Vodacom and Accenture partner to battle cyber crime in South Africa

Vodacom and Accenture have announced their partnership to help fight cyber crime in South Africa.

The collaboration comes as South Africa is recently named as one of the hardest hit by cybercrime in the world, and one that has insufficient defences against sophisticated cyber attacks. Vodacom and Accenture aim to support SMEs that currently don’t have the resources or funds to protect themselves as well as a larger business can.

The Vodacom Managed Security Services, while tailored for both small and medium-sized businesses, are scalable to large enterprises and initially focus on business needs to simplify cybersecurity and ransomware risk. The companies have taken a differentiated approach to safety, offering cybersecurity-as-a-service to South African SMEs and cover assessment, protection, detection, and response. Under these four pillars clients can invest in seven modular offerings.

Boland Lithebe, Security Lead for Accenture in Africa, said: “Essentially, this solution brings world-class cybersecurity expertise to businesses that do not have the experience, time, or financial resources to keep up with the rapidly evolving threat landscape.”

Vodacom Managed Security Services is an extension of the existing Smart Service Offering partnership between Vodacom Business and Accenture.

For Vodacom, this solution is an evolution of the managed cybersecurity strategy the company has been building over the last few years. Combining Vodacom Business’s expertise and insights with Accenture’s cybersecurity strategies, forensics and consulting services has resulted in a solution that will protect small and medium businesses from cyber threats.

Kabelo Makwane, Managing Executive for Cloud, Hosting & Security at Vodacom Business, said: “SMEs are crucial to our country’s economic growth and must be supported with simple and easy to deploy solutions to thrive in our increasingly digitised society. Businesses have become increasingly vulnerable to cyber threats that are growing in sophistication and require a smarter response to protect a company’s digital assets.”

For protection, Vodacom Managed Security Services include Phishing Awareness and Firewall Management. The former brings the human element into perspective in simulated e-mail attacks targeting employees, followed by training on best security practices. Firewall Management is about provisioning, managing, and operating a small or medium-sized business’s firewall to protect its digital assets.

The detection and response pillars comprise a dedicated Vodacom Managed Security Services team of cybersecurity experts overseeing each client’s portfolio. Here, Managed Detection and Response delivers early-warning detection with 24/7, real-time monitoring, while Breach Response and Forensics offers rapid intervention from the team should a breach occur, with a forensic analysis conducted to proactively manage similar incidents in the future.

Under the assessment pillar, businesses can benefit from Cyber Exposure Diagnostics, Penetration Testing, and a Vulnerability Assessment. The first of these services gives small and mid-size enterprises a roadmap of what security should be in place by analysing all cybersecurity aspects from their technology and infrastructure to security hygiene. Penetration Testing is conducted by a Vodacom Managed Security Services expert in a simulation of a real attack to expose areas of weakness, while the automated Vulnerability Assessment scans for easy-access points in the company’s existing technology and infrastructure.

Clients investing in Vodacom Managed Security Services will also have an opportunity to select a bespoke package of services and can add additional services or remove them based on their threat-analysis needs.

Makwane explained: “Through our partnership with Accenture, the Vodacom Managed Security Services democratises access to cybersecurity solutions that, until now, were often only available to big companies with large IT budgets. In a world where every touchpoint in a company’s digital footprint must be secured, Vodacom and Accenture are committed to doing so, supporting businesses by protecting their assets as they successfully navigate their digital journey and become future ready.”

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