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Snode launches in SA

October 27, 2016

Source: ITWeb Africa   UK-based cyber-intelligence company Snode has launched in South Africa, aiming to use its advanced technology to secure businesses, especially in the banking sector. Snode uses advanced mathematical algorithms, the processing power of learning machines, and predictive analytics to provide businesses with real-time intelligence and insights into behavioural patterns that help identify and combat cyber-threats before they occur. The company's cyber-intelligence solution looks to help clients proactively manage their cybersecurity posture, with Snode saying this empowers businesses to be driven forward through embracing emerging technologies. A team of 12 consultants with extensive cybersecurity expertise and experience is spread across Snode's offices in Johannesburg and London, with the company advising on cybersecurity matters across various sectors, particularly financial services but also mining, professional services and aerospace. "Snode's application in cybersecurity leverages years of expertise in cyber-intelligence and mathematics," said Nithen Naidoo, CIO at Snode. "The company believes it provides a much needed service in South Africa; cybercriminals are now, more than ever, turning their attention to emerging markets which they perceive to be easy, yet lucrative, targets." Snode uses Intelligence Amplification (IA), combining machine learning with human experience and insight. This differs from Artificial Intelligence AI), which aspires to replace human involvement altogether. The company's focus in South Africa will be the banking sector, which it says is particularly vulnerable in emerging markets, as evidenced by the recent increase in SWIFT attacks. Cyberattacks frequently come from advanced and highly motivated crime syndicates which are dispersed globally, with the company saying equally sophisticated methods are needed to combat it. "Snode believes that a more proactive and innovative approach to cybersecurity is needed. South Africa is already in the midst of a cybersecurity storm," Naidoo said. "Snode brings existing security controls into a next-generation cyber-defence, capable of defeating today's sophisticated and dynamic attackers." He said data is the core of any business, and therefore it is of the utmost importance to effectively secure information and protect it against cyber-threats. "Snode tips the balance in cyber-warfare, to favour the defenders and root-out the attackers. Passively monitoring massive amounts of data traversing client networks, giving Snode a comprehensive view of all activities. It detects and reports suspicious behavioural patterns, as well as various anomalies, in real-time. No conventional solution does this," said Naidoo.

SA made software Snode is always learning how to protect your network

October 26, 2016

Source: htxt.africa   A new firm offering a cyber security solution unlike anything we’ve seen before launched in South Africa today. The firm’s name is Snode and its claim to fame is a piece of software that monitors a network looking for malicious traffic, intrusions and other cyber threats and. On the surface, Snode – the name of the firm and its software – appears to be another firewall product but after attending a fairly length launch earlier this morning we can confirm that Snode is not a firewall, but rather something more advanced. The software uses machine learning and mathematical algorithms to alert businesses to possible threats on its network. What sets Snode apart from a standard firewall is that it is constantly looking for patterns in behaviour. For instance: if an employee starts accessing a folder on a file server that they’ve never accessed before, and they begin to pull down large amounts of data, a regular firewall might not flag that as a potential risk. But Snode would. This is because software such as a firewall looks at potential risks in a vacuum, but Snode is constantly looking for patterns in the data it receives whether it be from a user or an attacker attempting to kick down the door. As the firm points out, companies aren’t exactly plastering news of their latest hack on the front page of a newspaper. Instead, they try and keep cyber attacks secretive. This makes finding solutions particularly difficult because vital information that could prevent a similar attack on another company isn’t shared. “Cyber criminals are constantly sharing the tools and weapons they use and defenders are hesitant to talk about hacks,” Snode chief executive officer, Nadir Khamissa says. “Defenders have to juggle so many plates and constantly make sure they’re using the right techniques to fend off attacks. Attackers only need to succeed once, defenders have to successfully defend constantly.” Snode addresses this problem by sharing the information it gleens from other attacks and using what it has learned to warn the right people before its too late. As Snode founder, Nithen Naidoo explains “Traditional signature based protocols look at data in isolation. Threat intelligence helps but is retroactive, signature based protocols are reactive, Snode is proactive.” During today’s launch Naidoo showed us the difference between a firewall and their software. Naidoo started off by triggering a scan of a network using Nessus. The Nessus software, as Naidoo explains it, is designed to look for all the weak points on a network that an attacker might exploit. Snode immediately picked up that an IP address was scanning ports, the firewall sent out no alerts. Once the scan was complete Naidoo began a brute-force attack on the network. As you may know a brute-force attack constantly tries to “guess” a username and password combination until it gets it right. Snode immediately picked up Naidoo’s attack and even provided the number of guesses the brute-force programme had made. The firewall , again, detected nothing wrong on the network. “We are not saying you don’t need a firewall,” explains Naidoo. “A firewall is often unable to differentiate between a malicious login attempt and a real one, Snode provides that context.” All of this information is delivered to users in a very clean and easy to use dashboard. Where reports are often comprised of jargon entwined in more jargon, Snode presents its findings in plain English so that anybody can understand where the problems are. Snode admits that no service is hack-proof but Naidoo assures us that the data it shares within its ecosystem is encrypted. Naidoo also tells us that this software has been developed and battle tested for the last seven years and the firm seems confident in its product. Time, however, will be the great decider on whether it will be effective. But, truth be told, its an interesting approach to cyber security that we have not yet seen. And who knows, in the coming years we might be singing the praises of a small firm from South Africa that helped hundred’s of blue-chip firms prevent intrusions on their networks.

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Snode wins big at the MEST Africa Challenge 2019

June 12, 2019

This is MEST Africa’s second annual MEST Africa Challenge, a Pan-African pitch competition for scale-ups based in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa or Cote d’Ivoire who are ready to expand into new markets.  Out of nearly 1 000 applicants from across the continent, 50 finalists (10 in each region) were chosen to pitch at the regional finals in Accra, Lagos, Nairobi, Cape Town and Abidjan, held on 27 and 28 February. Finalists from each regional pitch included: Cote d'Ivoire: Seekewa, a financing platform that allows Internet users and companies from all over the world to support small agricultural projects in Africa through a voucher system.Ghana: Ozé, a data insights company that helps businesses make data-driven financial decisions and achieve growth to improve performance. Kenya: WayaWaya, a fintech company that provides seamless transactions into and within Africa for individuals and businesses.Nigeria: AMPZ.TV, the 'LinkedIn for Sports' that is developing the next generation of Etos, Drogbas and Aubameyangs through technology.South Africa: Snode Technologies, a platform that provides real-time cybersecurity for businesses both locally and internationally. These finalists attended the MEST Africa Summit in Nairobi, Kenya, 10-12 June 2019, where they once again competed head-to-head, this time on a global stage for $50k in equity investment and the opportunity to join the Pan-African MEST incubator community. Each finalist was allowed just 5 minutes to pitch their company’s profile to the judges and to convince them that they have what it takes to rapidly expand and grow with the African market as well as abroad.  This year, the competition was fierce, with each scale-up having its own unique strengths and bringing something unique to the table. The judges had a hard-task of deciding which of these finalists were worthy of top spot.  In the evening of 11 June 2019, the judges had reached a conclusion. Unable to agree on which of the MEST African Challenge finalists had the potential to make the largest impact on the continent, the judges decided to award Ozé from Ghana, Snode Technologies from South Africa, and WayaWaya from Kenya, each with $50k investment and support from Microsoft!  “We are excited to partner with MEST,” said Microsoft Senior Director, Chris Lwanga. “At Microsoft our mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.” The winner of this year’s challenge will join MEST Africa's portfolio along with last year's winner, Nigeria's smart accounting platform, Accounteer, which has since gone on to expand into Kenya and raise additional funding. Niyi Adegboye, Senior Business Developer at Accounteer who presented the winning pitch in 2018, has said: “It was an amazing experience participating in the MEST Africa Challenge 2018. Accounteer is proud to be a part of the MEST portfolio today.” Since winning the Challenge, Accounteer has expanded from Nigeria into Kenya, and has received follow-on funding from Microtraction. About Snode Technologies Eight years ago, it decided that the way we approach defence is flawed because of how easy it is becoming to bypass security controls. The World Economic Forum lists cybercrime as one of the top ten risks facing mankind. By 2021, the global cybersecurity spend will be over $1 Trillion, and we would have lost $6 Trillion to cybercriminals. It was clear that an innovative solution was required to address the risks associated with cybersecurity globally. With this in mind, the Guardian cybersecurity platform was developed with the sole purpose to gain insight into prevailing patterns, which are not visible to the human eye, allowing users to identify attacks before they happen. Snode, and the Guardian platform’s, unique approach to cybersecurity leverages advanced mathematical algorithms and the power of machine learning to process dynamic data, regardless of format, at scale, and in real-time.  The Guardian platform passively monitors all activity on the network and provides organisations with a “single source of truth” by seamlessly integrating into their network and providing them with a consolidated, interactive dashboard coupled with contextual alerting that enables analysts to proactively respond to all threats. Its target audience is varied, but its ability to passively defend infrastructure, without affecting critical business operations, has made it attractive to mining, logistics and telecommunication businesses. Over the next 2–3 years, Snode hopes to scale to the rest of Africa, South East Asia and the Middle East, and says winning the MEST Africa Challenge finals “gives us the platform to access new African markets, build brand awareness and trust across the continent.”

#SS19Hack underway at Security Summit 2019

May 28, 2019

Author: ITWeb With the first day of ITWeb’s 2019 Security Summit underway at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, 50 young tech enthusiasts are participating in this years’ Hackathon event sponsored by PwC. The hackathon, held by ITWeb in conjunction with ICT skills development company Geekulcha and Snode Technologies, aims to nurture individuals who are keen to develop their skills through learning and innovation, and who have a passion for cyber security.  Running for the third time alongside the summit, this year’s hackathon is themed ‘Protecting connected citizens in the 4IR’.  Aptly called #SS19hack, the hackathon has participants as young as 13 participating and engaging with industry leaders. Lerouro Mogeora, aged 13, is the youngest participant this year, while for 14-year old Sifiso Nkabinde this is the second year at the event. Those participating range from high school pupils to students from the Vaal University, the Tshwane University of Technology and the University of the Witwatersrand.  There are 13 teams hacking it out, creating secure IoT applications. As they code, they need to identify at least three vulnerabilities within their applications utilising OWASP, an open source cyber security platform for checking common vulnerabilities. OWASP also has tools to assist the coders in improving the security of their software. A week ago, at a similar hackathon event in Kimberly, eight teams were competing, with the winning team there creating a solution that provides encrypted file share and messaging applications for government ministries. The top three teams from the event will also have their projects judged alongside those in Johannesburg. The overall winning team from the two Hackathons will win R20 000 sponsored by Micro Focus, with the second and third placed teams winning R10 000 and R5 000 respectively, courtesy of MTN.  An added bonus for the top team in Johannesburg is that they will be awarded the Tshimologong Precinct Security Summit Hackathon trophy.  The #SS19hack continues during the second day of the ITWeb Security Summit 2019. Mentors Ivan Regasek, CEO, ITWebRidewaan Hanslo, CSIR Steve Jump, TelkomSolomon Bhala, PwCBernard Mashala, Transet Nithen Naidoo, SnodeFrancois Mouton, CyanreIcconies Ramatsakane, PwCGift Nyembe, PwCMarco Loots, PwCMichael van Rensburg, SnodeTsholofelo Rantao, PwCThulisile Dlamini, Ikusasa Tech Solutions  Panel of judges Doreen Mokoena, ZADNALucy Motsieloa, PwCSeth Robbertse, Micro FocusKendal Makgamathe, TshimologongSorene Assefa, Cyber Czar       

Freshworks Networking Meet – Consumerisation of IT

May 23, 2019

On Thursday 23 May 2019, we attended the Freshworks Networking Meet talking about the impact of an increasingly connected world. In 2019, the influence of IoT, cloud, and BYOD have a dramatic impact, not only in our personal lives, but also in the world of business. It is crucial that organisations shift their thinking from a historic view of cybersecurity as a “grudge purchase” to something that is vital to the running of your organisation, is crucial for success and can often win battles in the boardroom. Our Founder and CEO, Nithen Naidoo, spoke about the changes we have seen in our client environments, especially with the workforce becoming increasingly dominated by millennials who expect to be connected at all times. Unlike traditional antivirus software, DLPs and firewalls, the Guardian platform is able to detect even the smallest changes in your networked environment and provides organisations with an unprecedented level of visibility and control of their network. It allows businesses across the globe to identify and prevent potential data exfiltration, malware infections and avoid catastrophic ransomware attacks such as the well-known Wannacry malware. Once the floor was opened for questions, the audience raised concerns around how secure (1) Mac vs Windows Operating Systems are and (2) mobile vs desktop platforms, with a mention of the recent Huawei-Google ban. The long and short of it is that there is no one platform that is more or less secure than another, every system contains some form of vulnerability and can be exploited just as easily, the question comes in around what is most lucrative for the attacker. The myth of a Mac being more secure than a Windows PC is largely due to the fact that there are simply more Windows PCs out there and most organisations across the globe make use of Windows Operating Systems as the norm. Attackers, like businesses, often focus on ROI and will always focus their attention on where they believe they can have the greatest impact. When it comes to the mobile industry, mobile malware is growing at a rapid rate and often mobile devices are a greater concern than laptop or desktop devices as many users often blindly accept permissions on all their applications and are generally more trusting when it comes to a potentially “life-changing” application that appears on the app store. This poses a particular risk to organisations as these devices are often brought into the office and are connecting to the corporate network, allowing the malware to spread though the network and impact the business productivity and reputation. Following Naidoo’s keynote, we joined a panel discussion chatting about creating a balance between organisational productivity and enterprise security in the age of consumerisation. Naidoo was joined by Darren Bilse (Systems and Technology Manager at Spark Schools), Andre Fredericks (CIO at Indie Sanlam) and Greg Lock (Senior Solution Architect at ITEC South Africa); moderating the panel was Saurabh Prabhuzantye (Business Head – MEA at Freshworks). Topics covered in the panel covered everything from how consumerisation of IT has impacted the organisations for which the panellists’ work, to how migration to the cloud has brought both benefits and challenges to IT heads and CIOs around the world, to understanding what you are buying and whether or not it suits your organisation and the needs of your team on the ground; real world problems facing real world organisations. The meet was a great information and knowledge sharing platform, allowing vendors and customers alike to openly share their opinions and experiences and to leverage off of the combined knowledge of South African and global IT professionals.  We would like to thank the Freshworks team for inviting us to participate in this event and look forward to working with them in the future!

“Electricfish” – The latest malware from North Korea’s Hidden Cobra government hacking crew.

May 10, 2019

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have issued a joint Malware Analysis Report (AR19-129A) on a new malware variant used by the North Korean government. This malware was detected while tracking the malicious activities of the North Korean-backed hacking group Hidden Cobra (also known as Lazarus) and has been identified as Electricfish. Lazarus Group is a cybercrime group made up of an unknown number of individuals. While not much is known about the Lazarus Group, researchers have attributed many cyberattacks to them over the last decade. A notable attack by the group is the attack on Sony Pictures in 2014, which was the start to one of the largest corporate breaches in recent history. The hackers were able to cripple the Sony network for several days and gain access to valuable insider information including previously unreleased films and the personal information of approximately 4,000 past and present employees. The group was also able to access internal emails and reveal some very speculative practices going on at Sony.  This latest report on Electricfish, published on the US-CERT website, comes with a detailed analysis of one malicious 32-bit executable file found to be infected with Lazarus' Electricfish malware. In this file, the malware appears to implement a custom protocol that creates a connection between the infected host and an external, malicious, destination host, bypassing authentication controls to reach outside of the network. Once a connection has been established, the Electricfish malware is able to funnel internet traffic between the two machines allowing the malicious actors to funnel information collected from compromised computers to servers that they control. The full, detailed report and analysis for the Electricfish malware sample as well as a full list of Indicators of Compromise (IoC’s) are available within the AR19-129A advisory.

Videos

Nithen Naidoo on South African start-up Snode’s use of Big Data analytics for Cybersecurity

February 26, 2018

Nithen Naidoo, Founder and CIO, Snode talks about: what the company does and how; how Snode Guardian can identify cyber-attacks; how the company has been funded; and future plans.

PHP Meetup (16 Jan 2018) – Part 2

February 15, 2018

The second in a series of videos from the PHP Meetup event hosted at the Hello Group on 16 January 2018.

PHP Meetup (16 Jan 2018) – Part 1

January 25, 2018

The first in a series of videos from the PHP Meetup event hosted at the Hello Group on 16 January 2018.

Snode | Who We Are

September 8, 2017

Snode is a data analytics platform that is designed to make the lives of whomever uses it easier, to assist in solving problems that were previously thought impossible, and to ultimately make a fundamental difference in the world as we know it.