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Security needs new approach

Cisco is calling for the adoption of a holistic architectural approach to address growing cybersecurity challenges.



It is time for a new approach to security. Today’s dynamic threat landscape demands a security strategy that focuses on the threat itself more than simply prevention. One that doesn’t continue to simply stick band-aid over band-aid, until a cat’s cradle of fixes and patches becomes a management nightmare. Meanwhile, the organisation’s systems remain vulnerable to new, increasingly smart, attacks. 

Findings from the recent The Cisco 2018 Security Capabilities Benchmark Study reveal that more than nine out of ten (94%) companies surveyed in the Middle East and Africa have suffered a breach in the last year, with nearly a half (48%) experiencing more than $500,000 (around R6.2 million) in damage. The good news is that companies in the region are taking a progressive approach to tackling security, with 83% using automation, 78%, machine learning, and 77%, artificial intelligence to reduce the effort to secure their organisations. 

“Today, security needs to also work hand in glove with an organisation’s digitalisation roadmap,” says Clayton Naidoo, Acting General Manager, Cisco Sub-Saharan Africa. “Most C-suite leaders think about cybersecurity as a way to stop threats. But in today’s intensely competitive digital economy they should be thinking about cybersecurity as a strategic advantage that not only protects, but also enables new business value.” 

While organisations must continue to work diligently to protect valuable data and assets, to achieve growth, the biggest opportunity comes when we make cybersecurity a foundational component of our digital strategies. As we enter the fourth industrial revolution, companies need a multi-layered architectural approach to security that will block known threats and malware, but also be alert enough to identify and contain unknown risks quickly. 

This is the view of Cisco, a lead sponsor of the ITWeb Security Summit 2018. In keeping with the conference’s theme of addressing the challenge in an ever-changing threat landscape, John Maynard, Cisco vice president of security for EMEAR, will explain how, even as the IT world gets more complex, security can and should be integrated seamlessly into everything an organisation does. 

There is something of a security perfect storm brewing as we move into an increasingly digitalised world. While no one can doubt the impact of security breaches on companies, it is getting more difficult to stay ahead of them. One reason for this, ironically, is the vast choice of systems and software companies have to get the job done in the best way. 

The benchmark study explains that the challenge today arises because almost a quarter (23%) of MEA companies manage more than 21 vendors. This is not unique to the region though, and the worldwide figure sits at 21%. This system complexity leaves organisations with security stacks that are too complex to manage, administrators bombarded with too many alerts, and the increased likelihood of missing critical outcomes.

Meanwhile, attacks have got more sophisticated, and more damaging. Take for instance destruction of service (DeOS) attacks, where criminals no longer care about the bitcoins they can extract from companies as ransom but instead are selling their services to destroy targeted systems completely. And then, of course, today you also still get the employee who should know better but clicks on suspicious links in emails and opens attachments that they should stay well away from.

“Whether they are moving to the cloud, launching a new product or bringing on new digital devices, organisations need to start building an industry-wide culture where security is top of mind and integrated seamlessly into everything it does,” added Naidoo. “And while it’s never been easier to deploy new IT services, these may impact visibility and control mechanisms unless the way security is implemented and managed changes.”

This is where Cisco’s integrated, architectural approach to secure IT comes to the fore. There is an important difference between an integrated approach, where multiple point products communicate via point-to-point connections through APIs, scripts and other such mechanisms, and an architectural approach where all of the components are designed to work together, and natively share information.

Any system is only as strong as its weakest link, but with an architectural approach, an update only has to happen in one location to immediately contain threats across the entire system. This shared source of information reduces the risk of false positives, and a consistent user interface prevents human error. All of this pulled together also facilitates the automation of threat management so that only the most critical threats require human intervention. An added benefit is, of course, cost reduction, both regarding deployment, and in terms of operations. Yesterday’s security thinking can’t protect tomorrow’s systems, but a holistic architectural approach sets an organisation up for future success.

Maynard will be expanding on this “see it once, protect it everywhere” architectural approach to security at the ITWeb Security Summit, to be held from 21 to 25 May, at Vodacom World, in Midrand. Cisco’s team of security specialists will be on hand at the event to advise companies on what is involved in taking an integrated architectural approach to secure their IT into the future.


News fatigue shifts Google searches in SA

Google search trends in South Africa reveal a startling insight into news appetite, writes BRYAN TURNER.



The big searches of the year no longer track the biggest news stories of the year, suggesting a strong dose of news fatigue among South Africans.

“People ask, why are the Guptas not on the list of Google’s top searches?, says Mich Atagana, head of communications and public affairs at Google South Africa, “The Guptas are not on the list because South Africans are not actually that interested. South Africans are looking for things they don’t know. From a Gupta point of view, we’ve been exhausted by the news and we know exactly what is going on.”

Google South Africa announced the results of its 2018 Year in Search, offering a unique perspective on the year’s major moments.

“Four years ago, there were almost no South Africans on the personalities list,” says Atagana. “Over the years, South Africans have gotten more interested in South Africa, in searching on Google.”

That isn’t to say that international searches – like Meghan Markle – are not heavily searched by South Africans. But  they feature lower down on the lists.

From the World Cup to listeriosis, Zuma and Global Citizen, South Africans use search to find the things they really need to know.

These are the main trends revealed  by Google this week:

Top trending South African searches

  1. World Cup fixtures
  2. Load shedding
  3. Global Citizen
  4. Zuma
  5. Winnie Mandela
  6. HHP
  7. Listeriosis
  8. Black Panther
  9. Meghan Markle
  10. Mac Miller

Trending personalities

  1.    Jacob Zuma
  2. Cyril Ramaphosa
  3. Sbahle Mpisane
  4. Kevin Anderson
  5. Malusi Gigaba
  6. Ashwin Willemse
  7. Patrice Motsepe
  8. Cheryl Zondi
  9. Shamila Batohi
  10. Mlindo the Vocalist

Top Questions

  1. How did Avicii die?
  2. How old is Pharrell Williams?
  3. What is listeriosis?
  4. What is black data?
  5. How old is Prince Harry?
  6. How much are Global Citizen tickets?
  7. How to get pregnant?
  8. What time is the royal wedding?
  9. What happened to HHP?
  10. How old is Meghan Markle?

Top ‘near me’ searches

  1. Jobs near me
  2. Nandos near me
  3. Dischem near me
  4. McDonalds near me
  5. Guest house near me
  6. Postnet near me
  7. Steers near me
  8. Spar near me
  9. Debonairs near me
  10. Spur near me

Top women

  1. Winnie Mandela
  2. Meghan Markle
  3. Sbahle Mpisane
  4. Aretha Franklin
  5. Khloe Kardashian
  6. Sophie Ndaba
  7. Cheryl Zondi
  8. Demi Lovato
  9. Lerato Sengadi
  10. Siam Lee

The Year In Search 2018 minisite can be found here.

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Smartphones dip in 2018

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, worldwide smartphone shipments are expected to decline by 3% in 2018 before returning to low single-digit growth in 2019 and through 2022.



While the on-going U.S.-China trade war has the industry on edge, IDC still believes that continued developments from emerging markets, mixed with potential around 5G and new product form factors, will bring the smartphone market back to positive growth.

Smartphone shipments are expected to drop to 1.42 billion units in 2018, down from 1.47 billion in 2017. However, IDC expects year-over-year shipment growth of 2.6% in 2019. Over the long-term, smartphone shipments are forecast to reach 1.57 billion units in 2022. From a geographic perspective, the China market, which represented 30% of total smartphone shipments in 2017, is finally showing signs of recovery. While the world’s largest market is still forecast to be down 8.8% in 2018 (worse than the 2017 downturn), IDC anticipates a flat 2019, then back to positive territory through 2022. The U.S. is also forecast to return to positive growth in 2019 (up 2.1% year over year) after experiencing a decline in 2018.

The slow revival of China was one of the reasons for low growth in Q3 2018 and this slowdown will persist into Q1 2019 as the market is expected to drop by 3% in Q4 2018. Furthermore, the recently lifted U.S. ban on ZTE had an impact on shipments in Q3 2018 and created a sizable gap that is yet to be filled heading into 2019.

“With many of the large global companies focusing on high-end product launches, hoping to draw in consumers looking to upgrade based on specifications and premium devices, we can expect head-to-head competition within this segment during the holiday quarter and into 2019 to be exceptionally high,” said Sangeetika Srivastava, senior research analyst with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers.

Though 2018 has fallen below expectations so far, the worldwide smartphone market is set to pick up on the shift toward larger screens and ultra-high-end devices. All the big players have further built out their portfolios with bigger screens and higher-end smartphones, including Apple’s new launch in September. In Q3 2018, the 6-inch to less than 7-inch screen size band became the most prominent band for the first time with more than four times year-over-year growth. IDC believes that larger-screen smartphones (5.5 inches and above) will lead the charge with volumes of 947.1 million in 2018, accounting for 66.7% of all smartphones, up from 623.3 million units and 42.5% share in 2017. By 2022, shipments of these larger-screen smartphones will move up to 1.38 billion units or 87.7% of overall shipment volume.

“What we consider a so-called normal size smartphone has shifted dramatically in a few short years and while we are stretching the limits with bezel-less devices, the next big switch to flexible screens will test our imaginations even further,” said Melissa Chau, associate research director with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers. “While this category of device is still nascent and won’t see major adoption in the year ahead, it’s exciting to see changes to the standard monoblock we are all so used to carrying.”

Platform Highlights

Android: Android’s smartphone share will remain stable at 85% throughout the forecast. Volumes are expected to grow at a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.7% with shipments approaching 1.36 billion in 2022. Android is still the choice of the masses with no shift expected. Android average selling prices (ASPs) are estimated to grow by 9.6% in 2018 to US$258, up from US$235 in 2017. IDC expects this upward trajectory to continue through the forecast, but at a softened rate from 2019 and beyond. Not only are market players pushing upgraded specs and materials to offset decreasing replacement rates, but they are also serving the evolving consumer needs for better performance.

iOS: iOS smartphones are forecast to drop by 2.5% in 2018 to 210.4 million. The launch of expensive and bigger screen iOS smartphones in Q3 2018 helped Apple to raise its ASP, simultaneously making it somewhat difficult to increase shipments in the current market slump. IDC is forecasting iPhone shipments to grow at a five-year CAGR of 0.1%, reaching volumes of 217.3 million in 2022. Despite the challenges, there is no ambiguity that Apple will continue to lead the global premium market segment.

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