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Jemima

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6 months ago when I was interviewing for my current role, I was told to write an article on the above. Prior to that, I’d never heard of Open Banking, heck, I knew nothing about banking. As at then I was working as a HR officer and an Artist & Label Services Executive in a media & entertainment firm lol but I was determined to get the job, so I read and read and tried to make sense of open banking and how it relates to HR in any way.

6 months in and I understand things better, I think I’ll write this article differently now with the knowledge I’ve gained so far, but here are Jemima’s fresh thoughts on Open Banking and HRM.

Impact of Open Banking on HR

Open banking is the practice of sharing financial information electronically, securely, and only under conditions that customers approve of with third-party financial service providers. The crux of open banking is the concept that customers can control and manage the sharing of their data, and banks should not prevent the movement of information and customers. It is a system under which banks open up their application programming interfaces (APIs), permitting third parties to access financial information needed to develop new apps and services and providing account holders greater financial transparency options. 

If open banking is being practiced, customers can approve for their banks to share their data with third parties and this data can be utilized by other banks, fintechs, asset management firms, personal financial management companies, and other financial service providers to access the customers’ transactions across all financial institutions and third parties. This will enable key players to provide tailored products and services to meet the financial needs of the customers. 

The potential benefits of open banking include improved customer experience, new revenue streams, and a sustainable service model for underserved markets.(1) Open banking will help to boost healthy competition within the financial services industry. Large, established banks will be forced to be more competitive with smaller and newer banks and fintechs, and this will result in lower costs, better technology, and better customer service. 

Currently, Nigerian fintech startups have to be compelled to either use platforms like Flutterwave, Mono, Paystack & Okra to access customer data or collect login information of customers and scrape the data off the screen  The main aim of open banking in Nigeria is not to eliminate the need of these platforms, but to set standard APIs so these players can access the data they need with the approval of the customer.

Human Resources Management is a strategic, coherent, and comprehensive approach to the management and development of the organization’s human resources in which every aspect of that process is wholly integrated within the overall management of the organization.(2) Human Resources is a key part of operations that focuses mainly on the lifecycle of an employee, from recruitment to exit. In the banking sector, human resources is very important as top talents must be recruited and trained to understand the intricacies of the job. In a competitive sector as such, talent retention is almost impossible and that’s why employee satisfaction is key. 

If open banking becomes adapted in Nigeria, I think the major change it would have on Human Resources will be in terms of recruitment. If the process of getting access to customer data becomes less tedious, more fintech firms with a focus on personal finance management will spring up and this will lead to job creation.

With open banking, employers who are keen on the integrity of their staff and how they manage their resources can access a list of bad debtors and identified fraudulent people. With time, this can be a deterrent for criminal activities as people know that this data can prevent them from gainful employment.

Finally, the adaptation of open banking in Nigeria can see traditional banks embracing digital options, this, in turn, will lead to reduced need for some staff such as tellers as fewer people would need to physically go to the bank. Since more employees would be required to work remotely, the skills and talents to look out for during recruitment & selection will be redefined. 

Reference:

1. Brodsky L., Oakes L., (2017, September 5). Data sharing and open banking. Retrieved from (https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/financial-services/our-insights/data-sharing-and-open-banking)

2. (UKEssays. (November 2018). Human Resource Management and External Environment. Retrieved from https://www.ukessays.com/essays/business/human-resource-management-and-external-environment-business-essay.php?vref=1).

Image: pavestoneslegal.com

I was really excited about turning 27, so excited that I created a google form a month before I turned 27, asking my friends for their preferences. On the day I turned 27, I still was excited till I realised someone had forgotten my birthday. Not even the beautiful faces of my friends or their presence could cheer me up.

27 was a great year for me. I met all the career goals I set for myself. I got a promotion, I resigned my job in a gracious manner, I got a job in tech in the exact department I wanted, my net pay moved to the bracket I put down (currently working two jobs to achieve this sha lol). In my last days of 27, I successfully changed my career path.

27 was when I went through the worst physical pain I’ve ever gone through. The pain drew me close to my most recent lover.

26 was when I met my most recent lover. 27 was when he became my lover.

“I’ve been in a number of relationships- romantic, casual, friends with benefits- but I’ve never been in one like this. I’ve never spent as much weekends (and weekdays) with anyone – weekends where we chill, fight, [redacted], see movies, [redacted], [redacted], cook, talk, ignore each other lol, work (sometimes), gossip and just have fun.”

Those were the first lines of the “love letter” I wrote to him. I wrote it and shared it with him via google drive, so he will always remember how I feel about him. I really liked him and how he made me feel. He’s good people lol.

In my last days of 27, I learnt that when people show you a side of them you never knew existed, you don’t question it, you don’t make excuses for them; you accept it. That someone was the best person in your life at some point, that someone was your biggest cheerleader at some point is not reason enough for you to keep making excuses for them. People outgrow people and that’s fine (or not).

Flaws and all, one thing about me is I’ll always try. Try to right my wrongs, try to make things work, but the thing about trying is the other person has to want it also. There’s only so much trying you can try when someone doesn’t want to be with you anymore. Only so much.

I’m a hopeless romantic that keeps finding myself in undefined relationships (this one is fully on me) but in my last days of 27 I came to the realization that I want to love and be loved. I want to love loudly without holding back, I want to be fully committed to someone without the feeling of doing too much. I want the love I see in my romcoms, I want the raw emotions, the feeling of pure unadulterated joy at the thought of the object of my affection.

I think about my lover a lot. When I think of him, I don’t remember the bad days, I don’t remember the hurtful things he said to me, I don’t remember all the things that I did that led us here. No, I don’t. I think of how well he treated me, I think of how happy I was around him, I remember the times he made me feel special. On days when I remember that his feelings towards me have changed and I have to move on, I think of our last conversation – it does the magic.

Understanding DNS Cache Poisoning

DNS is an acronym for domain name system, it controls your domain name’s website and email settings. It helps convert domain names to IP addresses. A domain name is the information that you enter into a web browser in order to reach a specific website. An Internet Protocol (IP) address is the address that computers, servers and other devices use to identify one another online. The IP address is the language the computer understands.

The DNS server is like a phonebook for websites, when the computer sends the URL to the DNS server, the server checks its database and finds the corresponding IP address and let’s the computer know what the address is. Your computer now knows what the IP address and can visit the website. 

The DNS cache is a temporary database of sites previously visited. When a request for a web address is made, the browser looks up the DNS cache to quickly retrieve it and thus a website’s URL can be resolved to its corresponding IP much more efficiently. 

DNS cache poisoning is a type of attack on a DNS cache, diverting one from a legitimate site to a false one. DNS cache poisoning can divert users to malicious websites. Attackers do this by replacing the IP addresses stored in the DNS server with the ones under control of the attacker, so when a potential victim requests an address resolution for one of the poisoned sites, the DNS responds with the IP address for a different site, one controlled by the attacker.

DNS cache poisoning is dangerous because it can easily spread from one DNS server to another. Also, people’s personal and corporate information can be exposed to the attacker and victims can be manipulated into downloading malware or submitting login or financial details.

Preventive Measures

One of the tricky aspects of DNS cache poisoning is that it will be extremely difficult to determine whether the DNS responses you receive are legitimate or not, but there are few preventive measures you can take

  • Keep your antivirus active and up-to-date.
  • Set up and maintain your own DNS servers. 
  • Create and properly maintain your PTR (Pointer Records) zones. Even for local domains, it’s tedious, and boring, but very important. Especially for SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) traffic.
  • Use a respected ISP (Internet Service Provider) or DNS server. A good DNS server will never trust the first thing it receives from another server. 
  • In order to protect your own DNS cache, stay safe when browsing the internet. Don’t click on suspicious files, links, or banner advertisements. These might be attack vectors for malware that will alter your DNS cache.
  • Use a DDoS (Distributed Denial-of-Service) mitigation provider to mitigate DDoS in the best possible way and keep your DNS servers secure and responding well at all times.
  • Set up a two-factor authentication protection on your DNS server provider, if possible avoid phone call or SMS verification, and use Google Authenticator instead, which is way more secure. 
  • If you suspect your DNS cache is poisoned, clear the cache.

Image – innovativenoob.com, mis-solutions.com

Most times when I interview prospective employees, I like to ask about their career goals and future plans. For most admin and operations talents, the answer is mostly, “I want to work in Human Resources.” When I proceed to ask why, the most common response is, “I love working with people.” I always chuckle at that answer.

Before I started my HR career, people would ask me why I was hellbent on working in HR, and I’d always say, “I love interacting with people and I love identifying training needs and coming up with training plans for people.” Of course my answer is slightly different now, but let me scream this loud – I AM TIRED OF INTERACTING WITH PEOPLE!! Not tired in that sense, but you get the gist. Now let’s get down to you – the key thing is to start where you are. If there’s no HR dept in your company, here are some things you can do:

  • Offer to write/tweak the handbook.
  • Draft some policies (proper office conduct policy, recruitment policy, attendance policy, drug and alcohol usage policy, etc).
  • During recruitment, ask your boss if you can assist with sorting CVs and recommending talents.
  • If your company does not have an employee relations system, build one. Talk to your bosses about bonding as a team, it can be weekly, fortnightly, monthly or quarterly. Introduce fun activities that everyone can participate in. If you’re not a fun person, it’s okay to ask someone to assist in organizing. If you are vocal and tactical, you can be the spokesperson of the staff, and be the bridge between your employers and employees. This is a very tricky one since you’re not exactly the HR person, that’s why I mentioned tact.
  • Now at this stage, I don’t expect you to have access to employee files and documents, but how do take control of that? Easy. Implement an on-boarding process. Before a new staff resumes, ask your boss if you can handle orientation, then show your boss the on-boarding system you’ve come up with and tell him/her/them how you plan on implementing it. When you’ve proven that you’re capable of handling this, your boss should be more than happy to hand it over to you.

If there’s an existing HR department in your company, start assisting, let the HR Manager know you are available to help with some of their responsibilities. Please do not desert your own responsibilities while doing this as one of the key skills of an HR personnel is multi-tasking.

People will tell you to get certified first but you really do not need that to start a career in HR. Actually, most organisations do not ask entry level HR officers for certifications, this only comes up when you’re applying for a mid-level role. So like I said earlier, start from where you are – build an HR team/department or learn from the existing HR team in your organization. Three to six months after this, you can start working towards getting certified.

Good luck!

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