Friday, August 25, 2017

In Brief: Jamaica parliament to discuss cybersecurity – Jamaica

LatAm digital transformation driving Seidor’s growth plans – Chile, Regional

AT&T-Time Warner: Brazil antitrust body recommends rejecting merger – Regional

Latin American gamers worst affected by Joao malware – Regional

Tongues wag over digital transformation, but few know how to do it – Regional


In Brief: Jamaica parliament to discuss cybersecurity – Jamaica

Jamaica’s parliament is set to discuss proposed tech-focused legislation and revisions to existing laws when it goes into session next month, as part of a government drive to bolster cybersecurity.

Among them is a data protection bill that will govern the collection, regulation, processing, storage, use and disclosure of personal information both in electronic and physical form.

Parliament is also set to consider revisions to the 2015 Cybercrimes Act to add greater clarity on its interpretation and enforcement, as well as a new ICT bill to encourage innovation in information technology.

LatAm digital transformation driving Seidor’s growth plans – Chile, Regional

Spanish software and computer consulting firm Seidor aims to reach revenues of US$200mn in Latin America in 2020, buoyed by a drive for digital transformation and the potential for strategic acquisitions, Raül Cerdà (pictured), director of Seidor Chile told BNamericas.

“We have a plan to bill US$500mn in 2020 globally and US$200mn in Latin America. It’s ambitious but if we look at our trajectory we’ve doubled revenues in Latin America every five years and in 2015 we billed US$100mn,” Cerdà said.

Seidor has more than 3,400 staff and a direct presence in Europe, most countries in Latin America, the US (where the company has four offices), the Middle East and Africa. The company is one of the main partners for deployments of SAP, IBM, Microsoft and Adobe.

Cerdà said that the US is the market with the biggest growth potential, while Central America and Africa are growing fast, and an debut in Asia is beckoning.

“We’re not actively looking for companies to buy but if an opportunity presents itself that enables us to rapidly position ourselves in a new geography, and gain people with specialized knowledge in an area of expertise that we don’t have, we’ll look at it.” Cerdà said.

That was the case with the recent purchase of a small company in Brazil with expertise in SAP’s Hybris solution, a multichannel e-commerce and product content management software.

According to Cerdà, given that the drive for digital transformation is across all sectors, Seidor has moved from being a company focusing on having experts solely in IT solutions to one that focuses on having experts in different industries.

“Now we have consultants specifically for the automotive, healthcare, fishing and IT sectors,” Cerdà said.

“This focus on verticals gives us greater knowledge about the processes of our clients so we can better cover the needs of their sectors,

“We sit down with the operational heads in retail or livestock for example. Their counterpart and our expert speak the same language,

“That clearly puts us at an advantage to our competition, enabling us to sell solutions not based on price but on the amount of value we can add. That’s the reality today.”

AT&T-Time Warner: Brazil antitrust body recommends rejecting merger – Regional

The technical department of Brazilian antitrust watchdog Cade recommended that the entity’s board reject the acquisition of Time Warner by AT&T in Brazil, citing its effects on competition.

The recommendation has been formally submitted to the plenary of Cade and could affect its decision on the case, although the board is not obliged to abide by it.

In October last year AT&T announced the deal to acquire Time Warner in a stock-and-cash transaction valued at US$107.50 per share, for a total of nearly US$86bn.

In Brazil, AT&T controls satellite pay-TV provider Sky Brasil, which had nearly a third of the local pay-TV market in July.

Initially, it was said that Cade was awaiting the view of telecom regulator Anatel to evaluate the deal.

The reason why it recommended rejecting the deal is that local pay-TV rules include restrictions preventing cross ownership, so telcos like AT&T are prohibited from owning majority stakes in media companies such as Time Warner and vice versa.

Under a strict understanding of these rules, AT&T would likely have to sell Sky Brasil or Time Warner would have to give up its own pay-TV channels.

AT&T argues that the Brazilian offices of Turner international (the pay-TV content distributor of Time Warner) are a commercial operation and the content is produced abroad.

After Cade’s technical body made its recommendation, AT&T issued a statement saying that the merger would not have anti-competitive impacts on the market and that the final decision will be made by the Cade board.

AT&T said that the transaction will generate benefits for consumers and contributes to market competitiveness.

Of the 19 markets where the deal needs approval, 16 have voted favorably. In addition to Brazil, the deal requires the green light in Chile and the US, AT&T said.

Latin American gamers worst affected by Joao malware – Regional

Latin America, and particularly Mexico, is the worst affected by a new strain of malware called Joao that targets gamers, according to Slovakian cyber security firm Eset.

The malware is propagated mainly through infected games of online publisher Aeria, which is also offered on unofficial websites. The malware is modular, meaning it can be downloaded and install virtually any other malware on the victim’s computer.

The games are modified to execute a file called mskdbe.dll. Once downloaded the malware starts to send sensitive information from the infected computer to the attackers without the user noticing.

Typically Joao is used to bypass security mechanisms, to gain “backdoor” access to the computer for spying and for denial of services attacks (DDoS).

“To quickly detect the presence of Joao malware on your computer you can do a search for ‘mskdbe.dll.’ if a file of that name is found you’re likely to have been infected,” commented Camilo Gutierrez, Latin American head of ESET’s research laboratory.

The executive recommended making sure that anti-malware software is kept updated and that ‘gamer’ mode in those solutions is activated.

Other cyber threats that typically affect gamers include ransomware, keyloggers and Trojans.

Tongues wag over digital transformation, but few know how to do it – Regional

The digital transformation (DX) for enterprises is something everybody is talking about, with all companies understanding that they need to put it in place, but only a few of them know exactly how to do it, and when it comes to banks that are under pressure from fintechs, it becomes even more urgent to find a way to move forward.

“Corporations know they must have the digital transformation process on their business agenda. But one thing is to talk about it and the other, very different, is to achieve it,” Carlos González, consultancy director at IDC Latin America, told BNamericas.

González will be one of the speakers featured at CL@B 2017, a financial technology conference to be held by Latin American bank association Felaban and the Florida International Bankers Association (FIBA), next week in Miami.

IDC considers there are five elements encompassing the digital transformation process: transformation in leadership; transformation in the omnichannel (customer experience); transformation in information; transformation in operations and transformation in human resources.

According to González, banks are considerably more advanced in the second element, the digitization and integration of their customer channels, followed by the third area, which is the use of advanced solutions to process critical information for the business and clients.

But the characteristics of the financial segment in Latin America, which is still largely unequal and inaccessible for many people, make the process of scaling up solutions more challenging.

“Latin America still has a considerable part of its population outside the financial market, or ‘unbanked’ so it’s hard for banks in the region to effectively reach out to this group,” said the analyst.

But there are effectively two major streams of revenue growth that Latin American banks are looking at in particular, which involves offering millennial-tailored services and converting bank branches into points of sales for advanced and consulting services.

According to González, the latter is moving slowest, particularly because of the unequal penetration of financial services and mobile and internet banking in the region, but also partly because of a preference of clients in many cases for personally going to their bank branches to carry out basic operations.

The analyst said that one of the challenges from the standpoint of carrying out the digital transformation in the financial industry is getting a balanced approach between the views of analysts and experts, and vendors and banks.

The information presented and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of CANTO and/or its members