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FG to Partner Huawei on Smart Cities Initiative

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(L-r): Barrister Adebayo Shittu, minister of Communication; Senator Isah Hamma Musa;  Lai Mohammed, minister of Information and Culture and the Tank Li, managing director of Huawei Technologies Nigeria Limited during the Smart Cities Summit Nigeria in Abuja, during the week.

Adebayo Shittu, minister of communications said that the Federal Government would partner Huawei, a global technology giant, in its smart cities initiative .

Shittu stated this in Abuja, at a Smart Cities two-day multi-stakeholders international summit, sponsored by Huawei, in collaboration with Smart Cities Nigeria, Ministry of Communications, Ministry of Works, Housing and Power, Federal Capital Territory Administration and Ministry of Environment.

The Minister said that the partnership with Huawei provide grounds to reshape the way public service is provided and managed in Nigeria.

‎According to Shittu, “More people now have access to smart phones. Experts said that smart phones users in Africa will increase from 75 million in the first quarter of 2016 to 512 million 2018.

“Smart Cities would promote open data is one of the advantages of smart city. Smart City helps to manage government resources. It also helps to get more revenue for the government.

“Nigeria is a journey of greatness and together we will arrive at the destination of our dreams. In order to encourage competition among States and Local governments, the Ministry of Communications would soon launch the Smart Cit‎y competition, this is to encourage them to take a bolder steps go the level of digital technology.

“I urge stakeholders to partner with the ministry to create smart cities in ‎Nigeria.”

Mr Tank Li, managing director, Huawei Technologies Nigeria Limited, said the development and widespread application of digital technologies had transformed lives in a profound way.

He noted, “Data flow and economic development have become the big trends of our time; digital economy is a new form of economy in which everyone can share.

“Digital economy refers to an economic system in which digital technologies are widely applied, revolutionizing the whole economic environment and activities. Digital economy is also a brand new socio-political and economic system in which all information and commercial activities are digitised.

“Businesses, consumers and governments do business via the Internet, allowing for rapid business growth. Digital economy focuses on commodities and services whose production, distribution, and sales all rely on digital technologies.

“We project in the near future a digital economy that will bring about enormous changes in society. We simply have no way of knowing how deep and far-reaching these changes will be. However, we can be sure of one thing, that ICT will be the cornerstone of this digital economy.

“In our philosophy, the digital economy has three defining characteristics: All things will have the ability to sense, all things will be connected, and all things will be intelligent.

“The existence of these three defining characteristics depends entirely on advanced ICT. In an intelligent world, devices will play the role of the “feelers” in an all-sensing environment. Networks will connect everything, and the cloud will be the source of intelligence behind all things. These three elements form a synergetic architecture of devices, information pipes, and the cloud.”

He said, “This fourth industrial revolution is going to impact people’s lives in unimaginable ways and this will happen through the convergence of the cyber and physical worlds. The Internet of Things is automatic ‘smart’ communication between objects, through the internet.

“McKinsey Global Institute says in a report last year that IoT could have a total economic impact of $4 trillion to $11 trillion a year by 2025. IoT pervades many areas of life.

“For example, inside Nestle Malaysia Bhd’s headquarters in Petaling Jaya, there is a room with a huge screen covering an entire wall that tracks key words related to the company’s products on the Internet.

“The sales force social studio is where Nestle’s Malaysian digital acceleration team, which was set up in early 2014, analyses consumer trends specifically for the company’s social media campaigns and market research.

“But this is only one aspect of IoT, another is efficiency. The data collected is used to make businesses more efficient and better able to react.

“Nigerian government has realized the potential of its digital economy. Unlocking the dividends of digital economy becomes imperative in the face of dwindling oil revenue with increasingly pressure on the economy evident in budgets deficit, infrastructural deficit, high unemployment rate, harsh business environment and corruption amongst others.

“Federal government is about to launch the “Smart Nigeria Digital Economy Project” that aims to solve efficiency problems and create leapfrog opportunities in the economy for the next 10 years.

“Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment Okechukwu Enelamah said the financial services within the country’s digital economy would add $88 billion to the gross domestic product (GDP) and create more than 3 million jobs within 10 years. The potential gains of the digital economy will manifest in digital accounts, payments, mobile money, health and educational services along with other sectors of the economy.

‘I fully agree with the fact that, ICT-enabled technologies and solutions has the huge potential to serve as a major accelerator of the vision of Smart Nigeria Digital Economy and its sustainable development goal.

“As a global leading ICT solution provider, Huawei’s products and solutions have been deployed in over 170 countries and regions, serving more than one third of the world’s population.”

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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Visa Launches ID Intelligence for Smarter Customer Authentication

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Visa has launched Visa ID Intelligence, a platform that lets issuers, acquirers and merchants quickly adopt emerging authentication technologies, according to a press release.

Available through Visa Developer Platform, Visa ID Intelligence offers a curated selection of third-party authentication technologies that feature simple integration with Visa APIs and SDKs. This allows clients to create, test and adopt new authentication solutions.

This ultimately helps financial institutions and merchants to adopt effective and secure solutions and accelerate time-to-market with streamlined on boarding and implementation through Visa as a single trusted source, the company said.

Visa ID Intelligence features include: Identity Documents— the platform evaluates identification documents and matches selfies to photo IDs, while extracting document information and converting it into digital form.

Uses include creating new accounts, and performing password reset and lost or stolen card replacement.

-Biometrics — Visa ID Intelligence allows clients to use eye, face, fingerprint and voice to meet consumer needs for convenience, security and speed in authentication.

Uses include app login, payments, step-up authentication, and more.

“Traditional methods for authenticating a customer can create frustration or are simply not designed for the new ways people are shopping and paying. We built Visa ID Intelligence to help accelerate smarter and easy-to-use authentication solutions for any commerce environment — to better protect against fraud and to move closer to a world without passwords,” Mark Nelson, Visa senior vice president of risk and authentication products, said in the release.

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ESET Works With Google To Protect Chrome Against Dangerous Malware

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By peter oluka

ESET, a leading global cybersecurity company, on Thursday launches Chrome Cleanup, a new scanner and cleaner for Google Chrome designed to help users browse the web safely and without interruption.

Chrome Cleanup will be available for all Google Chrome users running on Windows.

As cyber-attacks become more complex and difficult to spot, browsing the web can lead users to dangerous sites which can install malicious software onto devices.

Chrome Cleanup will alert Google Chrome users to potential threats when it detects unwanted software.

Google Chrome will then give users the option to remove the software. Chrome Cleanup operates in the background, without visibility or interruptions to the user. It deletes the software and notifies the user once the cleanup has been successfully completed.

“Using the internet should always be a smooth and safe experience for everyone,” said Juraj Malcho, chief technology officer at ESET. “For three decades, ESET has developed a number of security solutions that allow users to safely enjoy their technology and to mitigate a variety of cyber threats. Chrome Cleanup addresses unwanted software that can negatively influence a users’ experience on the internet.”

Chrome Cleanup is included in the latest version of Google Chrome. For more information about these tools, read Google’s blog post, here.

For 30 years, ESET® has been developing industry-leading IT security software and services for businesses and consumers worldwide.

With solutions ranging from endpoint and mobile security, to encryption and two-factor authentication, ESET’s high-performing, easy-to-use products give consumers and businesses the peace of mind to enjoy the full potential of their technology.

ESET unobtrusively protects and monitors 24/7, updating defenses in real-time to keep users safe and businesses running without interruption. Evolving threats require an evolving IT security company.

Backed by R&D centers worldwide, ESET becomes the first IT security company to earn 100 Virus Bulletin VB100awards, identifying every single “in-the-wild” malware without interruption since 2003.

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A Buyer’s Market in the Global Economics of DDoS Attacks

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It’s a buyer’s market in the local property arena at the moment, according to certain industry experts.

 

This is largely as a result of the slower economy, which has seen a rise in the number of properties for sale.

 

But did you know that globally, it’s a buyer’s market as well when we look at the economics of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks? The second, of course, is an underground market, largely regarded as a criminal one.

 

So said Bryan Hamman, Arbor Network’s territory manager for Sub-Saharan Africa.

 

Referring to recently released information from Arbor Networks, he said, “It is interesting to analyse the current economics in global DDoS attacks, which are attempts to make an online service unavailable by overwhelming it with traffic from multiple sources. Most people who are aware of DDoS attacks understand that there will be a perpetrator and a target.

 

“However, we’re now seeing a growing number of third-party providers of DDoS attacks as a service, who advertise their abilities online in order to either sell would-be attackers access to the tools needed to conduct a DDoS attack, or who perform the attack themselves on the customer’s behalf and provide reports afterwards.”

 

Hamman noted  that the fees of these underworld providers are lessening, due to rapidly expanding competition and the supply of readily available attack resources such as botnets. As a result, he says, the DDoS business is currently a buyer’s market.

 

Arbor reported that the prices for attack services, sometimes called “stressers” or “booters” vary widely, as do estimates of the total cost of an attack to the victim. But the economics are simple: DDoS attacks are becoming cheaper than ever for the perpetrator; are extremely lucrative for the attack service provider, and potentially financially devastating for the target.

 

Arbor noted that an increasing number of operators resemble legitimate service provider infrastructures with significant computing power, typically running their own botnet armies to unleash DDoS attacks. Perpetrators can essentially rent the providers’ botnets by the hour, day or week, or in some cases can buy a specific number of bots outright. The mechanics of transactions follow a classic web service model, meaning the perpetrator and the provider need never come in contact.

 

Providers that conduct attacks-as-a-service even post their services online, with tiered pricing reflecting the different types of attack that they offer. Prices are based on several factors. They can include the duration of the attack, the perceived value of the target, the country in which the attack takes place and/or the different methodologies employed.

 

In Arbor Networks 12th annual Worldwide Infrastructure Security Report, 59 percent of respondents estimated their downtime costs as being more than USD500/ minute in lost revenue (some ZAR6,700 per minute with the rand/dollar exchange rate on around ZAR13.50 to the dollar), with some indicating even higher losses. This also does not factor in the costs of repairing the damage, potential legal costs of settling with customers denied service, or reputational damage to the company’s brand.

 

Hamman concluded, “Here in South Africa, we may not yet face the overtness of DDoS operators advertising their services, as can be seen in the US. However, this does not mean that local companies shouldn’t be vigilant against DDoS attacks – protection is more vital than ever. A hybrid solution that combines on-premises and cloud-based protection is the industry best practice in DDoS defence. When you accept that DDoS attacks aren’t going away, and in fact are projected to escalate, it makes the best economic sense of all to make sure that you are adequately prepared against a DDoS attack.”

 

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