in the last decade.”

Al Attiyah / Baumel’s victory at Dakar 2019 means that Toyota Gazoo Racing has now won both of the world’s toughest automotive races – the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the DakarRally.

Click here to read Glyn Hall’s comment on winning the Dakar Rally, as well as the rankings.

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