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.

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.



Kaspersky Lab moves to open office in Rwanda

Kaspersky Lab has announced plans to open a new office in Kigali, Rwanda, to support the rapid growth of its business in East Africa. This strategic move will provide more room for development as well as closer proximity to new partners in the region, allowing Kaspersky Lab to continue its expansion into the African market.

The Kigali office will serve the requirements of the growing number of partners and customers in the region. Kaspersky Lab’s solutions and services will be offered to all industries and for all kinds of businesses in Rwanda and the wider region.

Kaspersky Lab operates in almost 200 countries and territories across the globe. The new office in Kigali will be the 36th representative office the company has worldwide.

Seed funding round for YaLLa Esports oversubscribed

YaLLa Esports, one of the leading esports organizations in the MENA region, has completed and secured a seed funding round from a group of strategic investors, led by super angel investor Kushal Shah.

Finnish-born, Dubai-based esports trailblazer, Klaus Kajetski founded YaLLa Esports in 2016, having been heavily involved in building the regional esports ecosystem. With 20 years of esports and gaming experience, Klaus has grown YaLLa Esports to a globally recognised team with players and staff from multiple nationalities including the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Tunisia, having success in international and regional esports tournaments.

Klaus Kajetski founded YaLLa Esports in 2016, having been heavily involved in building the regional esports ecosystem

YaLLa Esports will use the funding to search and develop the best talent in the region; to build great team facilities and to help with travel costs to compete on a global scale, as well as for expansion across the MENA region. The startup aims to nurture regional talent through an organised personal growth structure, championing the gaming culture and building an environment for aspiring professional gamers to flourish and make esports a viable career.

30 million 5G users forecast in the MEA by 2024

5G is expected to reach 30 million subscriptions for enhanced mobile broadband in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) by the end of 2024, representing 2% of total mobile subscriptions. This will make 5G the fastest generation of cellular technology to be rolled out on a global scale, according to the recently published MEA edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report. Read the full Ericsson Mobility Report

Key drivers for 5G deployment include increased network capacity, lower cost per gigabyte and new use case requirements. The majority of the 5G subscriptions in the MEA are expected to come from advanced ICT markets such as the GCC countries Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar while in Africa, considerable momentum is building up in South Africa.