What's up with... Ransomware, MTN Group, Bezeq, Facebook, Broadcom, Cisco

via Flickr © Keith Cooper (CC BY 2.0)

via Flickr © Keith Cooper (CC BY 2.0)

  • Ransomware incidents are still on the rise and getting worse
  • Political & military turmoil in Africa
  • Group formed to spur commercialisation of 6 GHz Wi-Fi

It’s dangerous out there. IDC reports what we all already suspected: the incidence of ransomware attacks has soared and continues to climb. A new survey has found that more than one third of all organisations worldwide have experienced a ransomware attack or breach that blocked access to systems or data in the previous 12 months - those are only the ones who have reported an incident or, indeed incidents. Not only are attacks increasing but, IDC claims: “As the greed of cybermiscreants has been fed, ransomware has evolved in sophistication, moving laterally, elevating privileges, actively evading detection, exfiltrating data, and leveraging multifaceted extortion. Welcome to the dark side of digital transformation!" Worse yet, of the companies that have fallen victim it’s not uncommon that they report multiple ransomware events, claim the researchers. Greater awareness of ransomware incidents has prompted organizations to undertake a variety of actions in response - more detail can be found here. There IS light at the end of the tunnel though. IDC has found that organizations that are further along in their digital transformation (DX) efforts were less likely to have experienced a ransomware event. These are organizations that have committed to a long-term DX investment plan with a multi-year approach tied to enterprise strategy. So as usual the message is: spend more and stay safe. 

MTN Group has reported a strong performance in Africa for the first half of 2021 and made a strong call for vaccine equity.  At the end of June 2021, across its 21 markets the Group had more than 277 million voice subscribers; 117 million active data customers; almost 49 million active Mobile Money users; and eight million users of our instant messaging platform ayoba. In constant currency terms, service revenue increased by 20%. However, MTN has also suffered setbacks in early 2021. Having lost its bid for a new telecom licence in Ethiopia, MTN announced its intention not to participate in the new liberalisation processes underway there. It also announced that it had decided to abandon the MTN operation in Syria “given regulatory actions and demands that make operating in that country untenable.” It doesn’t rule out seeking legal redress. And it says it will also explore options to exit Yemen and Afghanistan in an orderly manner. 

Meanwhile  Bezeq Israel Telecom reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit and said it had benefited from the fast deployment of its fibre network. The company said it earned 304 million shekels ($94 million) in the second quarter compared with 252 million shekels a year earlier. Its revenue rose 2.1% to 2.2 billion shekels. The fibre network now reaches 700,000 households and the target is 1 million households by year end. Bezek also said it would create a new company to focus on technology integration. Its shares rose 2.1% in Tel Aviv.

Facebook, Broadcom, and Cisco have created a group to accelerate the commercialization of 6 GHz Wi-Fi. In the past the gap between a Wi-Fi standard being established and the arrival of devices developed to make use of it has been fairly lengthy. The group has been formed under the umbrella of Facebook’s Telecom Infra Project (TIP) which now has had long experience in ‘acceleration’.

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