Eurobites: BT brings AI into the cyber fight

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Vodacom revenue up by a quarter; subsea disruption in East Africa; Swisscom eases the electronic signature process.

Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe

May 13, 2024

2 Min Read
BT Group signage at night
(Source: BT)
  • BT is banking on AI to better protect its business customers from hackers, using proprietary "Eagle-I" technology to analyze and learn from attack data. As the Guardian reports, information such as the time of day of the attack and the type of attack is fed into the AI mill, with Eagle-i suggesting, for example, tweaks that could be made to a company firewall to render a really damaging hack less likely in the future.

  • South Africa's Vodacom saw group revenue grow 26.4%, to 151 billion South African rand (US$8.23 billion), in the year to the end of March, though this figure was significantly helped by its acquisition of a majority stake in Vodafone Egypt. Net profit increased by 6.4% which, claims CEO Shameel Joosub, vindicated the company's strategy in the face of global pressures. Financial services are becoming an increasingly important part of Vodacom's operations: The company saw an 11.8% increase in financial service customers – to 78.9 million – during the course of the year.

  • Over in East Africa there has been more Internet disruption over the weekend due to subsea cable failures affecting the Seacom and Eassy systems. As Reuters reports, services in Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique and Madagascar were all affected. In March, multiple subsea cable failures hit Africa's Internet services due to reported cable breaks off the coast of Abidjan in Côte d'Ivoire on the west coast of Africa.

  • Swisscom has introduced an electronic signature system, Swisscom Sign, which the company says helps businesses manage their signature services by offering an online "cockpit" overview of the process. By using the system, companies can sign and send documents digitally without having to trouble the mailman. Swisscom Sign is based on the qualified electronic signature (QES), which, under Swiss law, is the only form of electronic signature considered equivalent to a handwritten signature.

  • A new, Vodafone-commissioned study has found that surprisingly few German companies are getting fully on board with the digitalization program, achieving only 9% of the earnings uplift that the study reckons could be achieved through the adoption of a thoroughly digital approach to doing business. The Sustainable Economic Efficiency through Digitalisation (SEED) study, carried out by Accenture, also found that just 29% of German companies were adopting digital technologies to help reduce carbon.

  • Another study, this one carried out by BT, has concluded that nine in ten company bigwigs are losing sleep as a result of stress largely triggered by anxiety over potential cyberattacks, with more than half of them worried about the pace of tech change. Rather clumsily perhaps, BT's PR department has used the fact that it is Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK as a peg for these findings.

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About the Author(s)

Paul Rainford

Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

Paul is based on the Isle of Wight, a rocky outcrop off the English coast that is home only to a colony of technology journalists and several thousand puffins.

He has worked as a writer and copy editor since the age of William Caxton, covering the design industry, D-list celebs, tourism and much, much more.

During the noughties Paul took time out from his page proofs and marker pens to run a small hotel with his other half in the wilds of Exmoor. There he developed a range of skills including carrying cooked breakfasts, lying to unwanted guests and stopping leaks with old towels.

Now back, slightly befuddled, in the world of online journalism, Paul is thoroughly engaged with the modern world, regularly firing up his VHS video recorder and accidentally sending text messages to strangers using a chipped Nokia feature phone.

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