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SA banks and cybersecurity guidelines

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BY: SHARON SNELL
In a collaborative effort to improve cybersecurity in the financial sector, the G7 finance ministers and central bank governors have endorsed the G7 Fundamental Elements of Cybersecurity for the Financial Sector.
The guidelines are non-binding and represent best practice in cybersecurity. They are applicable to both public and private financial sector entities and have been designed to accommodate the size of each entity and the nature of the cyber risks and it faces.

Banks in South Africa

There are no specific laws or guidelines for cybersecurity governance of banks in South Africa. The newly released King IV Corporate Governance Report provides limited guidance for managing cybersecurity risks. The Cybercrime and Cybersecurity Bill, which is expected to be introduced in parliament later this year, also does not provide governance guidelines. In the absence of specific guidelines, the country’s banking sector should consider aligning with the G7 guidelines.

Cost of cyber-attacks

The frequency and severity of cyber-attacks have grown, costing consumers $158bn in 2015, according to Cybersecurity Ventures research. They predict that global cybersecurity costs will grow to $6trn annually by 2021 and these will include:

  • Damages and destruction of data
  • Fraud, embezzlement, theft of money, intellectual property and personal and financial data
  • Business interruption and costs associated with loss in productivity, restoring and deleting hacked data systems and post-attack disruptions

So serious is the threat that the US president Barack Obama declared a national state of emergency to deal with cybercrime, which is to national borders and can originate anywhere in the world.

The spectacular cyber-heist on the Bangladesh Bank in 2016 resulted in theft of $81m, and was the largest hack on a bank to date. The forensic investigation revealed that malware was installed within the bank’s system some time prior to the hack. The malware gathered information on all the bank’s operational procedures, allowing the theft.

Eight key elements in the new guidelines

  1. Cybersecurity strategy and framework
    Financial sector entities must establish and maintain a cybersecurity strategy and framework tailored to specific cyber risks, in line with international, national, and industry standards and guidelines.Such a strategy should specify how to identify, manage, and reduce cyber risks effectively in an integrated and comprehensive manner. These should be tailored to the nature, size, complexity, risk profile, and culture of the business.
  2. Governance
    The roles and responsibilities of personnel implementing, managing, and overseeing the framework should be clearly defined to ensure accountability; and provide adequate resources, appropriate authority, and access to the governing authority.Boards or oversight bodies of both private entities and government should establish the tolerance of their organisation to cyber-attack, and oversee the design, implementation, and effectiveness of related cybersecurity programmes.
  3. Risk and control assessment
    Ideally, as part of an enterprise-risk management programme, entities should evaluate the inherent cyber risk presented by the people, processes, technology, and underlying data that support each identified function, activity, product, and service. In addition to evaluating its own cyber risks, the risk the organisation presents to others and the financial sector as a whole should also be considered. Government entities should also investigate their points of weakness and put the necessary protective measures in place.
  4. Monitoring
    Systematic monitoring processes need to be established to rapidly detect cyber incidents and these should be tested regularly through audits and exercises. Depending on the nature of an entity and its cyber-risk profile and control environment, the guidelines advise that the testing process be carried out by independent auditors.
  5. Response
    As part of their risk and control assessments, entities should implement incident response policies. Among other things, these controls should clearly address decision-making responsibilities, define escalation procedures, and establish processes for communicating with internal and external stakeholders. Exercising protocols within and among entities and public authorities contributes to more effective responses. Therefore cyberattacks should be publically reported to create an awareness of the nature of the threat within the industry, even though many enterprises fear that doing so could create distrust among their clients.
  6. Recovery
    Resume operations responsibly, while allowing for continued remediation, including by (a)eliminating harmful remnants of the incident; (b) restoring systems and data to normal and confirming normal state; (c) identifying and mitigating all vulnerabilities that were exploited; (d) remediating vulnerabilities to prevent similar incidents; and (e) communicating appropriately internally and externally.Once operational stability and integrity are assured, prompt and effective recovery of operations should be based on prioritising critical economic and other functions and in accordance with objectives set by the relevant public authorities.
  7. Information sharing
    Sharing reliable, actionable cybersecurity information with internal and external stakeholders and beyond on threats, vulnerabilities, incidents, and responses will enhance defences, limit damage, increase situational awareness, and broaden learning. Threat indicators or details on how vulnerabilities were exploited, allows entities to remain up-to-date in their defences and learn about emerging methods used by attackers. It deepens the collective understanding of how attackers may exploit sector-wide vulnerabilities that could potentially disrupt critical economic functions and endanger financial stability. Given its importance, entities and public authorities should identify and address impediments to information sharing.
  8. Continuous learning
    Cyber threats and vulnerabilities evolve rapidly, as do best practices and technical standards to address them. The composition of the financial sector also changes over time, as new types of entities, products, and services emerge, and third-party service providers are increasingly relied upon. Entity-specific, as well as sector-wide, cybersecurity strategies and frameworks need periodic review and update to adapt to changes in the threat and control environment, enhance user awareness, and to effectively deploy resources.Other sectors, such as energy and telecommunications, present external dependencies; therefore, entities and public authorities should consider developments in these sectors as part of any review process.

Source: bizcommunity.com

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Press Release

Social media main enabler for growth among women-owned businesses

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95% of women SMEs in the region identify social media channels as the top tool to drive their business ventures

Mastercard, the Official Payment Technology Partner of Expo 2020 Dubai, and Female Fusion Network unveiled new research at the first in a series of workshops for the region’s female entrepreneurs at the world’s largest cultural gathering.

Held at Expo 2020 Dubai’s Women’s Pavilion, in collaboration with Cartier, the session focused on the power of the digital economy in enabling women-owned businesses to go online. In a study conducted among Female Fusion’s network of 20,000+ members across the region, it was revealed that 95% of women SMEs in the region identify social media channels as the top tool for their business ventures. Other channels include their own e-commerce websites (72%) as well as messaging services such as Facebook and Whatsapp (50%).

In addition, three out of four (72%) women-owned businesses said they rely on word of mouth to market their products and services. The workshop identified how SMEs can make the most of their online footprint, and better connect to their consumers in a digital economy.

Speakers included Ngozi Megwa, Senior Vice President, Digital Partnerships MEA, Mastercard, Sarah Beydoun, Founder and Creative Director of social impact fashion business Sarah’s Bag in Lebanon, Ioanna Angelidaki, co-founder of Instashop, and Maureen Hall, Founder and CEO of COÉGA Sunwear.

“The findings from the study indicate a clear need for further education and empowerment. Mastercard has long pushed for the success and growth of women as we break gender barriers around the world. Digital tools and technologies are the greatest equalizer for businesses and as the shift towards e-commerce becomes increasingly permanent, we are committed to helping women businesses go digital and grow digital as they pursue their entrepreneurial passions,” said Ngozi Megwa, Senior Vice President, Digital Partnerships MEA, Mastercard.

The recent unveiling of the inaugural Mastercard MEA SME Confidence Index also revealed that in terms of a digital footprint of the region’s women entrepreneurs, social media (71%) leads the way followed by a company website (57%).

“We are proud of the successful launch of our workshop series in partnership with Mastercard. As a growing community of ambitious women leaders, Female Fusion Network looks to support our members with access to platforms that offer simple yet effective takeaways for them to grow their business. We look forward to having more of these impactful sessions during Expo 2020 Dubai,” said Jennifer Blandos, Managing Partner, Female Fusion Network.

Mastercard has made a global commitment to connect 25 million women entrepreneurs to the digital economy by 2025 as part of its goal to build a more sustainable and inclusive world. As part of its efforts, the technology leader recently launched  ‘The Entrepreneur’s Odyssey’ a first-of-its kind digital education platform that brings together a range of world-class academic and business resources to help small businesses learn and thrive.

 

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AOC dazzles visitors with a special game room at GITEX Technology 2021

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AOC Sales Director Middle East & Africa, Carol Ann Dias (Image: Hazem Abed)

AOC, the world’s leading manufacturer of computer monitors, highlights its presence at GITEX Technology Week 2021 through their authorized distributor, Hiperdist. At GITEX, AOC is showcasing a special game room where visitors can get try out the latest lineup of gaming monitors, some of which are made for professional e-gamers.

“Being one of the largest information technology exhibitions not just in the region but the whole world, AOC would not want to miss the opportunity to participate at GITEX 2021,” said Carol Ann Dias, Sales Director Middle East & Africa at AOC. “More than making our presence felt at the show, we are now focusing on emerging markets which is why we have partnered with Hiperdist due to their strong presence in the MEA region,” she added.

Some of AOC’s well-known monitors that include the Agon and the G2 line up are all on display at GITEX. Where visitors are encouraged to try out the new displays that offer some of the best technologies that make it fit for the gaming crowd.

Already a top choice by gaming professionals, the AGON AG352UCG6 features a 35-inch display with a 120HZ refresh rate. The curved design supports a WQHD (3440 x 1440) resolution that has 2.4x more pixels than a standard widescreen monitor. It also features a lighting panel at its rear which can be customized in colours of red, green or blue.

Also on display is the AOC C27G2 gaming monitor that comes in a 27-inch size with a 165Hz refresh rate. There’s also a 1ms response time for more accurate play. And Freesync support so high-intensity games are razor-sharp without ghosting.

Visitors can join and experience AOC monitors at the Hiperdist stand in Hall 3 E1 at GITEX Technology Week in the Dubai World Trade Centre.

 

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Philips Introduces Momentum 559M1RYV 4K HDR display with Ambiglow for Xbox

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Philips 55 lifestyle in situ Xbox (Image: Supplied)

MMD, the leading display specialist and brand license partner for Philips monitors, today announced the release of the world’s first designed for Xbox console gaming monitor. Philips Momentum 559M1RYV featuring 55-inch panel size boosting 3840×2160 resolution with 4K / 144Hz, 4ms GTG response time, and many other features that will be available in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Pakistan.

4K HDR display with Ambiglow 559M1RYV/01 | Philips

Philips Momentum 559M1RYV: Design and Sound

This new “Philips Momentum 559M1RYV” bears the name Momentum 559M1RYV and bears the same exterior appearance as the previous version, including the adoption of a VA LCD panel with a W-LED backlight system with Ambiglow technology that adds a new dimension to your viewing experience. Innovative Ambiglow technology creates an aura of light on the surrounding wall from behind the screen panel. Its fast processor analyzes the content of the displayed image, and continuously adapts the color and brightness of the emitted light to match the displayed image. This technology also helps reduce eye strain to enjoy the scenes, it also supports DisplayHDR 1000 standard. The gaming monitor includes a specially designed speaker enclosure from the engineers at Bowers & Wilkins, the British loudspeaker company globally renowned for their innovative designs and sound engineering, that completes the experience.

Pankaj Budhiraja, Category Manager – Philips Monitor – Middle East & Africa, said: “The new Philips Momentum monitor offers unique user experience especially for gamers who demand exceptional graphic quality display and flicker-free pictures. This monitor is a wholesome entertainment package with build-in stereophonic speakers, sharp picture quality, vibrant colors and dynamic contrast and excellent resolution”.

Philips Momentum 559M1RYV: Performance

Philips Momentum 559M1RYV including Displayport 1.4, a USB-B port along with 4 USB 3.2 ports, two of them with fast charging. The Philips Momentum Monitor delivers designed for Xbox validates performance with ultra-clera 4K resolution at a minimum 120Hz refresh rate. 3840×2160 pixels with a 16:9 aspect ratio and a good response time of 4ms, as for the brightness rate in the mode up to 750cd / m2, while in the HDR mode it reaches 1200cd / m2. As for the color weight, we will notice that it offers DCI-P3 color gamut with 95% coverage, NTSC color gamut with 104% coverage, and sRGB with 125% coverage.

“As Philips always prioritizes user health, we introduce Ambiglow technology for eye-friendly productivity and a premium sound system. The monitor been extensively tested, and validated by engineers at Microsoft and MMD to ensure perfect compatibility, Philips Momentum meet’s the high expectations of the Xbox fans, creating an integrated gaming atmosphere to enjoy.” Budhiraja added.

Key features for Philips Momentum 559M1RYV:

  • Screen size: 55-inch
  • Resolution: 3840 x 2160 UHD 4K
  • Panel type: VA
  • Refresh rate: 120Hz (HDMI 2.1); 144Hz (DisplayPort 1.4)
  • Response time: 4ms
  • Aspect ratio: 16:9
  • V-Sync method: Adaptive Sync
  • Contrast ratio: 4,000:1
  • Ports: HDMI 2.1 (x3), DisplayPort 1.4 (x1), USB-C (x1), USB-B (x1), USB 3.2 (x4)
  • Ambiglow: 3-sided
  • Power supply: Internal, 100-240VAC, 50-60Hz

 The Philips Momentum 559M1RYV monitor is available through MMD authorised distributors in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Pakistan and comes with a standard 3-year warranty, and EUP in UAE AED 6999*.

 

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