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Prediction beats prevention

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It is a human tendency to romanticise the past, to think what existed yesterday was bigger and better. There are examples where this is true, but the same cannot be said for technology and, in particular, security, says HEIN KERN regional sales manager for SA at RSA.

“If you think of where we are today, a lot what we still do is based on historical prevention and signature based technologies,” says Hein Kern, the newly appointed Regional Sales Manager for Southern Africa at RSA. “In the past companies would use various flavours of antivirus, firewalls, hoping that would be sufficient to control their (perimeter bound) IT environment.

“But the sophistication, speed and types of threats have grown considerably. Fortunately security solutions have not stayed reactive, but grown to enable a new type of predictive intelligence. The real difference between modern offerings is how easily they can integrate and grow with not only those challenges, but a company’s infrastructure investments.”

Kern is no stranger to security, having managed it as part of his portfolio at companies such as Computer Associates and IBM. But since joining EMC in 2011, Kern has seen how important convergence among the many parts of the third platform is, as well as the underlying role security plays in that. The third platform is a departure from the so-called second platform. It’s a shift away from static silos and towards the agility of data center platforms married with the cloud, big data and other modern business enablers:

“With EMC and moving to the third platform –  security is always at play within the four elements mobile, cloud, big data and social

After building on experience in EMC, Kern has moved to RSA, part of EMC’s Federation of companies. He is now eager to sharpen that focus around the role of security in enterprises:

“RSA is aligned with the broader EMC federation. It’s about doing new things better, making gains incremental and achievable. RSA focuses on the four tenets of modern security: access management, advanced security operations, governance risk compliance, and combatting online fraud”. The combination of these four and the power of integration between them deliver greater visibility to give better analysis and more effective action.”

That said, Kern and his team are not aiming to force clients into the new direction, but instead help them build towards it: “At RSA we don’t ignore previous investments. We can work together with previously acquired tools and pull that into the security operations centre environment. So you don’t lose that investment.”

Local enterprises are aware of this journey, he added. There is great and growing awareness that prevention is not that effective anymore. Local companies want to adopt security frameworks that helps manage risk and compliance across the organisation.

“From our dealings with enterprise clients, they are looking towards an integrated enterprise governance, risk and compliance capability but still perform core GRC tasks in siloed and often manual toolsets. With our use-case approach, so we can start small with a certain use-case to enable the journey towards an organizational maturity that an integrated eGRC solution provides.

Security is a bigger concern for companies than ever before, a rising tide that is not subsiding any time soon. But that growing risk has also delivered incredible security solutions that cover more bases that traditional prevention ever could. Kern and his team at RSA are ready to help customers take advantage of such developments, building the third platform future modern businesses thrive on.

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Android Go puts reliable smartphones in budget pockets

Nokia, Vodacom and Huawei have all launched entry-level smartphones running the Android Go edition, and all deliver a smooth experience, writes BRYAN TURNER.

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Three new and notable Android Go smartphones have recently hit the market, namely the Nokia 1, the Vodafone Smart Kicka 4 and the Huawei Y3 (2018). These phones run one of the most basic versions of Android while still delivering a fairly smooth user experience.

Historically, consumers purchasing smartphones in the budget bracket would have a hit-and-miss experience with processing speed, smoothness of user interface, and app stability. The Google-supported Android Go edition operating system optimises the user experience by stripping out non-important visual effects to speed up the phone. Thish allows for more memory to be used by apps. 

Google also ensures that all smartphones running Android Go will receive feature and security updates as they are released by Google. This is a major selling point for these smartphones, as users of this smartphone will always be running the latest software, with virtually no manufacturer bloatware.

Vodafone Smart Kicka 4

At the lowest entry-level, the Vodafone Smart Kicka 4 performs well as a communicator for emails and WhatsApp messages. The 4” screen represents a step up for entry-level Android phones, which were previously standardised at 3.5”.

The display is bright and very responsive, while the limited screen real estate leaves the navigation keys off the screen as touch buttons. It uses 3G connectivity, which might seem like an outdated technology, but is good enough to stream SD videos and music. Vodacom has also thrown in some data gifts if the smartphone is activated before the end of September 2018. 

Its camera functionalities might be a slight let down for the aspirant Instagrammer, with a 2MP rear flash camera and a 0.3MP selfie snapper. Speed wise, the keyboard pops up quickly, which is a huge improvement from the Smart Kicka 3. However, this phone will not play well with graphics-intensive games. 

Nokia 1

Next up is the Nokia 1, which adds a much better 5MP camera, improved battery life and a bigger 4.5” screen. It supports LTE, which allows this smartphone to download and upload at the speed of flagships. It also sports the Nokia brand name, which many consumers trust.

Although the front camera is 2MP, the quality is extremely grainy, even with good lighting. This disqualifies this smartphone for the social media selfie snapper, but the 5MP rear camera will work for the landscape and portrait photographer. 

The screen also redeems this smartphone, providing a display which represents colours truly and has great viewing angles. Xpress-on back covers allows the use of interchangeable, multi-coloured back covers, which has proven to be a successful sales point for mid-range smartphones in the past. 

Huawei Y3 (2018)

The most capable of the Android Go edition competitors, the Huawei Y3 (2018) packs an even bigger screen at 5”, as well as an improved 8MP rear camera and HD video recording. The screen is the brightest and most vibrant of the three smartphones, but seems to be calibrated to show colours a little more saturated than they actually are. 

Nevertheless, the camera outperforms the other smartphones with good colour replication and great selfie capabilities via the 2MP front camera – far superior to the Nokia 1 despite the same spec. LTE also comes standard with this smartphone and Vodacom throws in 4G/LTE data goodies until the end of September 2018. The battery, however, is not removable and may only be replaced by a warranty technician.

Comparing the 3

All three smartphones have removable back covers, which provide access to the battery, SIM card and SD card slots. The smartphones have Micro USB ports on the bottom with headphone jacks on the top. The built-in speakers all performed well, with the Y3 (2018) housing an exceptionally loud built-in speaker. 

Although all at different price points, all three phones remain similar in performance and speed. The differentiators are apparent in the components, like camera quality and screen quality. It would be fair to rank the quality of the camera and battery life by respective market prices. The Vodafone Smart Kicka 4 performed well, for its R399 retail price. The Nokia 1, on the other hand, lags quite a bit in features when compared to the Huawei Y3 (2018), bwith oth retailing at R999.

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SA gets digital archive

As the world entered the centenary of Nelson Mandela’s birth on Mandela Day, 18 July 2018, South Africa celebrated the launch of a digital living archive. 

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The southafrica.co.za  site carries content about the country’s collective heritage in South Africa’s eleven official languages.

Designed as a nation building,  educational and brand promotion web based tool, the free-to-view platform features award-winning photographic and written content by leading South African photographers, authors, academics and photojournalists.

The emphasis is on quality, credible, factual content that celebrates a collective heritage in terms of the following: Cultural Heritage; Natural Heritage; Education; History; Agriculture; Industry; Mining; and Travel.

At the same time as reflecting on the nation’s history, southafrica.co.za celebrates South Africa’s natural, cultural and economic assets so that the youth can learn about their nation in their home language.

Southafrica.co.za Founder and CEO Hans Gerrizen conceptualised southafrica.co.za as a means for youth and communities from outlying areas to benefit from the digital age in terms of the web tool’s empowering educational component.

“We can only stand to deepen our collective experience of democracy and become a more forward planning nation if we know facts about our nation’s past and present in everyone’s home language,” he says.

Southafrica.co.za, with sister company Siyabona Africa, is the organiser and sponsor of the Mandela: 100 Moments photographic exhibition that runs until 30 September at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront-based Nelson Mandela Gateway to Robben Island.  The 3-month exhibition, which runs daily from 08h00 until 15h00, is showcasing one hundred iconic Nelson Mandela images taken by veteran South African photojournalist and self-taught lensman Peter Magubane.

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