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Organizations need to critically re-think digital skills for the new world order

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By Jack Ngare, Managing director, African Development Centre.

More than ever before, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the place of technology and elevated the need for employees to have digital skills to thrive in this new world. Virtual meetings on Microsoft Teams or Skype are now more common than face to face meetings. Schools and universities have moved to a 100% virtual instruction mode and even social apps are now for holding virtual parties and concerts. According to estimates by leading global research and advisory firm Gartner, response to the pandemic has fast-forwarded digital adoption by five years. One result of this “digitalization at scale and velocity”, explains Gartner, is massive skill shifts. While the shift in skill needs was already a challenge, Gartner executives’ polls have shown that more than 58% of workforces have noted skill transformations since the onset of the pandemic.

But even with these changes, the nature of work has been changing with every advance in technology. Starting with the invention of the steam engine and the rise of industrial manufacturing, successive waves of technological innovation have provided new capabilities, tools, and power to make work more efficient and productive. These have always been times of great disruption as old ways of operating became obsolete and new models of work emerged.

By some other estimates, change today is happening 10 times faster and at 300 times the scale of the First Industrial Revolution. The change is so momentous that it is referred to as the Fourth Industrial Revolution. And the clear consensus is that the pace of change is only going to quicken. This, coupled with the skills shift brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, creates an overwhelming imperative for businesses to respond and respond rapidly.

Here in Africa, in just under three decades, the continent has witnessed incredible growth in the ICT space with more internet connectivity, more digital capability, and more innovation. In a recent briefing, Satya Nadella, CEO Microsoft noted that “we’ve seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months. Africans have expanded the applications of technology, changing the way communities bank, farm and even access healthcare.

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As a way of building Africa’s talent pipeline for the digital age, stakeholders in the technology space like Microsoft have partnered with local universities to create a modern intelligent edge and cloud curriculum, totally unique to Africa. We have for instance availed an opportunity, through our Africa Development Centre (ADC), for graduate to build a relevant and meaningful career in data science, AI, mixed reality, application development and many more. Our desire is to recruit exceptional talent across the continent that will build innovative solutions for global impact. This also creates opportunities for engineers to do meaningful work from their home countries.

This year, we are scaling this effort with the launch of the Game of Learners programme in the form of a purely virtual hackathon aimed to spur innovation among university students across Kenya. The exclusively virtual initiative is also student-driven with the overall objective being to empower the students to develop impactful solutions that can help address some of Africa’s and the world challenges. As we adopt to the new norm, ADC is working to ensure that the practical skilling needs identified, can still be accessed by our students through virtual tools.

Recently, we announced a new global skills initiative aimed at bringing more digital skills to 25 million people worldwide by the end of the year. The announcement comes in response to the global economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Expanded access to digital skills is an important step in accelerating economic recovery, especially for the people hardest hit by job losses. This initiative offers free access to learning paths and content to help people develop the skills these positions require

But what is the reasoning behind all this? As per a white paper on New Culture of Work titled Empowering people and organizations to achieve more commissioned by Microsoft in 2018, in the digital economy, people’s most important contribution to the creation of corporate value will increasingly be their ability to come up with new ideas. “Every person in every role will be expected to employ creative and innovative thinking, whether they are giving a sales presentation, doing financial analysis, or drafting plans for deploying new technology. And instead of mostly relying on text to convey ideas and information, people will use visuals, voice, and video into most communications and almost every presentation,” the white paper reads in part.

Further, in his best-selling book A Whole New Brain published in 2005, Daniel Pink predicted that in coming decades, there would be a growing emphasis on “right-brain” qualities, such as inventiveness, creativity, strategy, empathy, play, and meaning. Recent LinkedIn research confirms much of Pink’s prediction, noting that skills such as empathy, curiosity, adaptability, and open-mindedness are consistently among the most sought after.

This shift is also reflected in generational research that finds Millennials look for creative freedom when considering potential job opportunities. Companies should, therefore, look to digital technology to help humans do more innovative work. Today, for example, knowledge workers spend more than 20 per cent of their time struggling to find information. Technology will give people more thinking time simply by making search easier. As technology handles routine and time-intensive tasks, people can spend more brainpower on innovative inquiry, thereby driving more new products and services contributing to the overall bottom line.

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4 Steps to Perform a Website Security Audit – TechMoran

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Weak cybersecurity measures are to blame for the majority of hacking and cyber threats. When reading about the hacking issues you will be surprised to learn how common data leaks have been increasing recently.

Knowing what is running on your website is the first step in enhancing your website safety. But before jumping into checking the website for vulnerabilities, we should define a website security audit.

 Website Security Audit

A website security audit examines the website and server for current or possible vulnerabilities that perpetrators might take advantage of. Website security audits aim to search for flaws in your website’s design early on and fix them before hackers with destructive intentions note.

It includes everything from the website’s core functionality to plugins, themes, server settings, SSL connections, and configurations. The next move is to administer vulnerability scanning, also known as pentests, after all, weaknesses and gaps have been found.

In this scenario, cybersecurity teams perform simulated hacking attempts against the website, imitating real attacks. Then, risks associated with the vulnerabilities discovered in the first phase are calculated. Improving your web design in terms of security measures is only possible after detecting security risks.

Hackers will actively threaten the website’s protection with their tricks, according to industry professionals. Regular system auditing is critical. Following simple procedures and leaving the rest to chance is not the solution.

Administrators must be on their toes at all times and do a thorough screening and checking to ensure there is little to no room for abuse.

Steps to Perform Security Audit 

To do the audit you can whether use online auditing tools. There are several free and paid security scanning tools and resources available online.

Also, the agency that you are usually outsourcing your web development projects to may provide security audit services. If so, you can ask for their consultancy and auditing services.

Website security audits can be performed in four steps. So, let’s take a closer look at the measures and resources available to you to keep your website safe from cyberattacks.

Step 1: Finding The Vulnerabilities

The tool you chose will go into all facets of your website’s security in this first step. It can scan the servers, themes, plugins, folders, archives, web server, and other areas for bugs, malware, viruses, and insufficient protection measures, among other things.

Here are some of the tools used for this step of website security audit:

This tool scans your website codes for any malicious codes, malware, or viruses. It also performs component checks. e.g. it checks for any vulnerabilities in WordPress plugins and CMS on your website. 

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This platform will undoubtedly assist you in ensuring that the website adheres to industry-standard correspondence protocols and encryption.

Intruder prioritizes problems based on the threat they pose. It means you can fix the more serious flaws first and then move on to the less severe issues.

Step 2: Update Your Scripts and Applications

Ensure that all of the scripts and programs, such as WordPress and plugins, are recent and up-to-date. Read “How to protect your WordPress website” for more information on WordPress-specific hardening.

Set aside time to upgrade as soon as you get a notification that updates are available. Hackers look for out-of-date systems to exploit bugs that are fixed in the most recent update.

Step 3: Strengthen Your Passwords

Even though it seems to be an obvious measure, solid passwords can protect your website security to a high extent. All of your accounts, including your own, other users’ accounts, the hosting dashboard, and FTP access, must be secure.

Forget the pet and partner names, and please don’t use the term “password”. The more complicated your password, the better. To come up with some strong passwords, use a password generation program.

Step 4: Put An Ongoing Solution In Place

Hackers don’t take a day off, nor do malware and viruses. Your website can be attacked by hackers right after you finished checking it with security tools. That’s why you need to have an ongoing process in your website’s security audit to ensure maximum protection. A good idea is to get help from 10 top web design companies to make sure about the security of your app.

There are services such as Godaddy that you can outsource your website security for a day to day monitoring by their experts. This way you can focus on your business and feel relaxed that your website security audit is in safe hands.

Whatever you choose, make sure it works with your routine and keeps your site secure. If you can back up your data daily, that’s fantastic. If not, you may want to consider using an automated service. In any case, the company’s image and clients are on the line without a good website security audit procedure!
Author Bio:

Ayla Anderson is an avid reader and an enthusiastic blogger who writes articles on home improvement, business, Family and beauty. She is also an MBA student who spends much of her time giving advice to newly small businesses on how to grow their businesses. You can follow me on Twitter.


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4 Steps to Perform a Website Security Audit – TechMoran

Published

on

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Weak cybersecurity measures are to blame for the majority of hacking and cyber threats. When reading about the hacking issues you will be surprised to learn how common data leaks have been increasing recently.

Knowing what is running on your website is the first step in enhancing your website safety. But before jumping into checking the website for vulnerabilities, we should define a website security audit.

 Website Security Audit

A website security audit examines the website and server for current or possible vulnerabilities that perpetrators might take advantage of. Website security audits aim to search for flaws in your website’s design early on and fix them before hackers with destructive intentions note.

It includes everything from the website’s core functionality to plugins, themes, server settings, SSL connections, and configurations. The next move is to administer vulnerability scanning, also known as pentests, after all, weaknesses and gaps have been found.

In this scenario, cybersecurity teams perform simulated hacking attempts against the website, imitating real attacks. Then, risks associated with the vulnerabilities discovered in the first phase are calculated. Improving your web design in terms of security measures is only possible after detecting security risks.

Hackers will actively threaten the website’s protection with their tricks, according to industry professionals. Regular system auditing is critical. Following simple procedures and leaving the rest to chance is not the solution.

Administrators must be on their toes at all times and do a thorough screening and checking to ensure there is little to no room for abuse.

Steps to Perform Security Audit 

To do the audit you can whether use online auditing tools. There are several free and paid security scanning tools and resources available online.

Also, the agency that you are usually outsourcing your web development projects to may provide security audit services. If so, you can ask for their consultancy and auditing services.

Website security audits can be performed in four steps. So, let’s take a closer look at the measures and resources available to you to keep your website safe from cyberattacks.

Step 1: Finding The Vulnerabilities

The tool you chose will go into all facets of your website’s security in this first step. It can scan the servers, themes, plugins, folders, archives, web server, and other areas for bugs, malware, viruses, and insufficient protection measures, among other things.

Here are some of the tools used for this step of website security audit:

This tool scans your website codes for any malicious codes, malware, or viruses. It also performs component checks. e.g. it checks for any vulnerabilities in WordPress plugins and CMS on your website. 

This platform will undoubtedly assist you in ensuring that the website adheres to industry-standard correspondence protocols and encryption.

Loading...

Intruder prioritizes problems based on the threat they pose. It means you can fix the more serious flaws first and then move on to the less severe issues.

Step 2: Update Your Scripts and Applications

Ensure that all of the scripts and programs, such as WordPress and plugins, are recent and up-to-date. Read “How to protect your WordPress website” for more information on WordPress-specific hardening.

Set aside time to upgrade as soon as you get a notification that updates are available. Hackers look for out-of-date systems to exploit bugs that are fixed in the most recent update.

Step 3: Strengthen Your Passwords

Even though it seems to be an obvious measure, solid passwords can protect your website security to a high extent. All of your accounts, including your own, other users’ accounts, the hosting dashboard, and FTP access, must be secure.

Forget the pet and partner names, and please don’t use the term “password”. The more complicated your password, the better. To come up with some strong passwords, use a password generation program.

Step 4: Put An Ongoing Solution In Place

Hackers don’t take a day off, nor do malware and viruses. Your website can be attacked by hackers right after you finished checking it with security tools. That’s why you need to have an ongoing process in your website’s security audit to ensure maximum protection. A good idea is to get help from 10 top web design companies to make sure about the security of your app.

There are services such as Godaddy that you can outsource your website security for a day to day monitoring by their experts. This way you can focus on your business and feel relaxed that your website security audit is in safe hands.

Whatever you choose, make sure it works with your routine and keeps your site secure. If you can back up your data daily, that’s fantastic. If not, you may want to consider using an automated service. In any case, the company’s image and clients are on the line without a good website security audit procedure!
Author Bio:

Ayla Anderson is an avid reader and an enthusiastic blogger who writes articles on home improvement, business, Family and beauty. She is also an MBA student who spends much of her time giving advice to newly small businesses on how to grow their businesses. You can follow me on Twitter.


Readers
36

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Nigeria’s Helium Health announces expansion into Kenyan Market

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Helium Health, the largest Electronic Medical Records (EMR) and Hospital Management Information (HMI) Systems provider in West Africa has announced the launch of its full suite of products and services in Kenya for the first time.

Partnering with three local providers, Philips Healthcare Technologies, Carepay and Savannah Informatics, Helium Health will be integrating new services, including an EMR to serve the entire East African market.

Tito Ovia, co-founder, Helium Health commented: “We have been planning to expand into Kenya’s thriving health tech sector since last year, so we’re very excited to be hitting the ground running in 2021, already working with three new local partners to help improve efficiencies and provide a better service to patients. We believe there is a great opportunity to harness cutting-edge technology to help improve the way healthcare data is gathered and managed across Africa, so partnering with like-minded healthcare providers and facilities in Kenya is an excellent fit for us.” 

Nigeria's Helium Health launches cutting-edge health tech services in Kenya
Helium Health founders (L to R) Dimeji Sofowora, Tito Ovia, Adegoke Olubusi: Image Credits: Helium Health

Jean Kyula, Country Manager for Helium Health Kenya and formerly a National Health Service (NHS) doctor in the UK added, “We are confident that we can play a major role in supporting both Kenya’s public and private healthcare sectors. We are delighted to announce that we are open for business, already working with three new partners in Nairobi, and rolling out in Uganda and Liberia. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the critical role of technology in healthcare, and the need to keep building better systems, to develop more remote access solutions, and to improve efficiencies in our healthcare sector, so we’re looking forward to working with more partners, doctors, hospitals and clinics as we move forward.”

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Helium Health was co-founded in 2016 by three entrepreneurs, Adegoke Olobusi, Tito Ovia and Dimeji Sofowora, with a shared passion for solving the practical problems that they identified within the Nigerian health sector through the use of cutting-edge technology. In May 2020, Helium Health successfully closed a US$10 million Series A funding round (the largest fundraise of any software as a service (SaaS) healthcare provider in Africa) to scale and grow the business in both existing and new markets, expanding its footprint across East, North and Francophone West Africa. Helium Health has already partnered with facilities in Uganda and Liberia onboarding their 90-plus users early in 2021 and is now extending its services to facilities in Nairobi.

Helium Health offers a full suite of products covering the complete healthcare value chain, from Electronic Medical Records (EMR), and Hospital Management Information (HMI) Systems, to credit and telemedicine products. Over 300 healthcare providers and 5,000 health professionals in Nigeria, Senegal and Ghana currently use Helium Health’s technology, allowing healthcare facilities to accept payments and issue invoices with ease, access quick funding, and hold televisits with their patients, making it easier for patients to get diagnosed from their homes. 

In 2020, Helium Health won the IFC Tech Emerge award, an award that matches innovative health tech startups with leading healthcare providers across Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda to implement pilot projects and build long-term partnerships.  Helium Health willpilot its technology in the East African market.

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