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Oceanic Bank Supports Aitec Conference

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Oceanic Bank has confirmed platinum sponsorship of this year’s Banking & Payment Technologies West Africa Conference, scheduled for 4-6 May at the Muson centre, Lagos.
In addition, Dr. Cecilia Ibru, the bank’s CEO, will make the opening welcome address on the first day of the conference, which will focus on “Transforming Access to Finance through Branchless Banking.” The first day will be hosted by a consortium of agencies promoting the extension of banking services to the unbanked through mobile technology and other innovations.
These organisations include Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access (EFInA), supported by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), the MSME Project which is a joint pilot of the Federal Government of Nigeria and the World Bank and the global microfinance body Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) based at the World Bank. .
The conference, according to the organizers, will highlight technologies used by pioneering organizations in the financial services industry, including microfinance organizations, to reduce costs and reach new customers.
It will enable Nigeria’s financial services sector to gain knowledge and experience from over 50 local and international experts, including speakers from as far away as South Africa, Peru and the Philippines, all of which have pioneered innovative mobile banking systems.
Confirming their sponsorship of the event, Dr. Ibru congratulated the hosts of the event on the world-class programme they have lined up. “ Oceanic is proud to be associated with such a leading-edge conference, which has such a valuable role to play in educating the market on the opportunities and risks presented by Nigeria’s roll-out of mobile banking services. Oceanic remains the country’s leading innovator applying information technology to maximise the reach and the quality of our services across the country and our support for this event demonstrates our commitment to maintaining this leading position in the market – as well as supporting the development of the market by supporting an educational event of this high calibre.”
Sean Moroney, chairman of Aitec Africa, the organisers of the event, welcomed Oceanic’s sponsorship, emphasizing the role the conference will play in helping the country’s banks and mobile operators to select best technologies and practices as they roll out mobile and other new banking channels.
“Nigeria represents an untapped market of over 100 million unbanked who over the coming five years will be able to access financial services via their mobile phones. Banks and mobile operators need to prepare for the explosion of demand there will be for mobile banking services. Our conference will have a crucial role to play in preparing the market for this explosion and we are pleased to be partnering with Oceanic International bank and our other sponsors to maximise the positive impact of the conference,” he said.
The event includes an exhibition, where Oceanic will be demonstrating its own technological innovations, together with over 30 other financial service suppliers and innovators.
A branchless banking innovation hub at the exhibition, sponsored by EFInA, will provide a facility for SMEs involved in innovative applications in financial services to demonstrate their products and meet major players in the industry.
In another development, Aitec has confirmed Pia Roman, head of the Inclusive Finance Advocacy Staff of the Central Bank of the Philippines (CBP), as one of the speakers on the first day of this year’s conference.
She is involved in the overall microfinance programme within the Philippines Central Bank, specifically in the areas of policy, supervision and regulation, capacity building, advocacy and promotion as well as donor relations. The IFAS also handles broader issues of access to finance including credit information systems, product innovations and the application of technology in service delivery, among others. 
Roman previously worked for a microfinance NGO in New York, and a savings and credit organization in Nepal. She will be bringing unparalleled experience and knowledge to share with colleagues in the Nigerian financial sector; along with over 50 local and international banking experts who would provide a consummate educational programme over the three days of the conference.


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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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