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AGENDA

Polystar’s SA office

McAfee examines advanced evasion techniques in high profile data breaches

A SUPPLIER OF network and customer analytics, network monitoring and test solutions for the telecom market, Polystar has opened a new regional sales and support office in Johannesburg, South Africa, to support expansion in Africa. The newly-opened office focuses on a full range of Polystar products and services with the primary objective to improve interaction with the African clients, provide world class, local support to Polystar’s rapidly expanding customer base, and help customers and business partners to get more out of their business. Fredrik Hultner, business region director for Middle East and Africa at Polystar, said, "The African continent shows a very strong growth. Adding another office to our region is a further step in Polystar’s commitment to this market that will enable us to support the sub-Saharan region even better and faster."

A NEW REPORT by McAfee, a division of Intel Security, examines the controversy and confusion surrounding Advanced Evasion Techniques (AETs), and the role that they play in advanced persistent threats (APTs). A Vanson Bourne study, commissioned by McAfee, surveyed 800 CIOs and security managers from South Africa, the USA, the UK, Germany, France, Australia and Brazil, and showed that there are misunderstandings, misinterpretation, and ineffective safeguards in use by the security experts charged with protecting sensitive data. Recent high profile data breaches have demonstrated that criminal activity can still evade detection for long periods of time. Survey respondents acknowledged this and of the 13% of organisations in South Africa that suffered a network breach last year, 46 per cent were the victim of known or suspected AETs. Global figures reflect one in five (22 per cent). Nearly 40 per cent of those breached believe that AETs played a key role. On average, SA companies who experienced a breach in the last 12 months reported a cost to their organisation of upwards of US$500,000. “Hackers already know about advanced evasion techniques and are using them on a daily basis,” said Carlo Bolzonello, engagement manager – EMEA. “What we’re hoping to do is educate businesses so they can know what to look for, and understand what’s needed to defend against them.” “We are no longer dealing with the random drive-by scanner that is just looking for obvious entryways into your network.

CWG boss honoured by IIM Africa THE FOUNDER AND chief executive officer of Computer Warehouse Group (CWG), Austin Okere, has been inducted as an honorary fellow of the Institute of Information Management (IIM) Africa in the maiden induction and investiture (L-R) Founder and CEO of Computer ceremony of the institute, held Warehouse Group, Austin Okere, receiving recently in Lagos, Nigeria. The the certificate of induction from Institute IIM-Africa Honorary Fellow of Information Management president, Dr membership is conferred on Oyedokun Oyewole individuals in recognition of their accomplishments and their contribution to the growth of the Nigerian nation. Okere’s nomination was very well received across the industry, as he has contributed exceptionally in information technology and entrepreneurial development in Africa. The event also featured the induction of practitioners in information management as new members of the institute. The event was underscored by a presentation by Professor Alegbeleye Oluwabunmi, titled “The Dawn of a New Era in Information management in Africa”. The IIM is a body of professionals in the field of information management, with the mandate of improving professionalism in the field through mobilizing, training and inspiring practitioners using the tools of synergy and certification. According to the president of the Institute’s governing board, Dr. Oyedokun Oyewole, “sound policy, clear standards, competence, certification, research and effective processes are all aspects of first class records and information management, and are pillars upon which the institute aims at empowering professionals globally”.

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In today's interconnected world, we are dealing with adversaries who spend weeks or months studying your public facing network footprint, looking for that one small sliver of light which will allow them to gain a foothold into your networks,” said John Masserini, vice president and chief security officer, MIAX Options. “Advanced Evasion Techniques are that sliver of light. When deployed, McAfee’s Next Generation Firewall technology adds an extra layer of depth to protect against such threats, making that sliver of light that much harder to find.” Why current firewall tests hide the existence of AETs Forty-two per cent of decision-makers in South Africa and nearly 40 per cent globally do not believe they have methods to detect and track AETs within their organisation, and almost two-thirds said the biggest challenge when trying to implement technology against AETs is convincing the board they are a real and serious threat. “Many organisations are so intent of identifying new malware that they are falling asleep at the wheel toward advanced evasion techniques that can enable malware to circumvent their security defences,” said Jon Oltsik, senior principal analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group. “AETs pose a great threat because most security solutions can’t detect or stop them. Security professionals and executive managers need to wake up as this is a real and growing threat.”

Teachers Media International partners with SES to deliver e-learning education project in Liberia TEACHERS MEDIA INTERNATIONAL (TMI), a global provider of online professional development services for the education sector, today announced an agreement with SES to launch an e-learning pilot project in Liberia through an incubator programme for education. The scheme will use a satellite connection to deliver TMI’s educational resources to improve teacher competency. An assessment of what the e-learning scheme should include and how it should be delivered will be carried out before the plan is implemented, with SES Broadband Services delivering the satellite Internet required. The project will be partly funded by BizClim through the incubator programme and will add to SES’s proven track record of providing broadband access for education in Africa. Angela Ney, founder and head of international business development, TMI, said, “With broadband connectivity TMI is now able to reach rural Liberian schools and provide sustainable Ambassador Teacher and Literacy Support Programs, which can actually be replicated throughout Sub-Saharan Africa.” With e-learning, teachers are able to acquire knowledge, learn how to process information and collaborate. It also imparts ICT skills to teachers in primary and secondary schools, as well as enhancing the quality of students’ results by connecting teachers to training programmes. “The project with TMI is a concrete example of the e-learning projects that we want to lead in Africa,” said Christine Leurquin, VP, Institutional Relations, SES. “In addition, we recommend that the African Government identify and immediately deploy major e-school pilot projects in two to three African countries.” The partnership follows recommendations made during the fifth EU-Africa Business Forum, which aimed to engage the private sector in sustainable and inclusive growth.

Communications Africa Issue 2 2014

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Communications Africa 2 2014  
Communications Africa 2 2014  

Communications Africa 2 2014