Etisalat co-develops platform to improve digitisation in trade financing

Etisalat Digital, in partnership with First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) and Avanza Innovations, has established the UAE Trade Connect (UTC), a new nationwide platform that it says will use the latest disruptive technologies to digitise trade in the UAE. The initial phase will focus on addressing the risks of double financing and invoice fraud before turning to other key areas of trade finance.

UTC is aimed at driving digital transformation of trade in the UAE by enabling banks, enterprises and governments to collectively benefit from innovations such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics. Seven major UAE banks, in addition to FAB, have joined the nationwide platform. They are: Emirates NBD; Commercial Bank of Dubai; Mashreq; National Bank of Fujairah; RAK Bank; Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank; and Commercial Bank International.

Etisalat Digital along with the banks will form a working group to further develop and extend the solution to other areas of trade. The nationwide platform, which is open to all UAE banks, is set to safeguard banks from potential fraud losses through advanced detection tools, allowing them to extend additional financing to their corporate clients. 

ICO targets Marriott with cyber compromise fine amounting to 0.5% of 2017 revenue

The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) intends to impose a hefty fine of nearly GBP 100 million (US$ 124 million) on international hotel chain Marriott, for last year’s data breach. The penalty, which is sanctioned under the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), is the second significant fine handed down by the ICO in virtually as many days, as BA continues to digest news that the watchdog plans to fine it a record US$ 230 million for a compromise last year.   

With respect to Marriott, last November, the company disclosed that hackers had accessed the Starwood guest reservation database since 2014. Personal information of hundreds of millions of guests was compromised, with Marriott having said the guest reservation system was retired earlier this year.

GDPR increases the maximum penalty that can be imposed on organisations that fail to comply with data protection regulations and experience a compromise to 4% of turnover, with the Marriott sanction amounting to 0.5% of the company’s worldwide turnover in 2017. BA’s fine amounted to 1.5% of the company’s turnover in the same year.

BA’s massive cyber fine sends out a clear signal, but does it drive home a point?

The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) intends to levy a record fine of GBP 183 million (US$ 230 million) on British Airways (BA) for a data breach that occurred last year, which compromised the data up to 500,000 customers. The sanction is a bold expression of the sweeping new powers assumed by cyber watchdogs across Europe as a result of the enactment of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) last May.

The “big stick” approach to regulation has its place, though it should also be on lawmakers’ minds that not every breach will be a direct result of negligence or “poor security arrangements”

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Kaspersky places “cyber immunity” at the heart of its rebrand

Kaspersky Lab recently announced its rebranding to plain Kaspersky, with an accompanying evolution of its corporate logo. The firm says the revamp reflects the transformation occurring in cyber security as the Fourth Industrial Revolution sets in, and it was accompanied by the adoption of a new mission of “building a safer world.”

Refreshing a business’ mission and branding to better suit evolving circumstances is all well-and-good, though the proof of how effective it is will only be known in the months and years to come

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Zain Iraq becomes first operator in the Middle East to introduce purchase solution via Facebook

Zain Iraq, the country’s largest mobile operator, announces the introduction of a solution that enables customers to purchase offers via their Facebook app, making it the first operator in the Middle East to provide this functionality, and among the first 10 providers to do so worldwide.

Zain Iraq, the country’s largest mobile operator by customer numbers, announces the introduction of a solution that enables customers to purchase offers via their Facebook app, making it the first operator in the Middle East to provide this functionality, and among the first 10 providers to do so worldwide.

The service, which is available on Android devices, and via the portal on iOS phones, was introduced by Zain Iraq in coordination with Facebook.

Ali Al Zahid, Zain Iraq CEO commented, “Zain wants its services to be as convenient as possible by providing the best customer experience. Being the first operator in the Middle East to launch this solution gives us tremendous confidence that we are building the next positive differentiator in our market. Our business is evolving, with customers in search of simple solutions that are easy to use, and which fit neatly into their daily lives. I am extremely proud of our team who cater to every need of our 16-million customers.”

Facebook is extremely popular in Iraq, numbering over 20 million accounts. Zain Iraq counts the highest number of Facebook phone users in the country according to figures from the social media platform.