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Cloud and IoT cybersecurity threats demand an army of security experts

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By 2022, 1.5 billion devices with cellular connections are expected to be scattered around the world

These devices which form the Internet of Things (IoT) coupled with the adoption of cloud services has the potential to create an even more complex cybersecurity landscape and businesses ought to be prepared.

Even today, as the Internet of Things grows, the attack vectors we face in 2019 are far more different than those we saw even five years ago.

What’s more is that according to specialist security sales executive at T-Systems, Lukas van der Merwe the threats a business faces are more sophisticated and more persistent.

“The development of IoT has seen the advent of a multitude of smart devices that are connected to the Internet, which traditionally ran on closed and secure Operational Technology (OT) networks. This can impact an organisation’s risk profile, as these devices are open to a number of new vulnerabilities,” explains van der Merwe.

“Ultimately, the implications of a cyberattack could range from shutting down a small manufacturing plant to affecting power distribution across half of the country,” he warns.

Despite the rise of these threats, the solution remains somewhat the same – a good IT and security team.

That having been said, the rapid adoption of new technologies coupled with the growing cyber threats means that IT and security teams are struggling to keep up with new developments.

“There is a multitude of platforms, developed by third parties, that are constantly changing and growing, based on consumer demand. These are deployed and adopted by the organisation at a pace that the internal security team cannot keep up with. So, your subject matter expert is no longer a subject matter expert in your environment, because your environment has become so much more complex,” explains deal solutions manager at T-Systems South Africa, Andre Schwan.

The manager says that businesses can no longer rely on one person or a small team to handle cyber threats.

Due to the nature of the landscape a team made up of individuals that are experts in specific fields that can address a multi-cloud, multi-device and IoT environment.

In lieu of this a firm can tap up a security service provider that can assist in this regard. Especially in respect of South Africa, cybersecurity skills may be in short supply so drawing on a provider’s services may be the best option.

“The right partner can provide R&D, broad experience and development across a client’s environments, bringing much deeper capability and security experience at a much lower cost than if the client did it themselves,” Schwan explains.

While a firm may be hesitant to look outside of its walls for help, the rising threats mean that any firm can become a target. Perhaps then it’s time to consider employing the service of a firm made up of cybersecurity experts rather than going at it alone.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]

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Google launches new wireless Pixel Buds

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Google has launched its new Pixel Buds wireless earphones.

The Pixel Buds come in a simple, round form factor with a stabilizer arc that tucks into the ear – ensuring that it fits comfortably and does not fall out when you are exercising.

They use a hybrid design that allows you to listen to high-quality sound without losing track of what is happening around you.

The Pixel Buds achieve this by “gently sealing” the ear to isolate louder outside sounds, ensuring that you remain safe while on the go.

These earbuds also use Adaptive Sound technology which dynamically adjusts the volume of your audio as you move into louder or softer environments – ensuring you won’t need to adjust the volume depending on where you are.

Each Pixel Bud has two microphones embedded within it which will focus on your voice while minimising environmental sounds – a feature which Google said “extends to the most challenging environments.”

Google also said that the Pixel Buds use long-range Bluetooth connectivity to allow users to stay connected to their device as far as three rooms away when indoors, or the distance of a football field if you are outside.

They can pair with devices that use Bluetooth 4.0 or later, including laptops, tablets, and devices that use either iOS or Android 6.0 or later.

Google’s Pixel Buds will be available in 2020 in the US in four colours – Clearly White, Oh So Orange, Quite Mint, and Almost Black – and will cost $179.

No South African pricing or availability information was available at the time of publishing.

Pixel_Buds

 

Now read: Google launches new Pixelbook Go laptop

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South Africa: Looking Beyond the Grade 9 Certificate Debate – the Three Streams

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The proposed Grade 9 certificate, with the associated three – academic, technical vocational and technical – streams, will not solve problems of young people dropping out and not being able to access the labour market. But it will create additional resource pressures on the system, first to produce an exam and certificate, and second by duplicating what the TVET colleges are already struggling to do.

Many critics assume a Grade 9 Certificate will push the most marginal learners out of the system even earlier than they are exiting at the moment. As Janet Jobson and Kristal Duncan point out, the official government position is that the General Education Certificate will help learners to identify education and training options that would best suit their inclinations. They also argue that a national Grade 9 assessment will provide valuable information about how much young people have actually learnt. National assessment at the end of Grade 9 could offer an earlier opportunity to hold learners, teachers, schools, and the system accountable.

What has been less well covered in the public debate is the critical relationship between the proposed new certificate and the roll-out of what the National Department of Basic Education now refers to…

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Tour de France: Froome’s bid for fifth title may conclude on La Planche des Belles Filles time trial

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Chris Froome sat next to Ineos team-mate and defending champion Egan Bernal as the 2020 Tour de France route was unveiled

Briton Chris Froome’s bid for a fifth Tour de France title will conclude with a mountain time trial at La Planche des Belles Filles before the traditional final sprint stage in Paris on 19 July.

Riders will tackle 29 mountains on the brutal 3,470km (2,156-mile) 21-stage route, which starts in Nice on 27 June.

“It will be physically challenging throughout,” said race director Christian Prudhomme.

The tour starts a week early with the Tokyo Olympics starting on 24 July.

The route, which features five summit finishes – one of them being the time trial at La Planche des Belles Filles – is likely to favour the climbers.

“Even the so called flat stages will be very tough for the pure sprinters,” Prudhomme added.

“There are traps everywhere along the route.”

A route for the climbers

The 2020 Tour boasts one of the most challenging opening weeks in recent editions of the race.

Two stages start and finish in Nice, the second of which involves almost 3,700 metres of climbing over the Col de la Colmiane, Col de Turini and Col d’Eze.

The race then heads south west through the Massif Central, with summit finishes on Orcieres-Merlette on stage five and Mont Aigoual.

Colombian champion Egan Bernal and his Ineos team-mates Chris Froome will expect to challenge, as will France’s Thibaut Pinot.

A thigh injury saw Pinot, 29, withdraw on a dramatic stage 19 to Tignes on the 2019 Tour while in fifth place.

The Groupama-FDJ team leader had hoped to become the first French winner of the Yellow Jersey for 34 years.

Froome was unable to compete after a high-speed crash before stage four of the Criterium du Dauphine in June.

The 34-year-old is only just about to return to cycling after suffering a catalogue of injuries which included a fractured right femur, a fractured elbow and fractured ribs.

Julian Alaphilippe, who led the 2019 edition of the Tour for 14 stages before finishing fifth overall will also be buoyed by the omission of both Alpe d’Huez and Mont Ventoux next summer and by a route containing only two stages in the Pyrenees.

Stage 20, a 36km individual time-trial to La Planche des Belles Filles ends with a five-mile uphill finish

The race against the clock on the 36km (22-mile) stage 20 to La Planche des Belles Filles, with the final 8km (five miles) all uphill, could prove decisive though.

Stage six of the 2019 Tour finished on the mountain with Dylan Teuns taking the stage victory as Alaphilippe lost the yellow jersey, temporarily, to Italy’s Giulio Ciccone, while 2018 Tour winner Geraint Thomas put in an impressive late attack.

Froome won stage seven on the mountain 2012, while playing the role of a super-domestique as Bradley Wiggins became the first Briton to win the Tour.

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