South Africa firms urged to beef up IT security amid evolving threats

Companies in South Africa have been warned to be on alert for Information and communication technologies (ICT) security threats which are posed by hackers. Advice has been offered to adopt offensive security systems and constantly identify threats before hackers find and exploit them.

IT security expert Amritesh Anand, the vice-president of In2IT technologies, has warned companies to be alert as security threats are constantly evolving.

He said: “The rate of attack and tools available to identify loopholes are far more easier today.

“It is important to notice that as much as security is driven through defence by deploying the right set of products, it is equally important to adopt offensive security to identify gaps before hackers find them so that you can plug the loopholes.

“The biggest investment which an organisation can make is awareness. Campaigns within an organisation, training each and everyone in an organisation so that you are ensuring you are not only investing in technology you are also giving a chance to protect as the biggest risks are generated through human mistakes.”

Anand said there were two common types of cyberattacks in South Africa;, one was an attack on the network infrastructure and the other was through the customer environment interface, via phishing.

He continued: “We are inundated with multiple attacks on both fronts in our customer environments and it is important to understand that organisation-wide security is a responsibility of every individual.

“So updating policy on a laptop to maintain process level compliance is extremely key. This is where we realise that most of the organisations in SA are prone to cyber security threats despite investing a lot in security software.”

Chief information security officers have been urged to give companies an edge in terms of security as having the right investments in IT security, was better than the risk of losing business, data, reputation, competitive edge through a breach.

With security threats evolving at a fast space, Anand said it was difficult and costly to keep investing on human capital, but companies could partner with IT security specialists who would provide security solutions at a fraction of cost.

He said they had invested their portfolio of security services to cover life-cycle services requirements of customers.

These included consulting, professional and managed security services.

He concluded: “To this portfolio artificial intelligence and machine learning is playing a huge role on how we will protect our future organisations as it is practically impossible to keep an human eye on ever offensive hackers and constantly evolving security posture.

“Hence you need your tools equipped with artificial intelligence and machine learning solutions. Portfolio is enhanced through an adoption of operational technologies into the mix along with IT as organisations have greatly adopted IoT (Internet of Things) in their business.”

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