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ICES CONFEX Hints on Harnessing Techs-Savvy Customer Environment

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The first International Customer Experience Solutions Conference & Exhibition” (ICES CONFEX 2013) which kicked off in Lagos yesterday, has highlighted the essentials of harnessing tech-savvy customer environments.

Speakers at the conference put together by CFS West Africa Limited in collaboration with PhaseStream, UK, unanimously agreed that platform for information sharing between companies and the various companies have taken a different dimension, particularly with the evolution of social media.

The  conference exhibitors showcased different solution for speedy messaging, security, business development, researching and documentation, among other technologies.

In a keynote address, Adedotun Sulaiman, chairman, Cornerstone Insurance, said that technology has broadened  the process of customer engagement and experience, leading to improved communication, transparency, upgraded interactions and speedily replacing conventional methods.

Sulaiman who chaired the occasion also highlighted that contemporarily speaking organizations cannot enhance and retain customers’ loyalty or maintain zero acquisition costs of customers by mere aesthetic websites rather the integration of other engaging platforms has become imperative.

According to him, the essence of the conference remains to rejig the concepts and believes of organizations that depend on technology to create new and exciting experiences for customers and thereby increase their profitability.

Also speaking, Dayo Adeyeye, head of Operations, PhaseStream, UK, said that he said, service and operations managers often suffer from a paucity of ideas on innovative customer engagement solutions.

He added that there has been insufficient knowledge on existing solutions that can address current needs as compounded by a lack of suitable avenues for companies in the CRM space from within and outside the continent to showcase service and engagement specific solutions.

“This event is unique in providing key customer engagement professionals with the opportunity to interact with new products and services from innovative customer experience solutions development firms, from within and outside the country. It will also provide a forum for intellectual discourse amongst executives, supervisors and service representatives to keep service delivery on the front burner as a veritable tool to drive profitability.

Adeyeye also urged participants to be abreast of some natural occurrences that will constantly change customer experience and engagements.

He explained that issues on climate change, globalization, scarce resources, war, growth in medicine and ultimately technology are factors impacting on the customer behaviourial patterns and affecting the societal directions.

“Technology influences every aspect of life today. It brings return on investment, time spent on development, and leads to improving on customer perceptions on brands when well harnessed. Information sharing is critical in making it happen,” he added.

Speaking further on the conference theme, “Technology for Customer Experience,” Rolu Adebola, managing director and chief executive, CFS West Africa Limited, said that it is focused on creating awareness on cutting-edge hardware and software that significantly enhance a company’s confidence on customer engagement.

“Through this conference, participants are been exposed to high profile end users, new and effective solutions that will significantly impact on their customer engagement initiatives and on their overall profitability. So, their expectations on the strategic deployment of cutting edge technology to enhance customer engagement and satisfaction, for increased customer retention and profitability shall be met,” Adebola said.

The organizers of the conference showed their verse knowledge on the use of technology for customer experience.

 CFS is an international service focused solutions delivery company that combines Service Management Advisory Services with Integrated Service Quality Information Systems (ISQIS) to improve overall service quality and customer satisfaction index for service-focused organisations.

PhaseStream is an ICT company that specialises in software development and web technologies with primary focus on providing business applications and complex web-based systems with the aim to use the combination of the best internet, communication and database technologies to assist businesses to run efficiently and effectively.


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Millions of Cyber Attacks Launched on Nigeria, Others- Reports

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There were 3.8 million malware attacks and 16.8 million Potentially Unwanted Applications (PUA) detections over a 7-month period in Nigeria, according to Kaspersky security solutions.

Millions of Cyber Attacks Launched on Nigeria, Others- Reports

Elsewhere in South Africa, there were almost 10 million malware attacks and a staggering 43 million PUA detections, showing the growing desperation of the attacks.

The company reported on 28 million malware attacks in 2020 and 102 million detections of potentially unwanted programs (pornware, adware etc.) accounted for by the beginning of August 2020.

These numbers show that it’s not only the malware that attacks users but also the “grey zone” programmes that grow in popularity and disturb their experiences, while users might not even know it is there.

Potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) are programmes that are usually not considered to be malicious by themselves.

However, they are generally influencing user experience in a negative way. For instance, adware fills user device with ads; aggressive monetising software propagates unrequested paid offers; downloaders may download even more various applications on the device, sometimes malicious ones.

calculating interim results of threat landscape activity in African countries, Kaspersky researchers noticed that PUAs attack users almost four times more often than traditional malware.

They also eventually reach more users: for instance, while in South Africa, the malware would attack 415,000 users in 7-months of 2020, the figure for PUA would be 736,000.

“The reason why ‘grey zone’ software is growing in popularity is that it is harder to notice at first and that if the programme is detected, its creators won’t be considered to be cybercriminals. The problem with them is that users are not always aware they consented to the installation of such programmes on their device and that in some cases, such programmes are exploited or used as a disguise for malware downloads,” said Denis Parinov, a security researcher at Kaspersky.

By taking a closer look at PUA, it becomes apparent that they are not only more widespread but also more potent than traditional malware.

Evaluating results over the same 7-month period in Nigeria, there were 3.8 million malware attacks and 16.8 million PUA detections – which is four times as much.

Kenyan and South African threat landscapes have been more intense. In South Africa, there were almost 10 million malware attacks and a staggering 43 million PUA detections.

Kenyan users faced even more malware attacks – around 14 million, and 41 million PUA appearances, Kaspersky said.


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Tech Giants Strike Deal with Advertisers over Hate Speech

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Web giants including Facebook have struck a deal with advertisers on how to identify harmful content such as hate speech, after an impasse over the issue which led to boycotts of the platform.

Tech Giants Strike Deal with Advertisers over Hate Speech

The agreement — which also included Twitter and YouTube — laid out for the first time a common set of definitions for hateful statements online.

In July, hundreds of advertisers including big-name consumer brands suspended advertising with Facebook as part of the #StopHateForProfit campaign, saying the social-media titan should do more to stamp out hatred and misinformation on its platform.

And earlier this month a group of celebrities — including Kim Kardashian, Leonardo DiCaprio and Katy Perry — stopped using Facebook and Instagram for 24 hours, to push a similar message.

The World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) said in a statement Wednesday: “Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, in collaboration with marketers and agencies through the Global Alliance for Responsible Media have agreed to adopt a common set of definitions for hate speech and other harmful content and to collaborate with a view to monitoring industry efforts to improve in this critical area.”

The alliance was founded by the WFA and includes other major trade bodies.

According to the WFA, key areas of agreement included applying the alliance’s common definitions of harmful content; developing reporting standards for such content; establishing independent oversight; and rolling out tools for keeping advertisements away from harmful content.

The WFA said that properly defining online hate speech would remove the current problem of different platforms using their own definitions, which it said made it difficult for companies to decide where to put their ads.

“As funders of the online ecosystem, advertisers have a critical role to play in driving positive change and we are pleased to have reached agreement with the platforms on an action plan and timeline in order to make the necessary improvements,” said Stephan Loerke, chief executive of the WFA.

Luis Di Como, executive vice-president of global media at Unilever, a major advertiser, sounded a note of cautious optimism.

He said: “The issues within the online ecosystem are complicated, and whilst change doesn’t happen overnight, today marks an important step in the right direction.”

Speaking in July, Facebook’s founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said he remained adamant that the company did not want hate speech on the social network.

On Wednesday, the company’s vice-president for global marketing solutions, Carolyn Everson, said the agreement gave all parties “a unified language to move forward on the fight against hate online.”

 


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Nigeria, Others Facing ‘Millions of Cyber Attacks’ in 2020

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Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa, continues to fall victim to millions of malware attacks and Potentially Unwanted Applications (PUAs), according to the latest research from Kaspersky.

The IT security firm says its security solutions have reported on 28 million malware attacks in 2020 and 102 million detections of PUA (including pornware, adware) accounted for by the beginning of August 2020.

PUAs are programs that are usually not considered to be malicious by themselves, Kaspersky explains. However, they are generally influencing user experience in a negative way.

For instance, adware fills user device with ads; aggressive monetizing software propagates unrequested paid offers; downloaders may download even more various applications on the device, sometimes malicious ones.

By taking a closer look at PUA, it becomes apparent that they are not only more widespread but also more potent than traditional malware, according to Kaspersky.

“Evaluating results over the same seven-month period in Nigeria, there were 3,8 million malware attacks and 16,8 million PUA detections – which is four times as much. Kenyan and South African threat landscapes have been more intense.

In South Africa, there were almost 10 million malware attacks and a staggering 43 million PUA detections. Kenyan users faced even more malware attacks – around 14 million, and 41 million PUA appearances,” the company adds.

These numbers show that it’s not only the malware that attacks users but also the ‘grey zone’ programs that grow in popularity and disturb their experiences, while users might not even know it is there.

While calculating interim results of threat landscape activity in African countries, the researchers noticed that PUAs attack users almost four times more often than traditional malware. They also eventually reach more users: for instance, while in South Africa, the malware would attack 415,000 users in seven months of 2020, the figure for PUA would be 736,000.

“The reason why ‘grey zone’ software is growing in popularity is that it is harder to notice at first and that if the program is detected, its creators won’t be considered to be cybercriminals.

“The problem with them is that users are not always aware they consented to the installation of such programs on their device and that in some cases, such programs are exploited or used as a disguise for malware downloads. This is why many security solutions, including ours, flags such programs to make sure users are aware of its presence, influence on their device and activity,” says Denis Parinov, a security researcher at Kaspersky.


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