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Red Star Has Retooled to Serve Outsourcing Sector, Banks- Obabori

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Mr. Sola Obabori, group managing director of Red Star Express Plc

The resent assigning of specific tasks to four divisions of Red Star Express Plc was in its preparedness to harness potentials in the outsourcing space of the economy, without compromising on the mandate as the credible indigenous company with penchant for pick-up and delivery of express documents and parcels, domestic and international, said Mr. Peter Olusola Obabori, the group managing director/chief executive officer.
In this interview Nigeria CommunicationsWeek, after his recent appointment as GMD, Obabori, said that the Group had since 2008 commenced the compartmentalization of its divisions, today, identified as Red Star Fright (RSF); Red Star Express (RSE); Red Star Support Services (RSSS) and Red Star Logistics (RSL).
Obabori, an astute management professional with long and outstanding Sales and Marketing career with an accounting and finance background, was previously the General Manager/Chief Operating Officer of Red Star Logistics Limited.

He joined the services of the organization in 1999. At various times, he served as the group’s Assistant General Manager in charge of Strategy and Business Development for over five years and later as Deputy General Manager Sales with the responsibility for the national sales management.  Sola has a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc. Hons) degree in Accounting, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and a Master of Philosophy (M.Phil) in Business Administration from Obafemi  Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria.

He is an alumnus of several advanced management and leadership programmes from world class institutions including -The School of Business Leadership of the University of South Africa, McGill Executive Institute, Canada; Lagos Business School, Nigeria; Harvard Business School, USA; Haas Business School of the University of California, Berkeley, USA; The University of Westminster, United Kingdom and FedEx Purple Academy, Belgium where he excelled as the Purple Star Award Winner in 2006, among others.

Red Star Express Plc’s Journey in Past 24 Years
“It has been a long journey. Twenty-four (24) years is also a length of time in the history of the company; we have seen it together. I have been here for seventeen (17) years; which means out of the twenty-four years I have seen ups and downs.
 It is such a journey that has been rewarding to a very large extent, considering the amount of issues Nigeria has dealt with over the same period.
As I said during the anniversary: the owners/founders of this great company have done a great job, because, naturally, the mortality rate for companies is typically five years.
“I can mention many companies that came up during the same time Red Star Express was established, they struggle to stay alive for five years and there after they fizzled away; not because the owners didn’t have good intentions.
But, when you confront some issues that are bigger than you at some points, an economic circle that is tougher than you can contend with, sometimes, the best option is to give up and walk away from the fight.
So, staying around for this long means that we have to fight with many things and have been able to survive.

Emergence as Group Managing Director and Plans for the Company
“To me, it is a mixed basket of joy, but comes with serious responsibilities. You can be joyful of clinching a new job, but you must be conscious of delivering on the expectations.
There are big tasks on my hands; that is why the euphoria of been appointed the GMD has fizzled away as far as I am concerned.
I am settled to do the work before me. In terms of plans for the future: I have met a very good company on ground that has done very well in the environment.
Red Star has gone through many phases and it is listed company on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) which puts us in the public domain.
“Therefore, we must not let down those who have put their investments here. That is why my number one role is to secure what is on ground and build on the foundations that have been laid in the last twenty-four years. So, we are looking at business expansions in various areas.
We are looking at various innovations and technologies to drive our businesses and we are doing serious investments in the company for future stability. One of the things we have found in companies like this is that for your future growth you must consider the strategic investment areas. That is way we are building a future for those that will later take over.

Plans for (Indigenous) Business Acquisitions
“There are possibilities to that effect. As a businessman you keep your ears and eyes wide open to opportunities. So, Red Star Express will respond with regards to opportunities.
At the global level it is happening in our industry; companies have to ‘swallow’ other companies. Such acquisitions have happened a lot in the banking sector in the last ten to fifteen years.
Some of them are done voluntarily, while others are through enforcement or policy direction. When government says you must have certain level of capitalization, people may have to respond by ‘swallowing’ smaller companies. In our industry it is usually voluntary. We are open to business opportunities and will keep monitoring situations in the industry.

Businesses & Challenging Economic Situation, Competition in Industry
“Looking at present economic challenge, Red Star was founded in 1992; a very turbulent economic period also in Nigeria. In 1998 there was global economic meltdown, which was also a season we weathered together.
This is eight years after that cycle that saw the collapse of many banks. Therefore, permanent rejuvenation and focus are core areas that companies must emphasis.
Because if you dabble into various businesses to stay alive; even diversification can kill your business. I have studied many companies and when you are a master of one trade, you also get yourself into trouble. For us in Red Star, one of the keys that have taken us thus far is focus
“Red Star is a much focused company I met and I have inherited as the CEO to run the affairs. Since 2008 we have had a bit of compartmentalization of our business leading to- Red Star Fright (RSF); Red Star Express (RSE); Red Star Support Services (RSSS) and Red Star Logistics (RSL). So, we have four companies inside Red Star Group.

Why Red Star Group Was ‘Unbundled’
“The purpose of the compartmentalization is to ensure that the entities can focus on the area of growth that we consider core for the business segment. For example, freight is a mega area of expansion.
Sea freight market is huge, even though in Nigeria we are going through economic recession. In other words, the volumes of goods have gone down substantially. The Customs Service even confirmed that the volume of exports has depreciated by a very wide margin.
Also from the air port side, as an import dependent economy, the volume has reduced, which means for us to go up we have to deepen what is on ground. For instance, the RSSS is engaged in outsourcing services for the banking sector. I see companies outsourcing some of their services to enable them focus on core competencies.
“We have offices nationwide; so, there is a structure already in place to help companies manage services they can’t handle, and definitely, it is cheaper for them.
If you run a chemist company, must you run a dispatch session to be able to distribute your goods from company-to-company and homes? It makes a lot of economic sense for you to ‘offload’ that aspect of the business, because by the time you start buying trucks and other machinery, recruit staff, of course you are going to pull your self down.
“We have seen that happen to many companies who ended up burning their fingers. So, looking at these opportunities we created those divisions in our business to address the needs in our current economy. And we are responding well to the challenges.
In fact, if you want to do well in Nigeria look at the banks; they are deploying technology to equip their businesses and drive down costs. If you do same with your business the results will show you made the right decision.

Assessment of Nigeria’s Postal Industry
“The industry is a reflection of total state of the economy. If the economy does very well, it will also benefit from it. If the power sector runs very well, what will happen? Production will improve substantially.
To us, there will be more goods to deliver from one location to another. The industry is not operating in isolation of the rest of the economy; we are part of it. We oil the machine of distribution from the point of production to the level of consumption.
That is our job; intermediaries from the time the raw materials are sourced to the end production. As the middlemen, whatever happens at the two ends, we will take a share of it. Whether they do well or not, the impacts rest with us
“To a large extent, the industry needs re-organisation, but it does not imply we are no contributing to the economy.
I cannot boast that we have done better; we are reflecting the state of the economy in a larger scale. If you consider the investments in the industry, the workforce, taxes payable to the government-P.A.Y.E, corporate taxes; and structures put in place we have contributed to scaling-up of the economy.
We need to put up the figures together to understand what the industry is contributing to the economy in general. There people who are licensed today to just do delivery. They operate without belonging to any Association, because today if you can acquire a truck or two you have started…

…But That Raises the Issue of Quacks
No! They have licenses to operate but chose not to belong to any association, because they don’t want the challenges of unionization.
We were in a meeting few days again, and some of them are not willing to participate, because there are pressures they may not be able to face. Companies have gone down as a result of unionism…

Migration of Postal from Communications Ministry to Transportation
“Well, I don’t want to make categorical statement on this matter, but I know we do more of transportation than communications. In past it used to be post and telecoms (P&T). That classification has always been there; I am not in the position to change it. But, what do we do for a living- we move shipments from one location to another.
If you interpret that properly, the society should decide where we ought to belong. We move goods via trucks, bikes, and aircrafts.
If you look at that broad description of services we render, then where should we belong? At some point, our members belonged to the maritime unions, but after many years of squabbles they have migrated to post and telecoms union.

Red Star’s Expansion Plans
We have about 170 offices and agencies across the country. In terms of growth projection, the four pillars that I mentioned earlier, we are trying to deepen what each of them is doing currently.
Through RSSS we are providing shuttle services for banks and other organizations. We are trying to deepen such operations without having to mingle into what is not our operational area. People want faster service; technology helps to offer faster services and cut costs.

Red Star’s Five Year Plan
We may not draw a plan for you because this is public quoted company. Anything I say now can affect our operations at the stock market. It is easy to be killed when you have opened your arsenal. But one thing I can guarantee you is that Red Star is a forward-looking company.
We will not leave this company the way we met it. Our plan is to add as much Naira as we can, rave up the value of the company; a pact we have signed with the owners of the Company. Our reports are released quarterly; we will continue to work hard for the benefit of the shareholders.

Non-Passage of Postal Commission Bill                
We are losing a lot (as a country) for non-passage of the all-important Bill. We do visit other countries and you would see a clear separation of roles between regulator and operator, enabling clear-cut policy direction as against the arrangement today where NIPOST is playing both rules. In the telecoms sector there is a clear direction on how things should be done.
Independence and control are part of critical areas that should be considered while passing the bill. I believe the industry will be given opportunity to make considerations to the Bill before passage. Ghana, Niger and other West African countries boast of a postal Commission.

Licensing & Renewal Fees Charged by NIPOST
Well, when the current fees were put forward, we had to fall in line. If you want to do survive you have to join hands with the government to sanitise the industry. Many (courier) companies had gone under, not just necessarily due to the licensing and renewal fees, but there are too many issues in this business ecosystem.

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Nigeria Can Become Africa’s Internet Hub If… – MainOne

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Vremudia Oghene-Ruemu, MDXi’s product manager, Data Center in this interview assesses the data centre market in Nigeria, challenges confronting the line of business, the partnership with IXPN, MainOne’s Open Connect Service, among others. Excerpts

Data Centre Operations in Nigeria

The Data Center landscape in Nigeria is still new, gradually developing. We have a few data centers for our economic size and population, which means there is opportunity for more operators to come in.

We are gradually building a digital economy, which requires cloud-based services and applications and data centers.

A rising confluence of demand and supply factors is making Nigeria’s data center business one of the most dynamic ICT market segments in Africa.

As broadband adoption has boomed, demand for cloud services has emerged and is expected to surpass supply soon.

To cater to this demand, MainOne’s Data Center Company, MDXi is also building more Data Centers not only in Nigeria, but other parts of West Africa. We have started our second Tier III Data Center in Nigeria in Sagamu, Ogun State; we have a Data Center in Accra and should launch another in Cote D’Ivoire soon.

We believe that other players will follow suit and build to match the growing demand. Right now, South Africa has the largest data center presence on the continent, with North Africa following closely but Nigeria and other West Africans countries are expected to deepen Data Center penetration over the next few years.

Main Challenges Confronting Your Line of Business

The major challenge for Nigerian businesses right now is the high cost of operation. Data Centers have huge power requirements and usually recourse to direct connection to the national grid, which is a significant investment in addition to backups, which include huge generators with attendant costs of diesel ad maintenance.

Operators need to import equipment into the country, but do not have access to FOREX, as the Central Bank has refused to give telcos priority. It has been ingenuity and financial knowhow that has kept players like us going in this tough terrain.

Nigeria is yet to fully implement data domiciliation and a lot of government and enterprise businesses still hosts Nigeria’s data abroad, rather than patronize indigenous data centers.

The Federal Government needs to enable policy to drive our diversification from oil-dependent to services-focused; such as pioneer status for indigenous operators, tax exemptions, data residency and priority access to Forex will go a long way to help Nigeria’s data center operators and enable us be at par with South Africa and other climes.

In China for example, foreign operators are mandated to keep Chinese data within the country. Europe, Russia, Malaysia and Indonesia have also implemented Data Domiciliation regulation.

Nigeria must also proactively protect its citizen’s data and mitigate huge security risks by repatriating all Nigerian data in-country. This will limit the country’s exposure to cyber-attacks, save us huge international internet transit costs and enable Nigeria’s data center capacity to grow quicker.

We need to understand that apart from glaring issues such as national security and capital flight; local data hosting has the ability to drive job growth and improve the lives of our teeming youth population.

Local data domiciliation has worked and is still working in countries with strong digital economies around the world. All you have to do is look around the globe to see what having data hosted in-country has done for local innovation, technology development and economies in general.

Partnership with The Nigerian Internet Exchange (IXPN)

This move is significant in many ways. As a data center provider, there are two goals. The first goal is to ensure that businesses that have high availability requirements can run their technology operations without breaking the bank.

The second goal, is to ensure that the infrastructure running these highly available services can be reached irrespective of the networks that users connect from.

To ensure that end users communicate effectively in this rapidly evolving digital ecosystem, network providers need to enable the exchange of user data in the quickest and most efficient manner using a process called peering. Peering is made possible by an Internet exchange point which in the simplest of terms is a physical meeting point where networks, content and service providers connect and directly exchange data.

This results in the significant reduction of costs and increase in speeds at which data is exchanged thereby leading to consumer friendly network subscription rates and superb end user experiences.

This is where our partnership with the Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN) is relevant. By hosting and partnering with the IXPN, our data center customers now have quicker, less costly access to local, regional and global connectivity via simple physical cable connections called cross connects.With these cross connects and close proximity to the Internet Exchange, our customers immediately have instant access to an ecosystem of network providers, cloud platforms, content providers and business partners while saving costs on expensive wide area network links and ensuring high network performance.

By combining our vast local, regional and global network resources with the IXPN’s capabilities, we can now directly connect and provide interconnection services to local operators, regional operators, global carriers, content providers, ISPs among others. Our data center’s value proposition is thus to ensure that people that host in our data center are able to reach their users seamlessly with great user experience and at lower costs.

Role of The IXPN

The Internet Exchange is the backbone of digital economies around the world and a key ingredient to growing the online economy in Nigeria.

The role of the IXPN is to ensure the local exchange of data between users by enabling peering between the networks that serve these users; hence the popular saying “keeping local traffic local”.

An example is a situation where an email from User A in Lagos to User B in Lagos needs to travel across User A’s provider network to an International location where User A and User B’s networks connect just because they cannot connect locally.

You can also view this practically from the standpoint of regional airport hubs which serve as an exchange point for passengers between different airlines served by that airport.

Airline passengers will definitely not fancyif they travel long hours to switch flights outside their country to reach a destination in their country just because a common airport that serves multiple airlines in the country does not exist. Routing internet traffic is similar to you flying to Ghana to get a connecting flight to Abuja, because there is no local interconnection point.

Mainone’s Open Connect Service
With Open Connect we are creating a powerful Internet ecosystem in the same physical location as the Nigerian Internet Exchange, and providing a platform for participants to exchange data in real-time at lightning fast speeds.

The idea behind Open Connect is that we are enabling owners of products, services and content with high response requirements become more service-oriented by bringing the networks closer to them. Being closer to the networks significantly enhances their ability to improve their end user experiences. For instance, today’s customer will seriously consider changing banks if they have an internet banking application that takes thirty seconds to open a login page, and takes several other painstaking minutes to conduct a transaction.

Main Benefits of Open Connect
Open Connect provides better network performance for the networks and their end users. It also ensures low latency connections which in turn enhance the end user experience while enabling local data exchange, local content and local hosting.

Before Open Connect, How Did Operators Connect?

In the past, operators connected Internet traffic via networks outside the country at interconnection locations where global content providers reside. This put more costs on internet providers, slowed down internet connections and put the end user at a disadvantage from a cost and user experience.

For voice services, interconnections were achieved through clearing houses some of which are present locally today. These methods of interconnection are no longer sustainable with the volumes of broadband traffic we are experiencing in Nigeria today via current explosion in content and smartphones.

The Nigerian Internet Exchange is currently enabling a limited amount of interconnection between operators today but we believe that a synergy between MDXi and the Exchange using Open Connect as a platform will take interconnections to the next level in Nigeria and West Africa.

With The Launch Of Open Connect Would You Now Consider Yourself A Carrier Neutral Data Centre?

We have always been a carrier neutral data center. For the benefit of your readers, a carrier neutral data center is a facility that allows its customers connect their hosted infrastructure to any network of their choice.

MDXi is structured as a totally separate legal entity from MainOne even though we are a subsidiary company. Customers in MDXi are free to choose any network provider that suits their business requirements and have done so since Day 1. As a result, customers in MDXi are connected to their various locations by over 20 different network operators and ISPs today.

Launching Open Connect expands our commitment to providing that open access, carrier neutral environment and bringing it closer to the Internet Exchange for all our customers to thrive.

Of What Benefit Is This To Over-The-Top (OTT) And Content Providers Across The Continent?

Until around 4 years ago, OTT operators like Facebook and Google hosted outside the continent because the infrastructure to host locally wasnot available and the traffic they generated in Nigeria was quite limited with low internet penetration.

This narrative is however changing as the facilities to host such infrastructure is now available on the continent. Africa’s huge population and rapid mobile broadband adoption is also a major business driver for these large players as they recruit these large number of users to their platforms.

Nigeria is the most populous country on the continent and we are beginning to see more content providers, producers and distributors develop significant interest in our local market. Five years ago we didnot have applications like Facebook Live, Instagram live and WhatsApp video. We also did not have Internet banking and the level of E-Commerce applications that require real-time online connections as we do today.

One of the key value propositions for content is a robust user experience. Accessing content hosted outside the country provides a significantly diminished user experience compared to content hosted within the country. By leveraging local hosting and Open Connect, content providers will improve their user experiences significantly, scale their products and increase user subscriptions which will lead to more revenue.

Plans to Build an Internet Hub in West Africa

By hosting the Nigerian Internet Exchange and leveraging our already active connections to the Ghanaian, Amsterdam and London Internet exchanges we have significantly expanded the reach of our network to other networks in the region and globally.

What is next is to ensure that our partnership with various internet exchanges and content providers across the continent continues to grow using products such as Open Connect to explore new frontiers for interconnections.
We will leverage our strengths as West Africa’s most connected data center to continually localize traffic, reduce transmission costs and improve user experiences which will catalyze the development of other industries such as gaming, content and media which are highly dependent on superior internet connections.

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Cheki Accounts for 60% Online Car Listening in Nigeria- Dara

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Gbenro Dara, chief executive officer of Cheki.com.ng has said the platform which accounts for about 60% online car listings in Nigeria is out to assist the dealers improve on their sales.

Speaking to Nigeria CommunicationsWeek recently, he said in the last five years the platform would remain on the forefront of innovation in the market.

Cheki.com.ng, he said, is experimenting on a virtual room, where potential buyers are exposed to a-360 picture view of the car.

“First, we are the biggest and oldest online car sells platform in Nigeria. Therefore, we have a database of five years, containing data of anybody who had thought about buying a car through online platform. We have 60% of them on Cheki.

“We can literally say we have idea of people who intended to buy a car in the last five years and others who went ahead to purchase. We also know the sellers and their locations: their monthly sells and number of cars they have online. Such data are valuable even to the Government for taxation.

“Tax has remained a big source of revenue for the Government. There is a saying that what you can’t measure you can’t manage. It is also important to the insurance sector to have better understanding of the market and how to price their products.

Association of Car Dealers Award Received in 2016
“This was as a result of an analysis done by an international (independent) organisation. They came to Nigeria assessing online classified companies and wanted to understand who drives which verticals most. They looked at the auto verticals and the horizontal classified and we stood out on the side of quality and range. We boost as the best in the array of inventories, covering the 36 States in the country. In terms of quality, we boost of the best in-house risk management platform.

Plans for Cheki.com.ng Moving Forward
“Two things are on my mind. First, to deliver on our proposition to our buyers by giving them quality cars at the right price. We want them to know they have people to trust or interact with on the platform. On the sellers’ side, we want to consolidate on them improving sells. We don’t want to just remain as leas generators, rather a sales’ partner that will help them tie up the loose ends.
 

Leveraging Technology To Assist dealer- Cheki’s Virtual Showroom
“Every company needs to be flexible. By this time last year, and for the trajectory we were bullish and busy with restructuring the auto space, thinking that brand new cars were going to be the key drivers. So, the change in Government, the direction on auto policy is not clear yet.

“Even investors in the new cars have rolled back their investments. In other words, not much activities are taking place. So, Cheki needs to be flexible and focus more on used cars and no longer our growth plan for new cars. It is not really too bad for the new cars segment, but not as much as the business in the used cars segment. Therefore, used cars are our biggest opportunity. We are consolidating all our activities around that”, he said.

 

 

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ESET Targets 90% Cost Drop On IT Security Solution for Undergraduates

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ESET Nigeria has given more details on the recent partnership with the National Information Development Agency (NITDA) which intends to take information technology (IT) security awareness to the grassroot.

Mr. Olufemi Ake told Nigeria CommunicationsWeek how the initiative will assist individuals, especially students (in tertiary institutions), cut their IT security solution budget by 90%, while enabling ministries, departments and agencies of Government and organization combat cyber threats.

Mr. Ake explains-
ESET MoU with NITDA, What It’s all About

NITDA is a key Agency regulating government agencies and Nigeria’s cyber space as a whole. Basically, one of their key objectives is ensuring cyber security; which is mainly to ensure that our cyber space is ultimately secured. How do we achieve this? Of course, they can’t do it alone. NITDA does not produce or solve IT security problems by way of offering products; they are focused on regulations. So, as a Company, ESET solves cyber security issues. Most of our solutions are geared towards endpoint security, access management control, data management and preventions. We also have encryption solutions to ensure that people do not gain unauthorized access to your files. All these solutions will not be provided to government institutions, corporate entities and individuals; we will be working with NITDA to make these solutions available.

The partnership with NITDA is critical in developing frameworks, standards/guidelines for government institutions to work with to ensure they keep the best level security at information/data exchange. We want the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to see these data as critical resources at their disposals and the need to protect them.

So, the MoU has a two-part strategy. They are, first, to provide guidelines to Government Agencies on how to remain secured in the cyber space. The second part is the ESET Secure School Initiative. We jointly introduced the project to the public last Friday. The initiative is supposed to provide millions of free copies of ESET internet security solutions to the majority of students in Nigeria. We are aware that not all students have connected devices- tablets, laptop or smartphones, but as many as that have, we want them to stay (secured online). Once they show interest as a school or individual, we will get the solution across to them.

ESET views grassroot awareness as one of the ways to improve cyber security in Nigeria. On that basis, we are focusing on the academic environment. This will importantly raise the awareness and consciousness among the academia as they are heavily involved in researches, assignments and therefore generate huge data. If such data are compromised it will adversely impact the economy in general. So, the best way of defense is needed to ensure they do not experience malicious attacks on whatever they are presenting to the world.

We also want to have their channel of data exchange across sectors secured. For example, e-library and e-learning centres must be protected against malicious attacks.       

 

What Motivated ESET Towards the Partnership?  How Would You Rate Nigerian Companies’ Awareness and Competencies In Managing Cyber Security Issues?

In fact, banks and telecos have taken the lead in ensuring we are secured; especially the third party users. The information been exchanged in these two sectors are secured to a very large extent. However, what drove us into this partnership is the fact that Big Data, Analytics, Internet of Things (IoT) and the new trends in the IT world are really pushing cyber security to the extreme. IoT will unleash data in an unimaginable scale. Currently, there are big data downloaded to phones, tablets, and what have you; the length at which these data travel is very fast, especially when they hit the social media. Imagine if your device is very porous and the data is actually having a malware, and it’s downloaded, not minding how important it is, as it travels it generally affect the others who share it. So, out aim is to ensure that each data transmitted through the cyber space is secured.

NITDA is Focused On IT Regulations in Nigeria. Data Breaches have Been On The Front Burner In Nigeria; many Companies Have Lost Data, Fortunes To The Malicious Attackers, Now, What Is The Arrangement To Tackle Issues Even At Corporate Levels.

Apparently, we know that NITDA is an agency set for policy formulation and enforcements, therefore, we have existing policies in place such as the Cyber Security Law of 2015. However, we still have a majority of the institutions not keeping to these policies. How do we work with NITDA in this case? We will obviously point out some areas or holes we discovered while working with some of these institutions. Some of the market intelligent reports we have shall be provided to NITDA. The data will reinforce their drives and give them more key trends in the market to give critical assessment. For instance, they should know the ratio of organisations that are not conforming to thee rules. So, when they are about to enforce a framework in place they would have proven cases to support every claim against/for a particular organisation. That way, NITDA shall have the required data to exact authority in its clime. At the global level, we work with research organisations like the IDC Insights, BMI reports and we conduct surveys in the market as well. Through that we ascertain the pain-points of these organisations and provide consulting advisories to them. From the report we shall provide NITDA can provide the organisations with list of vendors to choose from, not necessarily ESET. That is what makes the partnership interest. But we will be proud to provide solutions to these organisations.

How Will The Solutions Assist Organsiations Overcome the malicious Attacks. Are They Preventive or Post-Attacks Cure?

It depends on situations. We have a solution called ESET Threat Intelligence (ETI); it scans through the cyber space for malware threats coming to you environment. So, it depends on what the company wants. The solution first collects asset from the company like the IP addresses, logos and whatever asset the company has to protect online. We will then be on alert and warn you on a potential threat coming your way. If we are going to provide that to NITDA, then we are looking at gathering all the IP addresses of the nation, which is not possible. But NITDA as an Agency will advise institutions on the authenticity of the solution should they require the network monitored and provide early warning signal. Basically, we are using the partnership with NITDA as a channel to reach out to institutions, corporate organizations and individuals.

We also have thee endpoint solutions- computers, tablets or mobile phones. Once an attack is launched to your specific computer, ESET will automatically flag and block it. As NITDA is providing the advisory to the agencies, those that will patronize us will get special offerings unlike coming directly to us.

The Focus On Awareness At The Grassroot: Why The Schools?

We are focusing on schools, because of the importance of that sector to the economy. We don’t expect the students to have enough resources to cater for their textbooks talk more of cyber security solutions. But they need them, especially with the growing malicious attacks. So, through ESET Secure schools we are not just giving our anti-virus solutions, but will deliver messages to them on why they need to be secured. First, the solution works for everybody, but when it comes to affordability, students are the least to buy. It is our CSR package for the students. Even when you come back to buy you get a discount of 20%. This based on our research and surveys on what students can afford. Aside that, we will offer them quarterly IT Security remote training.

 

With NITDA’s Partnership in Place, Are You Going To Sign Agreement With Individual Schools too?

The MoU agreement with NITDA covers the two scopes of the initiatives. And the DG wholeheartedly, welcomes the ideas. With that students can come to us with their school Identity cards and get about 90% discount for the first buy.

 

 

 

 

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