Leading Australian-headquartered, FirstWave has announced the signing of a three-year Level 1 Partner Agreement with Moja Access, part of CSquared Group, a pan-African technology company.
FirstWave provides safety through the most accessible and adaptive cloud-based cybersecurity solutions that are affordable and easy to implement. Its unique proprietary cloudplatform orchestration is available for service providers and enterprises of any size, anywhere.
Moja Access is the Kenya-based operating company of CSquared, with a goal to make commercially driven investments to improve and increase connectivity and internet access in Sub-Saharan Africa. Internet users across the African nations can now be protected on CSquared’s network from cyber intruders, on a consumption basis, at an affordable monthly price.
In the initial phase of this partnership, FirstWave has deployed its recently launched FirstCloud WebProtect DNS platform for each of CSquared’s four territories for use by CSquared’s operating companies and Level 2 partners. The partnership builds on other recent signings opening further opportunity for FirstWave’s cybersecurity-as-a-service portfolio in Africa, first revenues to flow immediately under ‘opt-out’ path to market.
CSquared currently operates fibre and last mile WiFi networks in several cities across Kenya, Uganda, Ghana and Liberia, with over 40 mobile operators and internet service providers relying on its infrastructure for serving mobile consumers and corporate customers. These four African nations had over 10 million Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and over 70 million internet users at the end of 2020.
FirstWave’s CEO, Neil Pollock, said, “I’m delighted to welcome CSquared Group’s Moja Access as our 8th Level 1 partner and see initial revenues already flowing from the partnership. CSquared is a fast-growing pan- African service provider backed by two large global corporations Google LLC and Mitsui & Co.
CSquared already delivers robust fibre connectivity and internet access to thousands of end-customers via its 40+ mobile operator and ISP clients. With revenues already delivered, the partnership has had a really positive start.”
Creating a Secure Culture
Invest in the technology, embed the security, but don’t forget that people are your most important asset
Security. This is a word that can make a grown CFO tremble and an entire SOC crumble. It is the word that captures a complex landscape littered with complexity, cybercriminals and technology.
It defines how well an organisation adheres to a growing body of legislation – GDPR, POPIA and other data protection regulations – and how its reputation fares when a breach is revealed and information exposed. Security should be on every boardroom agenda, in ongoing employee training, and in investment into the right tools and solutions.
But, perhaps most importantly, security should be an inherent part of the company’s culture because it is this factor that ultimately determines its security risk and posture.
“There is a clear link between security culture and secure behaviour and that, in itself, correlates to a clear reduction in risk for the organisation,” says Anna Collard, SVP Content Strategy and Evangelist, KnowBe4 Africa. “By improving your security culture, you are immediately improving employee behaviour and potentially plugging one of the biggest security gaps in every business – people.
People are often the weakest link. The ones who click on the link, who open the phishing email, who share their company passwords and who accidentally create vulnerabilities within the organisation.”
A recent study undertaken by KnowBe4 examined the behaviour and security culture of more than 97, 000 employees across 1, 115 organisations worldwide. The study dug down into the components and building blocks of security culture and unpacked how this has become a critical component for any robust security structure in a detailed whitepaper.
“IT leaders have always known exactly how important people are to the perfect security triumvirate – people, process and technology,” says Collard. “But, over the years, process and technology have been pushed to the forefront of investment and conversation, leaving the human element wide open and the business at risk.
The reason for this shift is multi-fold – it’s hard to engage with a diverse workforce and the security message is not always that exciting.”
Yet, the research found a very clear proof that a robust security culture reduces the risk of credential sharing and improves the entire organisation’s security posture. In fact, it found that there was a 52x difference between the behaviours of people sharing credentials in a poor security class and the best which highlighted how a focus on security culture can significantly change the way employees adopt secure practices and behaviours.
Which again underscores the value of setting up a security culture programme that explores the seven dimensions of security culture and how these can be improved within the organisation.
These seven dimensions include: attitude, behaviour, cognition, compliance, communication, norms and responsibility. And they provide the organisation with a solid framework within which to build an equally solid security culture that has longevity and relevance.
“The more that the business focuses on security culture, the more likely it is that employees will follow secure practices and adopt more secure behaviours,” concludes Collard. “This ground breaking research has provided a very clear and measurable link between security culture and secure behaviour and emphasises the value of investing into people, training and security communication best practice to ensure that this link is always maintained.”
Npower Dumps Mobile App after Hackers Breach Customer Accounts
Npower, one the UK’s big six energy providers serving serving 3.6 million residential and business accounts, has shut down its mobile app after hackers accessed customers’ accounts, inluding partial bank details.
Npower says customer accounts were accessed using login data obtained from other websites – a common technique used by hackers, known as ‘credential stuffing’.
The firm won’t say how many accounts were hacked, though it says not all accounts were affected and customers whose accounts were accessed have now been contacted.
Data at risk includes personal information, such as dates of birth and addresses, bank sort codes and the last four digits of account numbers, and contact preferences.
An Npower spokesperson says: “We immediately locked any online accounts that were affected, blocked suspicious IP addresses and deactivated the Npower app. We’ve also notified the Information Commissioner’s Office and Action Fraud. Protecting customers’ security and data is our top priority.”
Npower says it has shut down its app in the wake of the attack and does not intend to relaunch it.
Cybersafe Foundation, UK Govt help vulnerable groups, SMEs upskill on cybersecurity
. Over 10million Nigerians reached via mass cyber hygiene awareness
. Set to continue project in 2021
A leading non-governmental organization in the information security ecosystem in Nigeria, CyberSafe Foundation and its partners – Foreign CommonWealth & Development Office (FCDO), have hit the set targets to equip digitally vulnerable groups and Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) with the knowledge and skills required to identify, protect, detect, defend and respond to COVID-19 instigated cyber threats, enabling a safe digital community.
The UK Government, through its Prosperity Fund Digital Access Programme, signed a grant agreement with CyberSafe Foundation to carry out the “Safe Digital Community during COVID-19 Project” as part of UK’s cyber risk mitigation support to Nigeria’s COVID-19 response.
The grant agreement which was signed FCDO and CyberSafe Foundation on the 7th of September 2020, led to equipping digitally vulnerable groups and 1,504 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
The Safe Digital Community Project directly benefited 1,504 SMEs across 35 States in Nigeria, and upskilled 3,057 employees in cyber safety essentials.
For the digitally vulnerable groups including people with limited digital experience, the project helped raise their awareness in safe cyber hygiene, enhance their online security and enable a safer digital community, reaching over 10 million people.
Speaking on the project, the Executive Director, Cybersafe Foundation, Confidence Staveley, thanked UKAID and 18 volunteer cyber security expert trainers for aligning with the Foundation to empower the participants, adding that through the ‘No Go Fall Maga’, cyber awareness comedy skits, more than 3.3 million people were educated on vishing, multi-factor authentication and phishing.
She said that beneficiaries cut across computing/technology, real estate, transport & services, oil & gas, retail/manufacturing, fashion, hospitality & leisure, healthcare, charity/NGO, education, consulting, financial services, amongst others.
Also, the partners executed massive work through the radio and did a novel cybersecurity awareness song in collaboration with Cobhams Asuquo which was played 3,973 times on 32 radio stations across Nigeria. In addition, 13 episodes of the “No Go Fall Maga” radio drama series created to drive awareness about cyber hygiene best practices, reached more than 5.2 million radio listeners.
During the project’s duration, an intensive social media mass awareness campaign saw close to 10 million people digesting 20 short cyber hygiene videos developed by the team.
Statistics also show that the SME upskilling and upscaling cyber security training garnered a lot of results. With 1,504 SMEs participating, 40.7% of the beneficiaries are female-owned.
Prior to the training, 57% of the beneficiaries could not identify a phishing email. However, post-training review indicates that 83% of them now understand prevalent attack vectors and preventive measures.
Interestingly, 76% have now implemented one or more security controls.
Staveley who is visibly elated by the growing testimonials from participants, said, “the impact has been massive and we are prepared to sustain the tempo even in 2021. We are going to increase the number of SMEs by 100%; in other words, we are targeting 3,000 SMEs in this rerun and will continue to use social media and radio to drive cybersecurity awareness. We are calling for SMEs to join the new batch for training. They can register via this link http://learn.cybersafefoundation.org/”.
Commenting on the project, the UK Government’s Head of Digital Access Programme and Country Adviser, Idongesit Udoh, said, “The first run of the Safe Digital Community During COVID-19 project recorded enormous impact courtesy of the excellent delivery by Cybersafe Foundation. The project afforded approximately 3057 employees the opportunity to get cybersecurity training, raising the bar in cybersecurity preparedness for Small and Medium Scale Businesses in Nigeria, also impacting millions via social media and radio.””This project demonstrates the UK Government’s continued support for Nigeria and its digital sector, recognizing the tech ecosystem’s role in inclusive growth and development. A rerun of this project will sustain the huge impact recorded by the CSF on cyber awareness and extend cyber capacity building to more SMES across the country during this pandemic where there is increased cyber risk for small businesses”.
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