IT security – a priority for African businesses

IT security should be top of mind for African businesse (image source: file photo)

As Kenya prepares to host the IDC IT Security Roadshow, Kaspersky Lab is proud to be a part of such a thought leading event, as the company aims to stress the importance of proactive security measures that businesses operating in East Africa need to understand and implement today, for future success.

“91% of companies have experienced at least one IT security event from an external source in the last 12 months. This high statistic certainly proves just how crucial corporate IT security is now more than ever. The reality is that cybercriminal activity targeted at the corporate has, and will continue, to grow on a global scale, especially as newer, more innovative technologies evolve and become critical business competitive tools. And with the prediction that East Africa will be a significant contributor to Africa’s forecasted growth of 3.7%² in 2011 – the African continent will continue to boom economically where the business landscape will grow – making businesses operating in African countries an ideal target for cybercriminals,” says Sergey Novikov, Kaspersky Lab Head of EEMEA Research Centre.

In their recently released report, Worldwide Security Products and Services 2011 Top 10 predictions, the IDC drew some interesting conclusions that closely correspond to Kaspersky Lab’s strategy and vision in this regard. Of these, the IDC predicts that consumers and enterprises will continue to grow their spending on Endpoint Security at surprising rates – the reason being obvious – corporate IT security is a necessity! Customers and enterprises are looking  for  an  integrated  approach  that  offers  a  broad  range  of  protection from malicious cyber attacks, accidental  disclosure  of  sensitive  information  (consumer  and  corporate),  usage  by  unauthorised  users  (identity  fraud), and  applications (botnets).

“For many years now, Kaspersky Lab has taken an integrated approach to protection in our product offering and believe that IT Security should be top of mind for all businesses operating within the African continent. Apart from the traditional organisation of DDoS attacks, cybercriminals today have a main focus of targeting corporate servers for stealing corporate data and African businesses are not excluded,” says Novikov.

The IDC further predicts that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) globally will see more targeted attacks against data and resources. Small businesses will see increasing attacks on customer data.  Attempts to take full control of servers, PCs, and storage arrays for botnets, DDoS attacks, spam, phishing, hacktivism, and other uses are also expected to increase.

“With SMEs accounting for an estimated 60%³ of all employment in East Africa, and contributing up to 30% of gross national product, the SME sector in East Africa cannot afford to experience such attacks on their organisations, as the results could be detrimental likely having a ripple effect on the economy,” adds Novikov.

The conference will be taking place at the Hilton Hotel in Nairobi, where Novikov aims to provide insight into the above at the IDC IT Security Roadshow, to ensure that businesses operating within the African landscape are made aware of such threats that exist and take the necessary action required to avoid the impact of these attacks.

“The reality today is that proactive security is a requirement for all businesses, to ensure effective protection against such threats and attacks. Corporate servers are being attacked continuously and should such activity continue to take place, a business could stand to loss everything. Implementing the necessary corporate IT security measures now is the next major step for East African based businesses in effectively protecting enterprises – ensuring success and as such, continued positive growth of the African continent,” concludes Novikov.

Staff Writer