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Prediction beats prevention

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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Mobile is the new branch

Standard Bank has launched an account for mobile devices that gives back 500MB of data a month

Standard Bank has introducd a R4.95p/m bank account called MyMo that customers can open on their mobile devices, loaded with data and airtime offerings and other benefits such as virtual and Gold physical card.

MyMo account holders will also enjoy the convenience of a cheque account through a Visa and Mastercard gold card. Once the account is open, users can choose to either receive R50 in airtime or 500MB of data a month, if their card is swiped more than four times a month. A further megabyte of data is loaded on the account for every R20 spent.

“MyMo is an account for everyone, whether you just landed your first job or have been around the block. With no documentation required it only takes a few minutes to open the account,” says Funeka Montjane, Chief Executive for Personal and Business Banking, South Africa, at Standard Bank Group. “For just R4.95 a month customer will be able to enjoy free swipes and ATM withdrawals at only R6.50 for amounts under R 1 000.

“Mobile is the new branch. This account is about bringing the mobile branch into customers hands, it is about convenience and security while banking.”

She says mobile offers low cost transactional banking which integrates people and businesses into the new connected economy, making mobile the new branch ecosystem that will drive and connect Africa’s growth. Physical connections to the economy are rapidly changing to digital where banks have to move from being financial institutions to service organisations.

“In the past people congregated in communities and eventually cities to maximise the advantages of connectivity. Today a simple hand-held device has the potential to open infinite doors, transforming individuals’ access to opportunities, regardless of where they are, and like never before in history. 

“Historically, a bank account represented access to economic citizenship. Today, having a simple device enabling digital access to a modern banking platform is a passport to global connectivity and vast human development potential.”

The bank says it is using technology, and mobile phones in particular, to deliver low-cost transactional channels accessible to all our customers. The evolution in mobile can be seen in transaction options like cash back at the retail checkout till rather than the ATM, free digital banking rather than using a branch, and the ability to transact using digital wallets, even without a bank account.

“Developing comprehensive connected ecosystems requires a mind-set change from Africa’s banks,” says Montjane. “Banks will evolve away from traditional financial service organisations, into service ecosystems enabling broad universal access to almost everything like enhanced purchasing experiences of vehicles and homes, online procurement of goods and services and lifestyle elements like rewards and travel. 

“These connectivity drivers will also act to future-proof evolving connectivity ecosystem by allowing us to offer untold future services while deriving income from as yet unrealised revenue streams,.   

From a customer perspective, the kind of ecosystems of knowledge, access and, ultimately, connectivity that banks will come to provide will radically transform the share of life that almost all individuals will be able to access.”

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Two-thirds of SA staff hide social media from bosses

With 90% of people in employment going online several times a day, it can be hard for most workers to keep their private and work-life separate during the working day (and beyond). The recently published Global Privacy Report from Kaspersky Lab reveals that 64% of South African consumers choose to hide social media activity from their boss. This secretive stance at work also extends to their colleagues, with 60% of South Africans also preferring not to reveal online activities to their co-workers.

Globally, the average employee spends an astonishing 13 years and two months at work during their lifetime. Interestingly though, not all this time is directly related to solving work tasks or earning a promotion: almost two thirds (64%) of consumers admit visiting non-work-related websites every day from their desk.

Not surprisingly, 35% of South African employees are against their employer knowing which websites they visit. However, more interestingly, 60% of South African are even against their colleagues knowing about their online activities. This probably means that colleagues constitute an even greater threat to future perspectives of an office slouch or maybe the relationships with colleagues are more informal and therefore, more valuable.

On the contrary, social media activity appears to be a less private domain for many and therefore, more suitable for sharing with colleagues but not the boss. This is probably because workers fear harming the public image of a company or interest in decreased staff productivity motivates companies to monitor employees’ social networks and make career changing decisions based on that. Such policies have led to 64% of South Africans saying that they don’t want to reveal their social media activities to their boss and 53% even don’t want to disclose this information to their colleagues.

A further 29% are against showing the content of their messages and emails to their employer. In addition, 3% even said that their career was irrevocably damaged as a consequence of their personal information being leaked. Thus, people are worried about how to build a favourable internal reputation and how not to destroy existing workplace relationships.

“As going online is an integral part of our life nowadays, lines continue to blur between our digital existence at work and at home. And that’s neither good nor bad. That’s how we live in the digital age. Just keep remembering that as an employee you need to be increasingly cautious of what exactly you post on social media feeds or what websites you prefer using at work. One misconceived action on the internet could have an irrevocable long-term impact on even the most ambitious worker’s ability to climb the career ladder of their choice in the future,” comments Marina Titova, Head of Consumer Product Marketing at Kaspersky Lab.

To ensure workers don’t fall prey of the internet threats at a work, there are some core guidelines to adhere to in the digital age:

  • Don’t post anything that could be considered defamatory, obscene, proprietary or libellous. If in doubt, don’t post.
  • Be aware that system administrators may at least, in theory, be informed about your web browsing patterns.
  • Don’t harass, threaten, discriminate or disparage against any colleague, partner, competitor or customer. Neither on social networks or in messages, emails, nor by any other means.
  • Don’t post photographs of other employees, customers, vendors, suppliers or company products without prior written permission.
  • Start using Kaspersky Password Manager to ensure your social media and other personal accounts are not at risk of unauthorised access by someone else in an office. Install a reliable security solution such as Kaspersky Security Cloud to protect your personal devices.

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