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.

Ziina brings the future of the cashless economy closer

The metaverse isn’t some distant future. It’s here. It’s been here since we transitioned from wads of cash in wallets to glossy cards in sleek cardholders, to paying online and finally digital currencies. The world of payments is already virtual. So why not make it fun?

With technology woven into the fabric of our day-to-day life, Ziina is taking the awkwardness out of digital payments by making them simple, fast, and interactive. A progressive digital wallet that makessending cash as easy as sending a text message, The Dubai-based, YC-backed start-up is on a mission to revolutionize online money transfers for consumers in the Middle East and is designed with today’s digital economy and consumers in mind.

Launched in February 2022, Ziina allows consumers to easily send and receive payments in just a few taps. Not content with eliminating the tedious process of entering IBANs and swift codes, Ziina took it one step further and abstained from collecting user’s emails. As anyone with a spam folder knows, we could all receive less promo emails.  Users also have the option to punctuate their payments with GIFs, photos, texts and emojis. Requesting money from someone using a winking Zach Galafinakis GIF feels a lot more like a text than a payment request.

With the formation of its innovative Cashless Dubai Working Group, Ziina is at the forefront of shifting transactions, and the numbers support this. Euromonitor International reports that in 2019, 60% of all consumer payment transactions in the UAE were non-cash payments, a rate that is set to reach 73% by 2025. This is where Ziina’s two-click payment system is leading the way.

On its quest to help enable a cashless economy and make it a reality in the UAE, Ziina is focused on developing state-of-the-art tools that are fun to use, empowering individuals to gain more control of their financial future. And they’re doing it in less taps than any other platform. 

But it’s not just money transfers among friends and family that Ziina serves. Business owners can expect to replace PDF invoices with QR codes and payment links — keeping both vendors and consumers at ease.

For a pain-free financial experience in the UAE, download Ziina. No IBANs, Swift Codes, or e-mails needed. Available on the App Store and Google Play.

MENA Businesses Deliver A ‘Good’ Total Experience

Total Experience is seen as the interconnection between Customer, Employee, User and Multiexperience.

A Global study conducted by IDG Communications found that over half of MENA enterprises believe they offer a ‘good’ Total Experience.  However, many businesses struggle to deliver on the individual facets that make up Total Experience: Customer, Employee, User and Multiexperience.

Avaya (NYSE:AVYA), a global leader in solutions to enhance and simplify communications and collaboration, announced results of an online market research survey conducted by IDG Communications, indicating that just over half of businesses in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) believe they offer a “good” Total Experience.

Total Experience is the interconnection between Customer, Employee, User, and Multiexperience. While companies often develop the right strategies, the best customer outcomes occur where tools and strategy intersect and focus on this interconnection to deliver a superior Total Experience. Total Experience has been described by Gartner as one of the top strategic technology trends for 2022.

The global research polled business and technology leaders from a range of industries across the globe, including 80 from the MENA region, to explore the journey of enterprises as they evolve customer and employee experience from individual channels or applications towards a more interconnected experience.​ Respondents worked at firms with a minimum of 500 employees, and were manager-level and above.   

It found that, despite rating themselves ‘good’ when offering a Total Experience, many MENA firms are struggling to deliver on the individual facets that enable them to become truly customer-centric. Exactly half believe that they deliver a good Employee Experience, and just 33% say they offer a good Multiexperience. Just over half of MENA companies (54%) agree that they deliver a good User Experience, but only 43% say they offer a good Customer Experience.

“Regional businesses rightly place a high premium on customer experience, so it comes as no surprise that the majority are expanding their strategies to uplift the experiences that they deliver to their customers. To be truly customer-centric, organizations need a cohesive CX strategy that gives employees the tools to wow every customer on any device. The good news is that MENA firms realize this, and are already working towards it – 74% say they have a cohesive customer interaction strategy,” said Nidal Abou-Ltaif, President, Avaya International.

The vast majority of MENA firms (93%) say that customer experience is an intrinsic part of their brand value. However, those who scored higher in Total Experience empower employees with newer tools and platforms only used by some MENA firms – messenger platforms (44%), video chat (33%), chatbots (43%), and AI-based virtual assistants (31%). The organizations that support these newer tools have found that they simplify support, transform customer experiences, and benefit from more complete analytic tools.

Avaya OneCloud™ CCaaS makes it easy to connect everything—voice, video, chat, messaging, and more—to deliver effortless experiences for customers and employees at every touchpoint, enabling businesses to provide a Total Experience.

“A monolithic, one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t meet the wide range of needs that businesses have as they look to compete in the experience economy,” said Abou-Ltaif. “When companies combine customer, employee, user and multi experience thinking, they elevate everything these approaches can achieve on their own. This enables them to deliver exactly what’s needed at every interaction. Avaya OneCloud is a Total Experience platform that lets you compose the experiences that each moment demands—for both customers and employees.”

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