Cybercrime To Be Most Disruptive In The Next 2 Years- PwC Study

Cybercrime To Be Most Disruptive In The Next 2 Years- PwC Study

By Fundisiwe Maseko
May 15, 2018

A study conducted by PwC has revealed that a quarter of South African businesses believe that cybercrime will be the most disruptive economic crime to affect their organisations in the next two years. The 2018 PwC Global Economic Crime and Fraud Survey found that South Africa has the dubious honour of having the highest level of reported economic crime in the world, with a staggering 77% of companies being affected.  Junaid Amra, Partner in PwC’s Forensic Services Division, says that when it comes to combating fraud and economic crime, technology can become a double-edged sword. “In the never-ending efforts to modernise both the business and the fraud-detecting capabilities of the business, technology can become a business protector, but also a threat if the risks associated with technology deployment are not properly assessed,” he says.

He points out a key finding in the global survey which says technology has become so pervasive across every business process that how a company chooses to leverage this technology to combat crime is central to the customer experience. Amra further stated, “Over a fifth of all customers said business technology to predict fraud was producing too many false positives and these false alarms become invasive for the customer.”  The survey found that companies are finding it increasingly expensive to invest in technology. “This being said, South Africa, and Africa in general, are investing in advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence at a faster rate than the rest of the world. This may be to play catch-up with the rest of the world in efforts to combat economic crime, but it also signals the seriousness with which cybercrime is being approached.”

In addition to the customer experience being directly affected by the use of technology, criminals can and do use the company’s own technology to commit their crimes.  With new digital products, criminals are given new attack vectors, making the job of stopping these attacks so much harder. “In the past, companies may well have used good old-fashioned business-to-business processes to bring a product to market – resellers, distributors and retailers. However, technology has meant that there are innovative business-to-consumer platforms providing a wider attack surface for cybercriminals,” explains Amra.

In 2017, a single ransomware attack crippled the United Kingdom’s National Health Service, not only threatening lives, but also crippling hundreds of thousands of computers around the world. This is just one example from many that can be cited. The potential for harm is frightening as the technical sophistication of external fraudsters and attack surfaces within businesses continue to grow side by side.  It is for this reason, says Amra, that more than a quarter of respondents to the survey felt that cybercriminals would attack them in the next two years.

Amra concludes that the survey found that the responsibility of dealing with economic crime rests with the C-suite. Based on incidents we’ve assisted clients with organisations are falling into two categories, those who have executive-led initiatives and those who are crisis-driven i.e. moving from one crisis to the next without a clear cybersecurity strategy supported by the C-suite. It goes without saying that organisations with executive-led initiatives are faring much better when faced with cyber attacks. From a steering, strategic and reputational point of view, business leaders such as the CEO are finding that the buck stops with them in the fight against cybercriminals.



Distributed By APO Group

Kenya’s William Ruto Launches First Microsoft Software Testing Centre In Africa

Kenya’s William Ruto Launches First Microsoft Software Testing Centre In Africa

By Muslim Community Report


Technology giant, Microsoft has launched its first software testing center in Kenya, a development that enhances the East African nation’s status as a regional hub for emerging technologies.


Daniel Mumbere
May 5, 2018


In a partnership with Techno Brain Limited, Microsoft hopes to create jobs and transfer knowledge to young engineers in Kenya.  The Microsoft software testing center, a first of it’s kind in Africa will be located in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. This center is the fourth outsourced Microsoft testing centre, with others based in India, China and Poland.

These engineers will continue to learn and be on a level across the globe on how you do technology, testing and write software, to help fill the talent growth in Kenya.

‘‘Kenya is said to be Africa’s ultimate technology hub of the future and it is rapidly growing in that area. Microsoft is here to support and enable Kenya and Kenyan’s to excel and achieve that purpose,’‘ said Microsoft Director of Software Engineering, Bambo Sofola at the launch event.

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Kenya’s deputy president, William Ruto, who officiated the launch hailed the job creation and innovation benefits of the center.  ‘‘The Microsoft test engineering centre, the first in Africa, will create employment to our youths and position Kenya as a preferred destination of quality assurance and innovation,’‘ Ruto said.

With the launch of this center, software engineers in Kenya will get early access to the latest Windows operating system builds. They’ll perform complex tests for various applications before they become available for the global market.

‘‘These engineers will continue to learn and be on a level across the globe on how you do technology, testing and write software, to help fill the talent growth in Kenya.’‘

Technology companies including Microsoft, Facebook and Google continue to invest in expansion to Africa, where they hope to leverage on the potential of its largely untapped market.

African Businesses Increase Cloud Budgets To Scale Operations

African Businesses Increase Cloud Budgets To Scale Operations

Distributed by Muslim Community Report on behalf of Sub-Saharan Africa at F5 Networks.

By Matthew Barker, Divisional Sales Manager,  Sub-Saharan Africa at F5 Networks
May 05/03/2018

Cloud computing is reaching ubiquitous adoption among enterprises in Africa. Shrinking IT budgets and increasing pressure to ‘do more with less’ is making cloud computing an attractive option for businesses that want to scale their operations and digitally transform their infrastructure. As the cloud is more affordable and accessible than ever before, a bigger portion of African IT budgets is being allocated to cloud computing spend.

This was one of the key findings of Cloud Africa 2018, a research project conducted by World Wide Worx and F5 Networks, across Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa earlier this year, where we asked decision-makers at 300 medium and large organisations about their cloud computing usage, benefits, and intentions.

Budgets Aim For The Sky

  • These were the biggest take-outs from the research when it came to cloud budgets:
  • Nine out of ten (90%) companies in South Africa increased spending on cloud computing last year, and 83% will increase these budgets in 2018.
  • In Nigeria, 78% increased budgets last year, and 94% will increase their spending this year.
  • In Kenya, 74% of companies increased cloud budgets in 2017, rising to a massive 98% in 2018.
  • Not more than 2% of organisations in any of the countries surveyed decreased cloud spending last year.
  • Only 5% of South African respondents said they would decrease cloud spending this year, the majority of which were in the engineering sector. No companies in Kenya or Nigeria will decrease spending this year.

These spending trends are in line with global forecasts from the IDC, which expects spending on public cloud to increase from $67 billion in 2015 to $162 billion in 2020. Worldwide, cloud computing spending has grown at 4.5 times the rate of IT spending since 2009 and is expected to grow at more than six times the rate of IT spending from 2015 through 2020.

Hard-To-Ignore Benefits

The Cloud Africa 2018 research found that one of the biggest reasons for the increased spend on cloud computing is that African organisations are starting to realise the benefits and impact of cloud computing on everything from business innovation and market share, to customer experiences and brand perception.

Organisations are also starting to understand the value of cloud computing in enabling more complex business models and orchestrating better integration and collaboration across their infrastructure deployments. Higher levels of trust in cloud computing means organisations are more comfortable virtualising mission-critical business processes and applications.

This has seen many businesses in Africa – which are not as hampered by legacy infrastructure investments as their counterparts in developed markets – pursue a cloud-first strategy as they prioritise increased automation and management of cloud services without vendor lock-in.

Apps Become Cloud-Native

Another trend fuelling growth in cloud computing is the migration of applications and workloads from on-premises data centres to the cloud, as well as the development of cloud-ready and cloud-native applications. This leaves African organisations with little choice but to invest in cloud computing if they want to remain relevant and make use of new digital technologies.

Our research found that organisations in South Africa and Kenya expect 26% to 50% of applications to be cloud-native by 2021, from around 1% to 25% today. In Nigeria, half of the respondents estimate that over three-quarters of applications will be cloud-native by 2021.

Along with the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, virtual reality and 3D printing, cloud computing is still making the biggest and most measurable impact on businesses all over the world. With the continued roll-out and investment in supporting infrastructure – like fibre connectivity – organisations in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria are not only unlocking access to global markets and innovation through the cloud but are also well-positioned to tap into the growing demand for outsourced cloud services from businesses that want the advantages of scalability and flexibility without the massive upfront investment.

Dr. Nilesh Soni Has the Right to Feel Proud

Dr. Nilesh Soni Has the Right to Feel Proud

 

 

By, Robert Golomb

 

When Inc. Magazine in this past August’s publication named Dynamic Physical Therapy Services (DPTS) to its 36th annual “Inc. 5,000” listing, which names and ranks America’s top five thousand fastest growing privately owned small and mid- sized businesses, they placed the firm and its CEO and founder, Dr. Nilesh Soni, who owns and runs the company’s seven physical therapy centers located in Queens and Nassau County, in literally, very good company. For such past selectees, which are chosen each year from a list of hundreds of thousands of such entities, have included Microsoft, Dell, Domino’s Pizza, Pandora, Timberland and LinkedIn – all of which were to later grow into multi-billion dollar international corporations.

Dr. Soni, whom I interviewed last week, said that while he has no such grand ambitions for DPTS, he still feels honored to have his company recognized by a leading business magazine.  “Just to see our company’s name appear on that list {“Inc. 5,000”} made me feel quite proud”, he stated.  “And, of course, we hope to continue to grow, but we always will remain a local health service provider”, he said.

Dr. Soni, who has a doctorate in physical therapy from Mass. General Hospital Institute of Health Sciences, has the right to feel proud of DPTS.  Founded by Dr. Soni in 2003, DPTS employs doctors of physical therapy and physical therapists specializing in the treatment of spinal and joint injuries. Working as a team, Dr. Soni, 47, married and the father of two high school aged sons, told me that his clinicians use state of the art manual physical therapy procedures to treat their patients. “Our doctors of physical therapy and physical therapists  work as a cohesive unit to first correctly diagnose and then to properly treat our patients, using the most advanced, research based hands- on therapeutic  interventions”, he stated.

While DPTS centers provide treatment to patients of all ages, Dr. Soni himself, sees mostly elderly patients.  “Our staff treats patients ranging in age from ten to 100 years of age. However, because I have always felt a special bond, respect and love for the elderly, most of the patients I myself as a physical therapist treat in my centers are senior citizens”, he explained.

Dr. Soni, a Hindu, who was born in India and immigrated to the United States 20 years ago, described the important role that his religion has played in his life.  “As a Hindu, it is my belief that my journey in this world must involve performing charitable works to improve the quality of life for as many people as I possibly can.”

Through his many years of service to several charitable organizations, Dr. Soni has lived his life by those words.  One of those charities, Herricks Indo US (HIUS), for which he has held several volunteer leadership positions throughout most of the organization’s fifteen year existence, has received praise from local elected officials and educators for its work with South Asian families with school aged children, most newly arrived to the west Nassau County Town of Herricks. The goal of HIUS, which conducts regular parent workshops and sponsors cultural based community events, is to help develop closer relationships between these families and their children’s teachers and school administrators, as well to help foster closer ties with other families, which include those of Irish, Italian, Chinese, Korean and Jewish heritage, in this multi- ethnic community.

“These events help build a bridge of communication and mutual understanding between the [ South Asian immigrant] parents, who take great pride in the tremendous academic success their children have achieved, and their dedicated teachers. It also affords a wonderful opportunity for families in the South Asian community and participating families of other ethnic   groups to interact and develop positive relationships”, Dr. Soni stated.

Another charity, MILAN  (an offspring of HIUS), for which Dr. Soni for many years has served as its chairperson, has won county wide acclaim for its work on behalf of senior citizens, also of South Asian backgrounds. Every Friday from 10 am to 2 pm typically at least one hundred of such senior citizens can be seen in the main building of Clinton J Park located in the village of New Hyde Park participating in programs run by MILAN. Most of these programs- which include Yoga instruction, low stress group exercise and lectures and seminars on health, fitness and nutrition- are designed to promote physical, social and emotional well-  being.  Still others commemorate special cultural events, such as Holi, the Indian celebration of love, and Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights.

“ Our programs have been so successful and so highly attended because they holistically enhance the emotional,  physical and cultural lives of our members”,  Dr. Soni stated, “ For me ,MILAN’s success has meant so much because improving the quality of life for the elderly,  has been the driving force in my life.

That “driving force” behind his commitment to improve the lives of the elderly has gone beyond the South Asian community. As part of an out- reach program he started several years ago, Dr. Soni has presented more than 250 free lectures and seminars, with most, like with MILAN, focusing on health and fitness, to his primarily senior citizen audiences, in churches, synagogues, hospitals and assisted living centers throughout Queens and Nassau. Dr. Soni told me that he has learned an important lesson through his interactions with seniors during these presentations. “Regardless of the backgrounds of people in the group I was addressing, their questions and concerns revolved around, ‘How do I live a healthier, happier and fuller life?’  My take away was simple.  The elderly, whatever their heritage, are far more similar than they are different”, he said.

Dr. Soni, who has received county and presidential awards and letters of commendation for his volunteer work inside and outside the South Asian community, told me that he tries to live his life by the teachings of a great Indian spiritual leader.  “My teacher and inspirational guide”, Dr. Soni told me, “is Mahatma Gandhi, who once said, ‘The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.’

“By others” Dr. Soni added, “Gandhi meant not only Indians and Hindus, but people of all religions, races and creeds living throughout our entire world.”

 

Robert Golomb is a nationally and internationally published columnist. Mail him at MrBob347@aol.com and follow him on Twitter@RobertGolomb

GE is paving the way for industrial digital transformation with the GE East Africa Roadshow

GE is paving the way for industrial digital transformation with the GE East Africa Roadshow

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 25, 2017/ –General electric spearheads a digital transformation with the GE East Africa Digital Roadshow. Investment in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is expected to top $60 trillion during the next 15 years. And by 2020, over 50 billion assets will connect to the Internet.

General Electric, the world’s premier Digital industrial company is paving the way for industrial digital transformation in Kenya with the GE East Africa Roadshow which was held at the Villa Rosa Kempinski Hotel. The event gathered key players in the digital space including GE Digital experts, Microsoft, Safaricom, iHub and Seven Seas for stakeholder panel discussions on the importance of digital industrial transformation in Africa to unlock the region’s digital future.

What is Industrial Data?

Industrial machines are not known to produce, share and capture data in a manner that can enable companies to understand them better, predict their defects and optimize their performances. GE is leading a whole new sector of technology which consists of enabling machines connect to multiple other applications and platforms, as well as to send and receive massive amounts of data through the cloud/internet, making it possible to understand, operate, improve and service them remotely.

Why the digital industrial revolution matters for Kenya?

Industries such as aviation, healthcare, mining, oil and gas, power generation, and transportation represent upwards of 30% of the global economy, and touch the lives of almost everyone on the planet. These capital-intensive industries have long-lived assets such as aircraft, generators, locomotives, and turbines that are mission-critical and require considerable monitoring and service throughout their 20 to 50-year lives. A “big data” platform that brings new value to the wealth of data coming from these assets, their processes, and the enterprises in which they exist, will set the stage for a new wave of productivity gains and information-based services.

Industrial data is growing twice as fast as any other sector. Yet today, less than 3% of that data is tagged and used in a meaningful fashion. The digital industrial revolution is poised to radically reshape how we produce, distribute and maintain physical assets—from gas turbines to entire manufacturing plants. A growing, regional network of connected assets, designed to apply split-second machine learning to big data, the digital industrial revolution will help local businesses extract valuable insights from assets to transform operations, enable innovation and explore new business models.

GE is bringing new digital infrastructure solutions to the Kenyan market by connecting software, apps and analytics to industrial businesses, enabling them to operate faster, smarter and more efficiently. In Sub-Saharan Africa, the company is pioneering technologies to help companies capitalize on the Industrial Internet, fuelling productivity and value from existing assets and enabling new business models and growth potential.

At the event, Getty Melaku the Chief Financial Officer for GE Africa said: “We are excited to bring our cutting edge digital solutions and expertise to Kenyan businesses to optimize operational and business innovations for increased productivity and profit. We see a huge opportunity for Kenya and the continent at large to benefit from the digital industrial revolution and leap-frog existing industrialization models, and quickly improve competitiveness in the global economy”.

Thanks to technological advances, GE can optimise operations to improve asset performance while keeping costs down. This is why combining software and data analytics with machines’ hardware has become so important, including in Africa.

“The digital industrial revolution is both a cultural and technology shift and companies that don’t evolve, will fail to deliver critical business outcomes and stunt their productivity gains. Our customers in Africa demand the same equipment performance as the rest of the world and are constantly looking at ways to enhance asset performance. Forty of GE’s Oil and Gas customers in Africa are using Digital solutions to optimise operations,” said Chief Information Officer for GE Africa, Abu Sulemana.

GE has incorporated learnings from its extensive industrial business processes to release “Predix” the world’s first industrial operation system which powers the modern digital industrial businesses. GE is committed to empowering organizations enter a new era of industry digitization. Local businesses will be able to create innovative apps on “Predix” that turn real-time operational data into actionable that can deliver outcomes across many different industries. These outcomes range from the reduction of unplanned downtime to improved asset output and operational efficiency.

Job creation from industrial digitization

According to a report by the World economic forum, there is significant opportunity in the electricity sector for digitization to create jobs. Digital initiatives will create up to 3.45 million new jobs between 2016 and 2025 – translating to 10.7% job growth in the electricity industry. Job creation potential is highest in the consumer renewables sector, with energy storage integration creating up to 1.07 million new jobs. New jobs in smart asset planning (925,000 new jobs) and asset performance management (596,000) more than address job loss from automation or more efficient technologies. A significant problem that utilities are facing is an ageing workforce, with a weak pipeline of new talent and a potential productivity gap as new employees are recruited and trained. Digital initiatives go some way in ensuring that experience is captured as the workforce retires, with significant productivity gains expected.

 

By APO

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