Remote working puts renewed emphasis on cybersecurity
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THE EMERGENCE of digital ways of working has forced more than 90 percent of IT decision makers across Africa to accelerate their cybersecurity, the latest research by pan-African technology group Liquid Intelligent Technologies has found.
The study, which was conducted in South Africa, Kenya and Zimbabwe, and released week, also established some of the main concerns about cybersecurity threats and the most significant impact of digital breaches on an organisational level.
“A critical insight from the research suggests that 79 percent of businesses from all three countries attribute an increase in cybersecurity threats to the advent of remote working. Data breaches like data extortion, data leakage and data disclosure constitute almost 71 percent of the cyber-attacks for Kenyan businesses, and over 70 percent of South African and Zimbabwean organisations consider email attacks like phishing the most prominent digital threats.”
The research participants indicated an increased consumption of cloud-based services this year — as high as 96 percent in South Africa, 95 percent in Kenya and 75 percent in Zimbabwe. This came from a jump in the use of Microsoft Office 365, Teams, Zoom, Google Workspace, Microsoft Azure, and Amazon Web Services.
Liquid Intelligent Technologies’s group head of cyber security, Ignus de Villiers, said cybersecurity should be at the centre of every business conversation and emphasised the need to establish an appropriate cybersecurity framework that matched the business environment.
“Critically, the framework must look beyond technical security controls to include information security management covering governance, risk, compliance, people, processes and technology,” said De Villiers.
According to the research, managing user access to information, data loss and recovery, visibility and control of data, and compliance challenges remained some of the biggest concerns for organisations. Almost 80 percent of organisations that participated in the research agreed that cybersecurity threats had increased over the past year.
When segmented by respondents working specifically in large enterprises, the research permitted a more informed audience and knowledgeable opinions. According to the study, an emerging trend for this year was that 53 percent of the respondents emphasised security and data protection as significant concerns.
De Villiers said the cybersecurity threat in Africa was evolving and likely to impact businesses adversely.
“Businesses in Africa are regarded to be more vulnerable to cybercrime as it is estimated that more than half of the countries in Africa have inadequate safeguards, cybersecurity laws and regulations, making it a haven for cybercriminals,” he said.
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