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SIL, 09/01/2018

On 03/01/2018, Google’s Project Zero team announced vulnerabilities on Intel, AMD and ARM processors due to a feature called “speculative execution”, discovered during their security tests. Oracle and IBM also conducted their test regarding this security vulnerability. It is important to note that these vulnerabilities have not been exploited in the public domain. Processor, OS and virtualisation vendors have released updates to mitigate the vulnerabilities.

SIL is working with our clients and industry partners on this issue. We recommend applying the latest patches relevant to your infrastructure. Below information describes the vulnerability, the potential issues and includes links to download patches from Vendors.

Understanding the Vulnerability – Google Project Zero

Google’s Project Zero team identified vulnerabilities on the ‘speculative execution’ feature of processors. According to Intel, Speculative Execution is an optimisation technique to improve CPU performance. The concept is that instructions are executed ahead of knowing that they are required.

During lab tests, Google Project Zero team they have discovered that three causes that can allow leak information “out of mis-speculated execution, leading to (at worst) arbitrary virtual memory read vulnerabilities across local security boundaries in various contexts.”

Variant One – Bounds Check Bypass
Variant Two- Branch Target Injection
Variant Three – Rogue Data Cache Load

The full report on: https://googleprojectzero.blogspot.com/2018/01/reading-privileged-memory-with-side.html

What it means for my organisation

The described threat has not been seen in the public domain i.e. there was no attack. The research described was performed in a controlled, dedicated lab environment by a highly knowledgeable team with detailed, non-public information about the processors targeted.

Even if chances of attacks resulting out of this are minimal, we recommend updating to latest patches that apply to your hardware and OS. The following notes from different processor manufacturers and software vendors provide more information and links to various patches.

Intel

Intel is working closely with its software partners, AMD and ARM, to design mitigations for these methods. According to Intel, patches for 90% of recent Intel processors will be available as early as this week.

Vulnerability info: https://security-center.intel.com/advisory.aspx?intelid=INTEL-SA-00088&languageid=en-fr 
Announcement for patch: https://newsroom.intel.com/news-releases/intel-issues-updates-protect-systems-security-exploits/ 

AMD

AMD is not affected by Variant Three. AMD points out that the described threat has not been seen in the public domain and that the test was performed by a highly knowledgeable team with detailed, non-public information about the processors targeted.

Variant One – Resolved by software/OS updates,

Variants Differences in AMD architecture mean there is a near zero risk of exploitation of this variant. Vulnerability to Variant 2 has not been demonstrated on AMD processors to date.

Variant Three does not apply because of architecture difference.
Link: http://www.amd.com/en/corporate/speculative-execution

ARM

According to ARM Holdings, the majority of Arm processors are not impacted by any variation of this side-channel speculation mechanism. For those that are impacted, Linux kernel updates are recommended on https://developer.arm.com/support/security-update

Oracle

Oracle has revealed that its first critical patch update for 2018 includes fixes for the widespread Meltdown and Spectre CPU speculative-execution flaws.
Link: http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/security-advisory/cpujan2018-3236628.html

IBM – Power 7+, Power8, Power9

According to IBM, this vulnerability doesn’t allow an external unauthorized party to gain access to a machine, but it could allow a party that has access to the system to access unauthorized data.

IBM announced Firmware patches for POWER7+, POWER8 and POWER9 platforms will be available on January 9. IBM will provide further communication on supported generations prior to POWER7+, including firmware patches and availability. Linux operating systems patches will start to become available on January 9.  AIX and IBM operating system patches will start to become available February 12.
Link: https://www.ibm.com/blogs/psirt/potential-impact-processors-power-family/

Microsoft

Microsoft has released Windows Updates. However, we caution cross-checking with other software vendors (such as antivirus) before proceeding.

Red Hat

Updates are available for Linux kernel, virtualization-related components, and/or in combination with a microcode update.  QEMU has also issued patches for KVM hypervisors.
Link: https://access.redhat.com/security/vulnerabilities/speculativeexecution 

VMware – vSphere ESXi

Since virtual environments are impacted, where a guest VM can exploit the vulnerabilities, major virtualisation vendors have issued patches. Updates are available for ESXi 5.5, 6.0 and 6.5 as well as other VMware software.
Link: https://www.vmware.com/us/security/advisories/VMSA-2018-0002.html

Symantec – Endpoint Protection

Symantec published updates for its Endpoint Protection products for Windows. To receive this update, the users can run Symantec Live Update.

Palo Alto Networks 

Palo Alto Networks recommends upgrading appliances to the latest version of application and threat content updates.

Conclusion

The described threat has not been seen in the public domain. Fixes are already available for some processors and all major operating systems. SIL recommends you apply the latest patches that are relevant to your infrastructure. Feel free to contact SIL for further information and any other information that you may need.

The post CPU Vulnerability – Spectre/Meltdown “Speculative Execution” appeared first on SIL.

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SIL has successfully commissioned a major project from the Office of the Electoral Commissioner on 30th June 2017 within the proposed time frame. The project from the Office of the Electoral Commissioner was to upgrade its software application using the latest technology that can support SMAC (Social Mobile Analytics Cloud) technologies.

The benefits of this upgrade are numerous to the Office of the Electoral Commissioner. The application system has been upgraded to accommodate new technologies and device. The new application is now fully compliant with new web based browsers, where the electoral users will be able to access using different modes like laptops, smart phones and tablets.

Moreover, the new system can be easily integrated with other third party systems from other Ministries and Government departments. With this ease to input and upload elector’s data online, there is less administrative work for the officers of the Electoral Commissioner Office.

With this upgraded system, electoral officers now have the possibility to input nominated candidate from the registration centre, enter election details from the polling station and input election results directly from the counting centres. Graphs, bar charts, pie charts and other pictorial displays can be generated to display results of an election.

Training has also been provided on the Upgraded Application Software for necessary knowledge transfer, thus enabling end users to optimally use and administrate the system.

The post SIL upgrades the system of the Electoral Commissioner Office appeared first on SIL.

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SIL participated at the International SME Innovation and Technology Fair (ISITF) 2017 from 11th to 14th May at the Swami Vivekananda International Convention Centre in Pailles. The aim was to promote innovative and technological strategies for SMEs. SIL seized this opportunity to showcase its expertise in providing IT solutions for the SMEs in the Human Resource Function.

Based on best practices of the Human Resources function, TaMIS Payroll services is offered as a software as a service with payroll outsourcing services. Whether an SME is a startup or an established business, the result of this solution is a bundled service that responds to effective HR activities, which is fully managed by SIL.

TaMIS Payroll services simplifies payment to employees and process accurate payroll. With its simple user interface, TaMIS Payroll services is browser based and available anytime. Compliant with labour law as well as Government statutory returns like PAYE, Social Security, and NPF Contributions, TaMIS Payroll services allows SMEs to save more as there is no investments to be made and the service offered is at a very low cost. SMEs can therefore focus on their core operations and prosper. SIL also provides for free training and free telephonic support.

For more information on TaMIS Payroll services, please call on 23078000 or sign up on http://sil.mu/sme/

The ISITF 2017 is an initiative of the Ministry of Business, Enterprise and Cooperatives in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority and the Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The post SIL at the International SME Innovation and Technology Fair 2017 appeared first on SIL.

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SIL participated at the Innovtech Rodrigues 2017 from 04th to 06th August 2017 at Malabar in Rodrigues.

The aim for SIL to be present at the Innovtech was to promote innovative and technological strategies for SMEs. SIL therefore seized this opportunity to showcase its expertise in providing IT solutions for the SMEs in the Human Resource Function.

Based on SIL’s best practices of the Human Resources function, TaMIS Payroll services is a new service which is being offered as a software as a service with payroll outsourcing services to all local SME’s in Mauritius and Rodrigues. Whether an SME is a startup or an established business, the result of this solution is a bundled service that responds to effective HR activities.

Outsourcing Payroll services helps businesses to focus on their core business operations with its numerous benefits it provides. TaMIS Payroll services helps by simpifying payment to employees and processing accurate payroll. With its simple user interface, TaMIS Payroll services is browser based and available anytime, anywhere. Compliant with labour law as well as Government statutory returns like PAYE, Social Security, and NPF Contributions, TaMIS Payroll services allows SMEs to save more as there is no investments to be made and this service offered by SIL is at a very low cost. SIL also provides for free training and free telephonic support.

InnovTech, formerly known as InfoTech, is an initiative of the National Computer Board and the Ministry of Technology Communication and Innovation, in collaboration with the Rodrigues Regional Assembly with the aim to create more awareness on emerging technologies and bring ICT closer to the citizens. It also provide a platform for ICT companies to showcase their products and services. The theme for this edition of InnovTech Rodrigues was “Connecting communities”.

For more information on TaMIS Payroll services, please call on 23078000 or sign up on http://sil.mu/sme/

The post SIL at the Innovtech Rodrigues 2017 appeared first on SIL.

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With the new e-payment platform developed by SIL, motor vehicle owners can now pay their Motor Vehicle Licenses (MVL), commonly known as Road Tax or “declaration”, from the e-Service Portal of the National Transport Authority’s (NTA).

In just 5 clicks, Motor Vehicle owners of Mauritius can renew or pay for their Motor Vehicle Licenses directly from a web browser – be it from a computer or from their mobile devices. Motor vehicle owners no need to queue up at the Post offices or at the Private Vehicle Examination Centres (VECs) or even at the NTA’s counter. Users should make sure that their Certificate of Conformity (fitness) is in good standing as well as their vehicle Insurance sticker. Users will then receive their Vignette QR Code when paying for their eMVL.

SIL has helped the NTA to improve its work processes and business operations and take a major step in its Digital Transformation journey. The e-Service portal, integrated with the existing Vehicle Management System (VMS) at the NTA provides a secure Information Sharing Platform for the NTA to exchange information with Private operators such as the VECs as well as Insurance companies in Mauritius. All the data of the eMVL system will be displayed on tablets and is made available to NTA officers. NTA officers can then check the eMVL QR Code directly from their tablets.

With this new application software in place known as eMVL, NTA will benefit from improved productivity, quality and service delivery to Mauritians. NTA will also have a better control on revenue collection and of risks of fraudulent/fake document submission at time of license renewal are reduced. eMVL also has a reporting feature which will provide real time management information for better decision making.

SIL has been successfully implementing solutions at NTA for more than fifteen years. SIL has used its proven and time-tested methodologies to provide total customer satisfaction.  To ensure the success of such a project, besides dedication and commitment to customer satisfaction, SIL has also brought in the technology transfer necessary to facilitate the adoption of the new system.

SIL is the leading eGovernment and enterprise IT solutions provider in Mauritius and the African region with 250+ projects in ERP, HCM, DMS, Security, Data Centre and Managed Services projects delivered to date. To learn more, contact us on silmail@sil.mu or give us a call on +2302078000.

The post SIL makes it possible for Motor vehicle owners to pay their Licenses (Road Tax) Online appeared first on SIL.

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SIL ROC is an integrated system for companies and business registration and it automates all activities of corporate registrars. SIL ROC is a response to all challenges that a country faces when dealing with the incorporation of companies and registration of businesses and partnerships. SIL ROC system facilitates and speeds up the registration process for businesses thereby reducing the number of days needed to start a business. SIL ROC has been running successfully in Mauritius at the Corporate and Business Registration Department (CBRD) as well as in several African countries like Botswana, Namibia and Senegal.

SIL ROC has contributed to Mauritius being the leader in the region in terms of number of days needed to start a business. According to the Ease of doing business 2018 report, Mauritius is the strongest performer in Doing Business indicators in sub-Saharan Africa, reaching 25th place among 190 countries worldwide. Mauritius has also improved its ranking from the 73rd place in 2009 to the 36th position as far as the Resolving Insolvency Indicator is concerned.

SIL ROC is a web-enabled solution which includes features for:

  • Easy processing of application for registration of companies and partnership, Registration of Business
  • Registration and Maintenance of Bankrupts and Insolvency Practitioners (IP)
  • Management of the different phases of the Insolvency Process
  • Access to the Central Population Database
  • Digitization and scanning of documents
  • Printing of Certificate of Incorporation and Business Card
  • Tracking of non-filers
  • Analysis and statistical reports to enhance decision-making
  • Processing compounding of offences
  • Processing and Printing of reminders and letter of renewal
  • Availability of timely information to facilitate control in matters of organisation transactions.
  • Sharing of Information to the public and regulatory bodies
  • Query on organisations readily available.

The latest version of SIL ROC has features for management of insolvency like Register and Maintain Insolvency Practitioner’s Register, Record and Maintain Bankrupts, Managing the Insolvency processes and much more which is relevant for organizations around the world.

SIL was the proud sponsor of the International Association of Insolvency Regulators (IAIR) Conference 2018 Annual Conference themed as “Sharing International Insolvency Trends and Developments” which was held in Mauritius at the Sugar Beach Resort and Spa from 15th to 18th October 2018. Participants from 26 different jurisdictions have come to discuss and learn from the current trends and developments in the insolvency world. This year marks the first annual IAIR conference held in the African region since 2009 and the first to be held in Mauritius.

SIL had the opportunity to present a paper on Leveraging on IT in Insolvency process during this IAIR Conference.

SIL is the leading eGovernment and enterprise IT solutions provider in Mauritius and the African region with 250+ projects in ERP, HCM, DMS, Security, Data Centre and Managed Services projects delivered to date. To learn more, contact us on silmail @ sil.mu or give us a call on +2302078000.

The post SILROC – A critical component of your Single Window for Business Facilitation appeared first on SIL.

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SIL in partnership with Oracle organised the eGov Botswana 2018 on the 03rd and 04th May 2018 at Peermont Walmont at The Grand Palm, Gaborone, Botswana, on the theme “Citizen-Inclusive eGovernment’”. The eGov Botswana 2018 conference explored the latest eGov trends and technological tools used to shape and enable the Government to be more efficient and productive based on the use of digital technology.

Mr Vick Navjee, the General Manager of SIL Botswana office, did the official opening speech of the event. The Territory Manager at Oracle Corporation, Mr Vishal Soockeea, then made a keynote speech on the Cloud Strategy for the Government of Botswana.

This eGovernment workshop provided an insight on the trends that have shaped Governments around the world and explored the technologies used to develop citizen inclusive government systems.  The first day of the eGov Botswana Conference was attended by business and IT persons of central government and parastatal bodies.

Experts from SIL from Mauritius and Botswana as well as from Oracle’s regional offices, discussed on innovative solutions to challenges faced by governments. Main themes consisted of:

  • Innovation in the Public Sector,
  • eGovernment Trends / Step up to a Digital Government,
  • Citizen Data Security,
  • Justice and Public Safety as well as
  • Vehicle Registration and Licensing Solution.

The second day conference covered the following topics:

  • Software Defined Datacenter,
  • TaMIS Productivity Suite, and
  • Business Intelligence & Analytics.

SIL aims at being a major contributor to the African ICT sector in providing integrated IT solution and software. The eGov Botswana conference allowed all stakeholders to present their visions and challenges on having a Citizen-Inclusive eGovernment. This event has been a platform for exploring the technologies needed to develop government systems that will help the Botswana government in delivering efficient results to its citizens.

SIL is the leading e-government solutions provider in Africa. To learn more, contact us on silmail@sil.mu or give us a call on +2302078000.

The post Conference: eGov Botswana 2018 appeared first on SIL.

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SIL has recently brought major changes to an existing recruitment system of the Public Service Commission/Disciplined Forces Service Commission of Mauritius. SIL has developed an integrated module which includes online application for PSC/DFSC jobs, automatic selection of eligible candidate and the seamless integration with the existing backend application of the organization.

The automation process for selection of candidates will help the users of the system to define the eligibility criteria for a scheme of service, to determine the eligibility of the application as per combination of a specified criteria as well as to generate a short list from the eligible applications received. This new system will increase the overall operational transparency and process efficiency of the organisation.

With the implementation of the Online Recruitment System, all job applicants will be able to apply and submit their job application online through the portal anywhere and anytime within the prescribed closing date and time of the advertisement. The candidate receives email acknowledgement upon submission of application and can also print their filled application. Applicant can update their profile – qualification/ certificates anytime. Candidates also have the facility to update the application details before the closing date and time. Every applicant can monitor the process through the online system as they also have the facility to view previous post(s) applied, to see all open vacancies as well as to view applications that are in progress.

This new project will contribute in reducing costs in terms of resources such as manpower and time as well as it will also bring a reduction in storage cost of hard copy applications. An Online Recruitment System like such minimizes the risk of errors during data input and hence provides better quality of data during the screening process.

The post SIL modernize the existing recruitment system of the Public Service Commission / Disciplined Forces Service Commission appeared first on SIL.

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SIL was the strategic lunch partner in the 3rd edition of the Mauritius CIO Summit 2017 organised by IDC at The Westin Turtle Bay Resort & Spa Hotel on 16th August 2017.

This CIO Summit is geared towards a niche audience that consisted only of CIOs and Senior IT leaders who have a strong impact on IT related strategic decisions within organizations.  The  Summit offered a unique opportunity for the region’s leading CIOs to network with the industry’s brightest lights, discovering cutting-edge insights into the latest tech trends, and sharing invaluable experiences with their peers.

The event has been designed to appeal to those with a strategic focus on business, and on the role that technology plays in their organization’s ability to remain competitive. During the summit, participants were enlightened on various topics and discussion panels on Developing the New IT Capabilities for Digital Transformation, Combating Cyber-Risks with Smart Security Solutions, The Future of Business using SMAC, The Way Forward of IoT & Datacenter, Security in an Open Source Digital World as well as the Real Challenges and stories of Turning Adversity into Opportunity.

SIL has jointly sponsored this IDC CIO Summit 2017 in collaboration with Dell EMC and First Distribution (Epsidon Technology Distribution). SIL had also man an exhibit a stand during the Summit and where Software-defined data center (SDDC) solutions was demonstrated.

SDCC is a data center in which infrastructure is virtualized and delivered “as-a-service”. SDDC is combination of software-defined networking – management of traffic, software defined compute – management of workloads and software-defined storage – management of data. Traditional enterprise applications can be supported in a more flexible and cost effective manner.

SDCC is used by Enterprise IT organizations, Infrastructure & Operations leaders as it provides a lot of flexibility and agility to support the organisation’s business processes. SDDC enables the users to deploy their apps quickly (improve the availability of apps) and improves the efficiency & utilization of IT resources by increasing the adoption of cloud services.

SIL provides for Enterprise cloud solutions, Managed Services and cutting-edge Data Centre solutions. Please download our company brochure on the link below.

Click to Download Brochure

The post SIL participated in the 3rd Edition of Mauritius CIO Summit appeared first on SIL.

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The new edition of TaMIS (TaMIS 2.0) was revealed during the fourth edition of eGov Conference held at InterContinental Hotel, Balaclava, on 05th & 06th Avril 2017. TaMIS 2.0, with its new functionalities, is geared to the needs of private and public organisations, irrespective of their business sector, in Mauritius and on the international market.

Designed for medium to large businesses, TaMIS 2.0 is a cloud based integrated HR management system with a comprehensive suite of modules for effective Human Capital Management and decision-making. Its design is based on the common processes and best practices of the Human Resources functions. TaMIS 2.0, hence, enhances the effectiveness of common HR activities while also aligning with the strategic HR needs of an organisation in terms of automation and productivity enhancement.

TaMIS 2.0 is fully operational on a cloud platform and requires no initial investment in onsite IT infrastructure. In addition to the suite of modules from the first release, TaMIS 2.0 now has a “Facilities Management” module for the management of company parking spaces as well as driver rosters. The new version of TaMIS also integrates the “Benefit Administration” module that can manage medical schemes and passage benefits of employees. Last but not least, the new “Manager Self Service” module allow personnel at supervisory levels to initiate employment actions and have a better view on progress of ongoing recruitment procedures.

With nearly 3 decades of experience, SIL has to date successfully implemented HR Management projects in more than twenty Government and private organisations in Mauritius, Burundi, Zambia and Namibia. As such, SIL continues to consolidate its expertise and experience to provide the best solution and service in the African region.

Please feel free to visit the TaMIS Website for further information and Contact us to request a demo.

The post TaMIS now available on the cloud with additional features to complement your HR needs appeared first on SIL.

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