EMC, a leading provider of IT storage hardware solutions to promote data backup and recovery and accelerate the journey to cloud computing, has expanded its operations in Nigeria in order to support the growing market demand and customers needs in the country.
Similarly, the company is extending its Educational Services offering to clients in Nigeria through a brand new local training center that will enhance customers’ readiness and ability to redefine their IT application and usage.
Speaking during a press conference held in Lagos on Tuesday, Adrian McDonald, president of EMC Europe, Middle East and Africa EMC said that the expansion of its operations with the opening of a new office in Lagos has become important following the country’s position in the African IT market.
He said: “The expansion of EMC’s operations in Nigeria has become imperative in light of the consistent growth of the local economy. In addition, with 2014 set to see unprecedented change in the technology industry as one era of computing gives way to the next – built on mobile, social networking, cloud services and Big Data analytics technologies – Nigerian businesses are looking for the tools and support to help them manage this challenge and redefine the delivery of IT so that it becomes a truly competitive advantage to their business”.
Another key element of EMC’s expansion in Nigeria is the launch of its new training center in Lagos which will deliver a comprehensive range of leading-edge IT courses to businesses, channel partners and service providers, as well as EMC employees.
On his part, Mr. Rasheed Jimoh, regional manager for English Speaking West Africa, EMC, described the Nigerian market as, “growing fast and technology needs are evolving as business leaders increasingly look to IT to help enable, drive and lead their strategic initiatives. Many organizations have recognized the need to invest in cloud computing, Big Data analytics and information security solutions. EMC is keen to bring the knowledge transfer closer to Nigeria’s and West Africa professionals through our Educational Services Programs and to help our customers to effectively lead their IT and business transformation.”
The Company said that the courses will cover a range of systems and solutions such as EMC VNX Series high-performing unified storage; Data Domain protection storage for back-up and archive; NetWorker back-up and recovery software; VMAX enterprise storage systems; VMware; Big Data analytics; and cloud computing.
The training center will host up to eight courses each quarter, catering for approximately 200 attendees from Nigeria and West Africa throughout its first year of operation.
Nazim Fraijat, managing director for EMC in Levant and Emerging Africa, added that, “Globally there is a fast-growing knowledge gap in the area of information storage and analytics, due in part to the rapid adoption of virtualization technologies and the emergence of cloud computing infrastructure at a rate much higher than that of the available skills in the market. Across the world organizations and IT professionals are being challenged to meet evolving business and strategic requirements, while controlling explosive data growth”.
Meanwhile, McDonald, summarized the goal stating that, “EMC values its customers and partners in Nigeria who are contributing to our growth in the country and across the region. Our new office in Lagos reiterates our commitment to helping enterprises across Nigeria achieve their business objectives as they transform their IT infrastructure. Customers in Nigeria and the region continue to call on EMC as their top choice for their IT transformation journeys and we remain committed to and focused on delivering innovative products and solutions which enable our customers to reduce their costs, increase their revenues and deliver new value to their customers”.
Post Intrusion Ransomware the Biggest Threat to Businesses in Africa – Report
Aside from an increase in malware and new malware samples, businesses must also be alert to the capability of post intrusion ransomware.
This is according to the McAfee Threats Report: November 2020 released by device-to-cloud cybersecurity company McAfee Corp.
An examination of cybercriminal activity related to malware and the evolution of cyber threats in Q2 2020, the company witnessed an average of 419 new threats per minute as overall new malware samples grew by 11.5%.
In addition attacks on cloud services users reached nearly 7.5 million; mobile malware grew 15% driven by Android Mobby Adware surge, and publicly disclosed security incidents rose 22%; with incidents targeting technology industry increase by 91%.
The company added that a significant proliferation in malicious Donoff Microsoft Office documents attacks propelled new PowerShell malware up 117%, and the global impact of COVID-19 prompted cybercriminals to adjust their cybercrime campaigns to lure victims with pandemic themes and exploit the realities of a workforce working from home.
Raj Samani, McAfee fellow and chief scientist, said: “The second quarter of 2020 saw continued developments in innovative threat categories such as PowerShell malware and the quick adaptation by cybercriminals to target organisations through employees working from remote environments.
“What began as a trickle of phishing campaigns and the occasional malicious app quickly turned into a deluge of malicious URLs, attacks on cloud users and capable threat actors leveraging the world’s thirst for more information on COVID-19 as an entry mechanism into systems across the globe.”
Samani added that broadly speaking the year has witnessed a spike in the use of COVID for fraudsters. “…take South Africa for example with malicious file detections in the hundreds of thousands and quite frankly continuing to rise. The impact of these attempts is of course a concern, since they are intended to defraud the citizens at a time when we all need as much support as we can.”
However, it is the capability of post intrusion ransomware that represents the most serious threat to businesses in Africa says Samani.
“There exists a small group of criminals so adept at extorting companies that their actions are literally causing the wheels of the economy to stop turning until millions are deposited into criminal enterprise. We have to recognise that cyber is not an IT issue but the basis of our economy, and broader society,” he adds.
Samani senses that businesses are in a continual crisis. “With major vulnerabilities, or the capability of threat groups improving it does feel we jump from one major escalation to another. Although this is the nature of the cyber professional. Since we have to get everything right all of the time, the bad guys only need to be right once!”
He advocates that businesses be absolutely clear about the systems, people and processes required to maintain the core business and ensuring that appropriate resilience is built in this organisation is crucial.
“Trying to work this out during a crisis is far, far too late,” said Samani.
CWG Bags Software as a Service Provider of the Year Award @ NiTA 2020
CWG Plc, the leading provider of Information and Communication Technology solutions and services in Africa has won the Software as a Service Provider of the Year award at the Nigeria Technology Awards (NiTA) 2020 held on Saturday in Lagos.
The organizer of the award, Beta Media affirmed that CWG Plc clinched the award over five other companies shortlisted for the category, after going through a rigorous winner selection screening exercise.
“CWG Plc came out successful after our in-house selection process. We want to congratulate CWG Plc and hope that this award will spur the company to do more, especially in its usual drive to use technology solutions to enable the growth of other businesses,” Beta Media said.
They further stated that the Software as a Service Provider of the Year award presented to CWG Plc, is a testament and public endorsement of its technology innovations, creativity, hard work and dedication.
Meanwhile, Mr. Olumuyiwa Dosunmu, Brand & Communications Executive at CWG Plc, who received the award on behalf of the Pan-African company assured that the award will serve as an encouragement for CWG Plc to work harder and further contribute to the growth of the Information and Communications Technology industry.
“The future seems exciting from our point of view and we have not even begun to scratch the surface. We hope to do a lot more in the coming year and we are working towards being a major contributor of the growth of the Nigerian technology industry,” he said, adding that the award stands as recognition of CWG Plc’s continuous efforts to enable businesses in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.
The Nigeria Technology Awards (NiTA) is an award organized to celebrate and reward Technology Entrepreneurs, Innovators, Inventors, Academicians and Policymakers (Government) in Nigeria.
Two major objectives of the institution are to promote and commend the outstanding contribution of Nigeria Technology professionals and organizations towards building a sustainable economy using technology; and to encourage local practitioners to develop innovative and creative technology solutions, geared towards uplifting the image of Nigeria both locally and internationally.
Laptop, PC Scarcity May Persist Till Q3 2021
The ongoing scarcity of laptops and personal computers (PCs) may worsen as industry experts are now projecting that the prevailing paucity may persist until the third quarter of 2021.
Previous reports indicate that the situation is a result of disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and increased demand for units worldwide.
Equally important, global computer Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) have admitted that there are no easy fixes or a quick way out of the current scarcity, with a number of paid-up orders already being recalibrated for shipment in April/May or June next year.
The situation has seen urgent requirements of laptops for business, learning and leisure needs grossly affected the world over.
Enquiries from major distributors in Dubai and Nigeria indicate that back-log of orders are still yet to be shipped.
They insist that manufacturers, who are struggling to cope with supply chain disruptions, are finding it hard to clear their demand logs. The situation is the same with all the big players including HP, Lenovo, Dell, Asus, among others.
Nigeria, Africa’s biggest market, is one of the hardest hit by the current scarcity.
Consumers, including businesses, educational institutions and individual users, are bearing the brunt of the situation, with prices flying for the few available units in the market as greedy retailers cash in on the prevailing scarcity to jack up their margins.
Bayo Oshunde, a commentator, says the situation will get even worse as university students prepare to return to school in the face of a potential compromise between the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) which has been on a 10-month strike and the Federal Government.
‘‘The scarcity is really biting hard here in Nigeria. Prices are at an all-time high for few systems available in the market and a number of sellers are taking a pound of flesh from consumers as a result.
‘‘But this is just the beginning for Nigeria. In my opinion, the situation is going to get even worse before it gets better.
“Right now, the Federal Government has made a few significant concessions to ASUU and the word on the street is that the strike may be called off soon.
“The resumption of university students will put even greater pressure on demand for laptops, PCs and other devices.
‘‘The downside of this is that many of our students in their final or penultimate years in school, whose parents or guardians cannot afford to compete for the heavily-priced few units on sale, will be forced to enter the already overstretched and fiercely-competitive labour market as analogue graduates,’’ he lamented.
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