Representing South Africa in the MEST Africa Challenge finals

April 10, 2019



Author: MEST Africa

On February 28, 2019, MEST Incubator Cape Town welcomed over 100 people to watch the MEST Africa Challenge regional pitch competition. After assessing nine top startups based on their validated problem and solution, business model, market size, MVP, competitor analysis, go-to-market execution and team buildup, the judges were excited to announce the winner from South Africa was Snode Technologies, a cybersecurity and intelligence business that leverages mathematics to analyse data in real-time at scale.

Eight years ago, Snode Founder and CEO Nithen Naidoo decided that the way we approach defense 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.

Nithen decided a more innovative solution was required to address the risks associated with cybersecurity globally. He created Snode to gain insight into prevailing patterns, which are not visible to the human eye, allowing users to identify attacks before they happen.

Snode’s unique approach to cybersecurity leverages advanced mathematical algorithms and the power of machine learning to process dynamic data, in any format, at any scale, in real-time. Its target audience is varied, as its ability to passively defend infrastructure, without affecting critical business operations, has made it attractive to mining, logistics and telecommunication businesses.

Snode Guardian Key Features

When asked why people will be excited about their company, Snode told us, “This is an innovative African solution that has been embraced globally due to its effectiveness, efficiency and simplicity. It solves a serious global problem, in a truly African way, using our local creativity and ingenuity.”

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 would “give us the platform to access new African markets, build brand awareness and trust across the continent.”

MEST and Microsoft look forward to welcoming the Snode Technologies team to the finals at the MEST Africa Summit in June!

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#SS19Hack Ideathon to offer free security training, idea generation

April 4, 2019

Author: ITWeb During the run-up to the ITWeb Security Summit 2019, an Ideathon will be held on 6 April, aimed at preparing participants of #SS19Hack, which will run alongside the event. The Ideathon will consist of a full day of training and idea generation, and will be hosted in an environment that is creative and conducive to stimulating attendees' 'thinking mojos', says Tiyani Nghonyama, COO and CTO of Geekulcha. The Ideathon will be powered by Snode Technologies, a supporter of the Hackathon since its inception in 2017. The Ideathon runs from 9am to 5pm at iClub in the Tshimologong Digital Precinct, at 41 Juta Street. Industry leaders will be holding presentations and mentoring the participants throughout the day, including Ivan Regasek (CEO) of ITWeb, Doreen Mokoena from the .ZA Domain Name Authority, Steve Jump from Telkom, Solomon Bhala from PwC, Lee Annamalai from MapIT, Nithen Naidoo from Snode and Ridewaan Hanslo from the CSIR. Participants will be also be mentored by experts from Micro Focus, PwC, MTN, the session leaders, and Bernard Mashala, who will lead the mentors in Kimberley. As a host, the Tshimologong Digital Precinct's events and marketing manager, Kendal Makgamathe, says they are excited to be collaborating with ITWeb and Geekulcha. "We look forward to breaking down more barriers to entry into our industry. Hosting the Security Summit Ideathon that feeds into the #SS19 Hackathon allows us to actively support work that seeks to build up the digital and tech innovation ecosystem." Says Regasek: "We are in our third year, and with support from the start of the many individuals in their capacities or on behalf of their organisations who continue to give their time, I do believe for the past two years we've managed to achieve an event where real thinking, coding and learning happens, although on a small scale. "We are looking forward to putting it on a bigger stage this year, are very welcome for old and new supporters. We look forward to working with them for a shared purpose, and are hopeful of more support of such efforts all round and in years to come," he adds. "Tshimologong Precinct, Dr Dwolatzki's dream of an African brain hub still to be fully realised, is one of the places that make me optimistic about the future, and we are thankful it is hosting us for the event. We are looking forward to an excellent agenda of speakers, dedication and inspired ideas from the young participants, and a fun day of learning in the heart of Johannesburg," concludes Regasek. In addition, Northern Cape Geeks from Kimberley will attend both the Ideathon, as well as another hackathon in May, at Sol Plaatje University. Winners will then join SS19Hack in Sandton, running alongside the ITWeb Security Summit 2019. In addition, several of the sessions from the Johannesburg edition of Ideathon will be live-streamed to Kimberley. Chairperson of the Geekulcha Student Society at Sol Plaatje University, Barrington Hulana, says he's excited about the Ideathon because it's another chance to assess and build tech capacity in the province. Rodwyn Grewan, senior manager from DEDAT in the Knowledge and Innovation Economy sub-programme, has been leading these ICT programmes in the province since the inception of the NCDev Ecosystem. He says: "As the world becomes more digitally integrated, cyber security and cyber intelligence become of a greater concern. The challenges and opportunities are not only technical, but social as well. By contributing to support the technical skills, the Hackathon platform is also helping address the socio-technical system." The programme will feature training session by industry leaders, a ‘Capture The Flag' challenge walk-through by Snode, a pitch session and a prize-giving. To register for the Ideathon, click here.

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#SS19Hack Ideathon young developers aim to protect connected citizens

April 11, 2019

Author: ITWeb Africa "Intriguingly challenging," is how one student described ITWeb's 2019 #SS19Hack Ideathon, held at the Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct in Braamfontein this past weekend. The ideathon is a build-up to the third annual cyber security-focused hackathon that will run alongside ITWeb Security Summit 2019 from 27 to 31 May. Organised by ITWeb in partnership with Snode Technologies and Geekulcha, the full-day software development training and brainstorming event hosted a bunch of young tech enthusiasts eager to learn new skills and solve problems. Mixo Ngoveni, founder of Geekulcha, told ITWeb the aim of the #SS19Hack Ideathon, and ultimately the hackathon in May, is to improve cyber security skills, tools and capabilities in the country. "With this one in particular, it is all about protecting the connected citizen." Those in attendance (students, tech entrepreneurs, software and hardware developers, designers and analysts) were welcomed by Kendal Makgamathe, community manager at Tshimologong, and Ivan Regasek, ITWeb CEO. The participants were separated into two teams: the red team (the attackers) and the blue team (the defence). Nithen Naidoo, founder and CEO of Snode Technologies, said the idea behind breaking the teams into two was about the "gamification" concepts, and making it more exciting for both the players and supporters. Ridewaan Hanslo, software engineer, advisor and researcher at CSIR, told the blue team: "You are the people that must find solutions. They [hackers] get glorified by finding problems; that's typically how it works." Steve Jump, head of corporate information security governance at Telkom, was one of the mentors and spoke to students about the importance of "securing by design" when writing software. Solomon Bhala, senior manager of cyber threat detection and response at PwC, gave a detailed credit card fraud presentation that had teams actively participating and asking questions around cyber attacks and credit card fraud. Naidoo noted Snode is working with PwC and a few large security companies to offer all the participants three-month internships so they can take the skills they have learned at the #SS19Hack Ideathon and implement them. They would get to work with knowledgeable cyber security teams, get paid, and potentially become full-time employees of those companies. "So it is a great opportunity not just for us to nurture talent but to source it for other cyber security companies."