Central Agency for Information Technology (CAIT) supports the Kuwait Digital Transformation Conference on driving the nation towards digitization in line with Kuwait’s Vision 2035

·      Conference to host an exhibition of the latest technologies and solutions

·      Investment in Kuwait’s ICT market is expected to reach 10B USD by 2024

Kuwait – October 2022: Under the sponsorship of the Central Agency for Information Technology (CAIT); the Kuwait Digital Transformation Conference takes place from the 2nd to the 3rd of November 2022, which aims to provide a national platform for Kuwait’s digitalization stakeholders and ICT experts, game changers, and leading international solution providers and consultants to discuss the latest plans and innovations in the country’s digital transformation journey, global best practices, and innovative solutions to overcome challenges faced in achieving a successful and secure digitalization.

With the participation of more than 250 IT executives and specialists, the two-day high-level international conference is set to address key advances and pressing challenges in Kuwait’s digital transformation journey through a series of insightful presentations and panel discussions from some of the Kuwait’s industry leaders.

Working to consolidate public and private sector efforts to achieve the “Kuwait Vision 2035”, there is a rise in investment in Kuwait’s ICT market which is expected to reach 10B USD by 2024 (Global Data). With access to accurate data, easier and timely communication, efficient services, informed decision making, digitalization can transform how governments and companies run their operations and services.

Haya Alwadani, Director General, Kuwait’s Central Agency for Information Technology (CAIT) said, “Kuwait’s Central Agency for Information Technology assumes many responsibilities; most notably, overseeing all IT projects and the mechanisms for pushing forward their development within the government sector, in addition to implementing and activating the e-government project across all government agencies, as well as managing the official electronic portal for the state of Kuwait. With a view to formulating a strategic framework for Kuwait’s digital transformation that keeps pace with the progress of digital transformation globally.”

“Conferences like Digital Transformation Kuwait gives great insights into realities and challenges, which positively reflects on improving the delivery of digital government services and contributes to upgrading of their levels, in order to enhance the efficiency of government performance. CAIT also plays a key role in enabling government entities to migrate to the cloud, powering the country’s digital transformation through training IT talent within the public sector, noting that the training component is one of the main tasks that CAIT undertakes through developing Integrated training programs, which enhances the skills of national competencies and supports building a balanced digital culture associated with sustainability in its mechanisms.” She added.

Ooredoo business, the trusted technology partner for business solutions will participate in the “Digital Transformation Kuwait Conference” as a headline sponsor. On this occasion Essa Al-Moosa, Executive Director of Business and Consumer Sales at Ooredoo Kuwait in a statement said “This sponsorship comes with Ooredoo’s strategy of being a leader in digital transformation. At Ooredoo, we aspire to continuously create products and services to enrich the digital transformation journey of our customers. Our efforts go in line with Kuwait’s 2035 vision “New Kuwait” that aims at strengthening the country’s digital infrastructure and achieving digital transformation.

Al- Moosa added, “We continuously aim to enrich people’s digital lives and keep them connected in this Digital era through the latest connectivity and security innovative solutions that provides businesses with more opportunities to accelerate their digitalization process of their business with the highest levels of security and the latest technologies through cloud and cyber security services. Ooredoo business will continue to provide the best distinguished digital services for companies to enrich their digital lives and enable them to keep pace with the acceleration occurring in the digital transformation.

Badih Hakim, SAP Managing Director for Kuwait, said, “SAP’s role as Government Digital Transformation Partner for this conference is aligned with our commitment to support Kuwaiti organizations to become intelligent enterprises that consistently apply advanced technologies within agile, integrated business processes. The conference enables us to highlight SAP’s comprehensive range of digital solutions that address the main challenges businesses face today, namely, building resilient supply chains, creating sustainable enterprises, and transforming in the cloud. Cloud transformation is particularly important in Kuwait as, in line with Vision 2025, businesses are increasingly keen to embrace cloud solutions at speed. RISE with SAP enables them to accelerate their journey, regardless of size or starting point.”

Supporting government digital transformation initiatives, the conference key themes will highlight updates on Kuwait 2035 Vision and national digital transformation plan, driving the country’s plan to transform into a digital society and economy, driving government performance through digital transformation, building a robust cyber security infrastructure to prevent attacks and protect digital assets.

Themes also include Digital transformation in the banking and financial sector, adopting advanced analytics to improve decision making, utilizing cloud computing to improve storage capacity and efficiency, improving healthcare through e-health and remote healthcare services and building Kuwait’s national digital capacity and ICT skills.

The event will be attended by experts working in areas of Information Technology, Digital and e-Transformation, Technology Innovation, Digital Research and Development, Smart and e-Services, Data Management and Analysis, Data Science, Cloud and Data Storage, New Technologies, HR & Shared Services, Operations, Customer Experience and Service Excellence and Quality.

The conference will have high profile attendees from different sectors including Ministries and Government Authorities, National Cyber Security Centers, Banking and Finance, Oil and Gas, Healthcare, Education, Retail, Telecom and Aviation and enhanced networking opportunities with stakeholders.

More than 25 experts from several ministries and industries will brainstorm on new ideas and discuss the roadmap for the future of digital transformation of the country to over 250 attendees at the conference.

This event is bringing experts together with digital solution providers to discuss the latest developments and best practices for digital transformation to improve operational efficiency. It will help industries involved to get access to key digital transformation stakeholders of ongoing and upcoming projects in Kuwait and get insights into their plans to invest in new technologies and spot opportunities.

T3 Leadership Program launched for Young Leaders in the Middle East

Organized by UAE-IL tech zone, Taglit Birthright Israel Excel & Taglit Young Executive Forum, and partnered with the Aviram Foundation, the program aims to form strong personal and professional ties for future collaborations.

The UAE-IL tech zone, Taglit Birthright Israel Excel & the Taglit Young Executive Forum announced the launch of the T3 Leadership Program for Young Leaders in the Middle East aimed to merge various levels of knowledge and know-how between UAE, Israel, and Jewish communities abroad towards a common goal of creating the leaders of a new Middle East that see participants sharing their cultures and ecosystem knowledge to develop strong ties for future collaborations.

The program, partnered with the Aviram Foundation, will launch on November 20th, 2022, with four virtual meetings over one month, followed by a physical Summit in the UAE in January 2023.

The T3 program brings together a group of 40 young promising execs aged between 28 to 35 from the Global Birthright Excel alumni community & Young Executive communities Israel and the UAE, sharing their cultures and ecosystem knowledge to develop strong ties for future collaborations following the Abraham Accords, using tech as a vector.

We are excited to bring this initiative to life and offer our Birthright Israel Excel alumni global community and the Taglit Young Executive Forum members a platform to deepen personal relationships with other alumni as well as young business leaders from the United Arab Emirates, learn about their culture, and explore opportunities to collaborate. We feel grateful to have the Aviram Foundation’s support and partnership allowing this program to happen.” Said Gidi Mark, CEO of Birthright Israel.

The aim of the program is to create and maintain a layer of strong young leaders unified to nurture long-lasting and sustainable relationships in the region through education, cultural exchange, and diplomacy and turning it into a true success story for generations to come by addressing regional challenges using technology, business, and cultural collaborations,” said Noa Gastfreund, co-founder of UAE-IL tech zone who is producing the event alongside Israeli entrepreneur, Yarden Shalmor. Shalmor has spent the last two years in the UAE, connecting a generation of new leaders and technologies across both markets.

An ongoing follow-up will be ensured with the groups, while the second cohort of participants will be selected for the year after. Ultimately, the T3 alumni network will gather year after year in both countries to share their work and garner cutting-edge ideas and ties to keep building the strong Middle East.

The program is allowed through the support of the Aviram Foundation, whose founder Ziv Aviram represents Israel’s biggest IPO to date, selling the company he co-founded, Mobileye, for $15.3B. Co-founder and Co-chairman of one of Israel’s health tech unicorns, OrCam, since 2021, Aviram set up the Aviram Foundation with his four children. The foundation reflects the family’s worldview and values – a combination of innovation, social involvement, and providing opportunities to improve the daily reality of the citizens of Israel and the Middle East; these days and in the future.

We founded our family foundation with a sense of duty and commitment to leverage people ventures and solutions that have the power to change our day-to-day reality by providing professional, educational, and financial resources. We see the T3 Leadership program as a great opportunity to form a strong community of young managers that will deliver the change and create a bridge of peace in the MENA region through the business world”. Said Ziv Aviram, Founder & President of the Aviram Foundation.

Usually based on a bilateral format, Birthright Excel, the Taglit Young Executive Forum and UAE-IL tech zone decided to partner on what is now becoming a true vector of peace: a triangular exchange allying the Global Excel and Young Executive Forum communities, the UAE and Israel.

“We are bringing some of the most successful founders and entrepreneurs to address our cohorts as their contribution in the world of tech and diplomacy is the inspiration our region longs for and needs. We are eager to see what will come out of these group collaborations, not only in the program’s context but mostly over the next few decades, as this is truly what we are aiming to achieve here, to create a group of leaders tearing down the usual barriers we were used to in our region” added Noa Gastfreund.

With the historical moment the Middle East is going through, “the door is now open” to merge various levels of knowledge and know-how towards a common goal: creating the leaders of a new Middle East in the making. The one and half hour sessions will see top-tier business leaders from the region addressing participants and sharing valuable experiences and insights.

Applicants can register here until October 24th.

https://forms.gle/p7mrsySSdjJw5EmD7

What to expect when you’ve been hit with REvil ransomware

By Harish Chib, vice president, Middle East & Africa

REvil, also known as Sodinokibi, is a widely used, conventional ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) offering that has been around since 2019. Criminal customers can lease the REvil ransomware from its developers, adding their own tools and resources for targeting and implementation. As a result, the approach and impact of an attack involving REvil ransomware is highly variable. This can make it hard for defenders to know what to expect and look out for.

The following information may help IT admins facing or proactively concerned with the impact of a REvil ransomware attack. The findings are based on insights from the Sophos Rapid Response team, which has investigated multiple cyberattacks involving REvil.

What to do immediately: contain and neutralize

The first thing you need to do is determine whether the attack is still underway. If you suspect it is, and you don’t have the tools in place to stop it, determine which devices have been impacted and isolate them immediately. The easiest option is to simply disconnect from all networks. If the damage is more widespread than a few devices, consider doing this at the switch level and taking entire network segments offline instead of individual devices. Only shut down devices if you can’t disconnect the network.

Second, you need to assess the damage. Which endpoints, servers and operating systems were affected, what has been lost? Are your backups still intact or has the attacker deleted them? If they are intact, make an offline copy immediately. Also, which machines were protected? They’ll be critical in getting you back on your feet.

Third, do you have a comprehensive incident response plan in place? If not, you need to identify who should be involved in dealing with this incident. IT admins and senior management will be required, but you may also need to bring in outside security experts and consult with cyber insurance and legal counsel. Should you report the incident to law enforcement and/or inform data protection authorities? There is also the question of what information you should give to employees, many of whom are likely to find a similar ransom note on their desktop.

Last, but definitely not least: you’ll need to contact these and other key people, such as customers, to let them know what’s happening, but the attackers may be eavesdropping so don’t use your normal channels of communication. If the intruders have been in your network for a while, they’ll probably have access to email, for instance.

What defenders can do

There are some proactive steps you can take to enhance your IT security for the future, including:

  • Monitor your network security 24/7 and be aware of the five early indicators an attacker is present to stop ransomware attacks before they launch
  • Shut down internet-facing remote desktop protocol (RDP) to deny cybercriminals access to networks. If you need access to RDP, put it behind a VPN or zero-trust network access connection and enforce the use of Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
  • Educate employees on what to look out for in terms of phishing and malicious spam and introduce robust security policies
  • Keep regular backups of your most important and current data on an offline storage device. The standard recommendation for backups is to follow the 3-2-1 method: 3 copies of the data, using 2 different systems, 1 of which is offline. Also test your ability to perform a restore
  • Prevent attackers from getting access to and disabling your security: choose a solution with a cloud-hosted management console with multi-factor authentication enabled and Role Based Administration to limit access rights
  • Remember, there is no single silver bullet for protection, and a layered, defense-in-depth security model is essential – extend it to all endpoints and servers and ensure they can share security-related data
  • Have an effective incident response plan in place and update it as needed. If you don’t feel confident you have the skills or resources in place to do this, to monitor threats or to respond to emergency incidents, consider turning to external experts for help

Conclusion

Dealing with a cyberattack is a stressful experience. It can be tempting to clear the immediate threat and close the book on the incident, but the truth is that in doing so you are unlikely to have eliminated all traces of the attack. It is important that you take time to identify how the attackers got in, learn from any mistakes and make improvements to your security. If you don’t, you run the risk that the same adversary or another one might attack again in the future.

Create a Data Fortress for Protection against Ransomware Attacks

By: Tuhina Goel, Director of Product Marketing at Nutanix

Meet the nemesis: Ransomware 

Cybersecurity Ventures predicts[1] that Ransomware will cost its victims around $265 billion (USD) annually by 2031. Businesses will face a new attack every 2 seconds as Ransomware perpetrators progressively refine their malware payloads and related extortion activities. The data clearly suggests that it is not the question of if, but when a business is attacked by ransomware.

Shared storage has been an especially rich target for cybercriminals to hijack valuable customer, financial or sensitive information and extort payment in return for access to the data. Hence, revving up ransomware defense is a top priority for CIOs and other business leaders who are actively looking for storage security strategies against malicious cyber-attacks. 

Ransomware is a type of malware that attacks storage systems by encrypting user file shares and volumes. Victims are denied access to the encrypted data and make the data unrecoverable without paying a ransom for a decryption key.  There is substantial uncertainty that even if the ransom is paid that the data will be restored or that the attack is ended. 

Ransomware attacks cannot be detected by antivirus software or firewalls and cause tremendous losses, including lost productivity costs, forensic investigation costs, data restoration costs from backup, and the costs of hiring emergency consultants and crisis managers.

What businesses need is a cyber-security and Ransomware protection plan that is integrated with the storage system to detect, prevent, recover, and analyze cyber-attacks so that structured and unstructured data is protected, no matter where the data resides.

Nutanix Files Offers Integrated Ransomware Protection

The Nutanix Files software-defined storage solution has integrated Ransomware protection to help customers secure unstructured data. The latest version, Files 4.1, offers improved network isolation with network segmentation, better resource management with enhanced multi-network support, enhanced security with WORM support and Ransomware detection.

When combined with our Nutanix Data Lens SaaS-based data management and governance application, Nutanix Files delivers a full spectrum of Ransomware protection aligned to key defense-in-depth and critical cybersecurity initiatives like a Zero Trust Architecture (ZTA) spanning the NIST Cybersecurity Frameworks of Identify, Protect, Detect, Respond and Recover.


[1] https://cybersecurityventures.com/global-ransomware-damage-costs-predicted-to-reach-250-billion-usd-by-2031/

Malaysia Pavilion Building At Expo 2020 Dubai Site Is Now Malaysia’s Technology And Innovation Hub In UAE

Aerodyne Group will take over its operations and use the building as its second global headquarters

The Malaysia Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai has been renamed Malaysia’s Technology and Innovation Hub to be a part of Expo City Dubai in UAE.

After the pavilion was decommissioned, officials from the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation (MOSTI) handed it over to Aerodyne Group in a ceremony commemorating Malaysia’s participation in the expo’s five-year legacy programme.

The pavilion will be run by the Aerodyne Group, which will use it as their second international headquarters. Aerodyne Group, which is ranked first in the world by DII’s Drone Service Provider Ranking 2021, is a perfect match for the five-year legacy programme.

MOSTI spearheaded Malaysia’s participation in Expo 2020 Dubai, with the Malaysian Green Technology and Climate Change Corporation (MGTC) serving as the implementing agency. From October 1, 2021, to March 31, 2022, the Rainforest Canopy Pavilion, a 1,234 square metre, two-and-a-half-story structure, welcomed over a million visitors.

Malaysia is one of the pavilions selected to participate in the Expo’s five-year legacy programme, during which its structure will be repurposed and remain at Expo City Dubai, a “tech-enabled city of the future.”

“Malaysia is proud and honoured to be part of Expo City Dubai and will leverage opportunities at the centre envisioned to be a global hub for creativity and a model for cities of the future.

“We are excited to be part of the ‘most beautiful ambitions of Dubai’ as announced by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

”We congratulate the people and Government of Dubai on its new chapter and look forward to the opening of the city on 1 October 2022”, said MOSTI Secretary-General Datuk Zainal Abidin Abu Hassan, who is also the Commissioner-General of Malaysia for Expo 2020 Dubai.

In terms of the advantages Malaysia will gain from participating in the programme, he stated, “The UAE is also a major hub in the West Asian region, which serves as a gateway for Malaysian companies to explore new markets. Therefore, our participation in the 5-year-legacy programme can also help facilitate Malaysian companies’ access to the global market and highlight Malaysia’s comprehensive ecosystem, support, and infrastructure to investors.”  

Throughout the expo, Malaysia held weekly thematic trade and business programmes, led, and supported by 21 ministries, 70 agencies, and five state governments, promoting Malaysian innovations, products, and services.

“Through the concept of public-private partnership, MOSTI, together with the Ministries, Government Agencies and State Governments that focus on technology development, will continue to promote activities and market products and services to the UAE market.”

“The technology and innovation hub will also serve as a “soft landing zone” for the commercialisation and infusion of viable technology-based products and services for the Middle East regional market,” he added. 

Zainal Abidin also said that Aerodyne’s success internationally serves as an inspiration to Malaysian companies and will encourage more businesses to enter the global market, particularly in the fields of technology and innovation.

“The Malaysia Pavilion will serve as a platform for the government to strengthen and intensify its agenda forward and to encourage more start-ups and tech-base companies to go global. We are indeed very excited to see the ripple effect of this 5-year legacy on our industries,” he said.

Meanwhile, Aerodyne Group is enthusiastic to carry the torch for Malaysia in demonstrating the country’s commitment to sustainability and charting a future path.

“Through our tools, we want to push the world and ourselves to make more sustainable choices. It is an honour to be entrusted with Malaysia’s net-zero carbon pavilion.

“The strategic location of Dubai plays a vital role in expanding the reach of Aerodyne’s services and placing drones centre-stage at the global level. We envision that the pavilion will become a hub for all things drones, a conduit for innovation, a space for all drone enthusiasts, and a place for excellence,” said Aerodyne founder and group CEO, Mr. Rabih Bou Rached.

Medad Technology showcases pioneering ultrasound technology as a safer alternative to vaping at World Vape Show 2022

UAE-based Medad Technology is demonstrating its “misting” technology and game-changing ultrasound nicotine delivery device, NEB Mist, at the 2nd annual World Vape Show, which will run until June 18th at Dubai World Trade Centre.

Under the theme ‘Ultrasound is the Future of Nicotine Delivery’, Chief Technology Officer of Medad Technology, Prof. Imad Lahoud, will showcase NEB Mist – an ultrasound-based alternative to tobacco and e-cigarettes which produces no detectable carcinogenic agents known to cause smoking-related diseases.

The EU’s Tobacco Products Directive and the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) have extensively tested and analyzed NEB Mist emissions and confirmed the absence of carbonyls in the mist it produces. The device has been licensed by both organizations which is also registered locally with Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA).

Part of a panel discussion on Vaping Research and Public Health on June 16, Prof. Imad will highlight the benefits of replacing heat with ultrasound for nicotine delivery, and the opportunity this presents to reduce harm and save lives.

Medad Technology has invested US$50 million over the past four years to develop, manufacture, and test its ultrasound technology, and secure regulatory approval in the UAE and international markets. The company plans to invest a further US$100 million over the next three years in clinical trials, smoking cessation research and product development across its other sectors.

Mohammed Alshaiba Almazrouei, Chief Executive Officer of Medad Technology, said: “At Medad Technology, we are committed to developing and investing in technologies that improve public health and quality of life. Through our patented ultrasound technology, we aim to not only reduce harm caused by tobacco smoking and e-cigarettes, but also encourage people to stop smoking completely. At the World Vape Show, we look forward to showcasing the world’s first ultrasound nicotine delivery system (UNDS) with zero carbonyls.”

Standard electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), and other reduced-risk alternatives to tobacco smoking, rely on electronic heating elements such as heated coils to create a vapor which releases chemicals known to cause smoking related diseases. In contrast, NEB Mist uses ultrasound to aerosolize a liquid containing pharmaceutical-grade nicotine into a mist. By using vibrations instead of heat, the harmful carcinogenic agents commonly found in cigarettes and e-cigarettes are undetectable.

Additionally, NEB Mist ensures the safest experience possible by capping each inhalation to a maximum of five seconds, ensuring no heat is generated from excessive vibrations and preventing harmful chemicals from being produced. Its smart technology detects overheating at any point and blocks the device, sending the user a push notification advising them to take a break.

As a smart device, NEB Mist features a one-time programmable (OTP) chip. This not only prevents the use of counterfeit liquids with potentially dangerous ingredients but also enables authentication and device activation to prevent underage usage. NEB Mist has a dedicated mobile app which is the first-of-its-kind to be approved on the Appstore globally. It connects to the device and provides usage data, allowing the user to monitor their habit and potentially reduce their nicotine intake. 

Innovation: a key enabler of safe traffic management

Speaker: Mohammad Al Abbadi- Executive Manager- Alliance Traffic System

Technology has revolutionised the way we live our lives. Over the last decade, technology has played a major role in many fields, including mobility and transportation. While driverless vehicles and flying taxis have received massive media coverage and breakneck traction from pros and novices alike, one of the areas where road transportation innovation has had the most impact is road safety.

Innovation with the aid of new technology is one of the most significant components for improving operations and safety in the road transport business. Technology is disrupting industries across the globe, bringing solutions to reduce the fatal accident rates on the roads to zero and to make operations more time and cost effective, and solving problems in new and innovative ways.

Better and safer lifestyle for drivers

In addition to improving automobiles, technology is also being utilised to improve driver lifestyle and efficiency. Alliance Traffic Systems, a total solutions provider of cutting-edge intelligent transportation systems, traffic management, and Artificial Intelligence Enforcement solutions, is investing massively to enhance drivers’ lifestyle through many innovative ways.

To boost skill development, Alliance invests in the most up-to-date roads security and safety tools, with the objective of making road commute safer.

The prospect of automation

It’s hard to overlook the opportunities brought about by automation when it comes to road safety innovation. We are already seeing elements of the automation puzzle fall into place as the reality of driverless automobiles approaches. However, one of the most difficult challenges is gaining the trust, support, and understanding of other road users and the public. Along with legislative and infrastructure changes, public education campaigns will be required for the deployment of self-driving vehicles. But more important, to enhance the safety of current roads in order to reach the level of having solid foundations for new technologies implementation.

Additionally, new AI Radars technology, which is fast changing every facet of life, provides a safer, smarter, and enhanced lifestyle at a reasonable cost that exceeds industry standards in ease and security, from safe and smart cities to connected living. Smart Radars integration is enabling a more powerful, efficient, and secure future for safety, automotive, transportation, security, and other industries.

Cooperation is the way to a thriving industry

In the short term, embracing technological innovation will help modernise the sector and make it safer. As demand for driverless vehicles and radars grows, road safety must evolve, with developing technologies like platooning systems playing a cardinal role in the long run.

Every stakeholder in the sector must work together to harness the opportunities offered by innovation, but this will take time and buy-in from everyone, including governments and regulators, who must ensure the industry has the necessary legislative and regulatory environment to make the desired impact. Technology and innovation are proven to bring extensive benefits to road safety, but these benefits will only be realised if all actors in the industry have access to these opportunities.

Papaya Global joins UAE-IL Tech Zone’s unicorns and growth startups tour

Papaya Global helps companies rise above geopolitical challenges and thrive using its global hiring expertise and payroll technology

Papaya Global, the powerhouse enabling people, payroll, and payment management for organizations in over 160 countries joins the UAE-IL tech zone’s unicorns and growth startups tour in UAE to discuss development goals in the region and how it can help support multinational companies with employees spread across multiple geographies.

Papaya Global’s innovative technology can help companies rise above geopolitical challenges and help growing companies thrive by creating better employee experiences for workers regardless of where they live. It enables this growth through its global hiring expertise and payroll technology.

Papaya’s co-founder and CEO, Eynat Guez said, “We are delighted to be part of the unicorns and growth startups tour in UAE as our workforce solutions help global companies with payrolls across borders while staying compliant with national and international standards relating to contracts, local benefits, immigration, and administration red tape. Our goal is to have a system in place that allows companies to be more agile while still be able to manage and pay the best talent.”

Amit Yampolsky, Director of Enterprise Workforce Solutions, will focus on how companies can rise above geopolitical challenges to support dispersed employees and manage from a global talent pool during the tour. He adds, “Regulations relating to workforce is always changing and getting stricter. Our HRIS solutions and payroll automations helps both employers and employees work easily together and navigate through emerging trends and challenges. We look forward to sharing our knowledge and experience with multinational companies from the UAE.”

Papaya Global has a technology infrastructure in the cloud that sets the standards for payments, and people management for years to come with a goal to make it as easy to transition to payroll automation, robotic process automation and AI to save time and improve accuracy. It offers a truly SaaS solution with three main objectives: to serve the needs of companies at all stages of growth, to support all types of workers (EoR, payroll and contractors) and to enable global payroll and payments for over 160 countries.

The company’s AI-powered automated compliance and accuracy engine will help companies better leverage real-time payroll data for strategic decision-making and as a critical analytic business tool to monitor how much they are spending globally and make decisions accordingly.

Papaya Global’s platform also has a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) dashboard in the business intelligence (BI). The acquired data can help investors, top talent, and potential partners monitor if companies are hiring fairly, paying equitably, and displaying social responsibility. Payroll has a wealth of data that can measure a company’s social health, such as gender equality, age, and distribution of salaries. With Papaya, companies track their progress and display their success, especially when preparing for an initial public offering (IPO). 

Telephony Communications Technologies Launches TCTx

The early adopters of Web 3.0 providing secured transition to Metaverse in MENA

TCTx is the Metaverse arm of Telephony Communication Technologies, one of the early adopters of Web 3.0 technologies in MENA where customers will be able to access a wide range of solutions in Digital, Blockchain, FinTech, Xaas, ICT, Mobility, Telco, and Managed Services to improve efficiency, transformation and grow their businesses.

TCTx is one of the first Metaverse companies from Dubai, building the Digital Twin of the world. After securing the initial approval from the government, Dubai Digital, TCTx is creating the biggest Sustainable Smart City that will provide everything a business enterprise needs to perform in a virtual world in which users can interact with other users.

TCTx aspires to become pioneers in digital transformation with immersive experiences in the future. They have partnered with a group of innovative individuals and entities who are exceptionally passionate about emerging Web 3.0 technologies offering a portfolio of a wide range of services everything a smart city needs such as a Home, Office, Building, Workspace, Sharing space, Hotels, Restaurants, Supermarkets, Hospitals, Fashion, Movies, Sports, Technology and Security.

Today, companies developing Metaverse are focused on building new innovations and features to enable users to interact with each other efficiently and effectively in the digital world. Shefiq Abdulla, Chief of Avatars, TCTx said, “We are excited to start our journey and bring our Telephony business to a new level in the Metaverse! As a leader in web 3.0 and Metaverse transition in the MENA, we empower businesses in the region towards their ultra-digitalization goals. We want to contribute to building Dubai as the most significant digital economy in the world. We want Dubai and UAE to be the Silicon Valley of MENA.​”

“We are very excited to announce our soft launch on 28th June on the birthday of Elon Musk, the biggest ambassador of decentralized technology, and the main launch on 15th July on the birthday of our leader, HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Due to the rapid development of exceptional technologies all companies should be ready for the new digital revolution in web 3.0.”


With 70+ years of experience serving businesses across the Middle East, 20+ years of experience building technologies and implementing innovation, and 150+ certifications and accreditations, TCTx has a vision to create a sustainable socio-economic digital framework for communities to ensure a secured transition to Web 3.0 and Metaverse. These technologies are still largely unknown territory to even most tech companies in the region. That is where TCTx’s ambitious leadership is unique in its offerings.

BMA International Taps HID Optical Fingerprint Readers to End Point-of-Sale Fraud

Established in 1997, Dubai-based BMA International operates fashion retail in the Middle East and Asia across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait and Qatar with more than 250 stores offering two major brands — Redtag and twenty4. BMA’s steady growth is a testament to its focus on building trust with its shoppers, employees, suppliers and stakeholders to create a company that is people-centric, ambitious and results-oriented.

CHALLENGE

Fraud is a common problem in the retail sector, particularly within large chains with hundreds of locations and tens of thousands of employees. BMA’s retail stores were no exception. Following an internal audit, security of point-of-sale (POS) terminals in retail outlets were identified as a serious concern, particularly the misuse of floor supervisors’ credentials to access terminals and modify or cancel transactions.

The problem persisted even after BMA switched from passwords to a smart card-based authentication system. The most common issues involved supervisors leaving smart cards with cashiers to use in their absence and failing to return the cards when a separation from an employer occurs — a frequent occurrence as many of BMA’s retail employees are expatriates who often return to their home countries.

Fraudulent use of the smart card was also a common problem. Once a sale was completed and the customer had left the store with their purchased items, the smart card could be used to improperly access the system so the cashier could void the transaction and pocket the “refund,” resulting in both monetary and inventory losses.

“BMA’s internal auditors were concerned with the lack of control over the
cards and the potential for fraudulent transactions due to their mishandling. They observed clear gaps in security and authentication practices that led directly to fraud and revenue leakage, resulting in the Internal Audit Committee recommending to the BMA Board of Directors that action be taken to plug the security holes by tightening the authentication process,” said Nainan M. Kurian, CEO of Technowave International LLC.

The decision was made to transition authentication to a biometric-based system that would provide the required security at a competitive price which aligned with the aesthetics of the retail stores. The system also needed to be compatible with the Oracle Retail Xstore Office Cloud Service, which BMA International was adopting across its brands.

SOLUTION

BMA International and its technology partner, Technowave International LLC, determined that the HID DigitalPersona® 4500 Fingerprint Reader met all their requirements — a decision supported by recommendations from other retailers that had deployed the product, and by the fact that competitive solutions were incompatible with Oracle Retail Xstore, a crucial requirement.

A USB peripheral with a compact design to conserve space, this fingerprint reader from HID is ideal for use by multiple people in a shared environment. Its professional, modern design looks elegant in retail settings while offering superior authentication control via biometric functionality that uses optical scanning technology to achieve excellent image quality and reliability.

With this easy-to-use technology, floor supervisors simply place their finger
on the reader window, which rapidly captures and encrypts the fingerprint image, then provides a red flash as a visual cue indicating that it was properly captured. That image is sent to the DigitalPersona FingerJetTM biometric engine for verification, and once the user has been authenticated, access to the POS terminal is granted.

“Deploying the HID DigitalPersona 4500 Fingerprint Reader was simple and caused no disruption to retail operations. It paved the way for significant reduction in the malpractice that had been occurring with the smart card system,” said Kurian.

RESULT

Since deploying more than 1,100 HID fingerprint readers in retail outlets across KSA, UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar, BMA has eliminated nearly all POS fraud and abuse. The system has also driven tangible improvements in the attendance and punctuality of floor supervisors, who must now be physically present in the store for authentication to take place.

The HID authentication system is also capable of multiple types of authentications — providing flexibility that is appreciated by users who work at multiple locations.

“Because the HID DigitalPersona 4500 Fingerprint Reader requires proof of presence for authentication, there is greater accountability among supervisors which resulted in immediate cessation of POS fraud and stopped both revenue and inventory leakage. The exceptional support provided by HID Global has also allowed BMA to take full advantage of the system’s functionality and flexibility,” said Kurian.