Presented by Microsoft

Putting security at the heart of modern businesses

Living in a digital, connected age opens up significant opportunities to improve and reimagine how people live, work and learn – but being connected through a proliferation of devices, particularly as remote working continues to grow, also opens up new avenues of attack for cunning cybercriminals.

South Africa has proven to be especially vulnerable to cyberattack: the country had the third highest number of cybercrime victims globally last year, and lost R2.2 billion to these attacks.

Cyber threats provide a clear material risk to both individuals and businesses, and this risk continues to rise exponentially.

The move to working, transacting and collaborating online will carry on, and many organisations have inadequate security measures in place to handle the relentless attempts by attackers.

Hackers attack every 39 seconds – the equivalent of 2,244 times a day. These attacks come with a heavy price tag, costing $3.92 million per breach on average.

This indicates a need for deeper levels of investment in security, and working with the right partner to protect individuals and the business at all levels.

“Protecting our customers and the wider community is a responsibility we take seriously, which is why we take a broad view of security,” said Colin Erasmus, Modern Workplace Business Group Lead – Microsoft South Africa.

Cybersecurity and compliance as the backbone of business

“Only by investing in strong cybersecurity and compliance as the backbone of the business can organisations maintain business continuity, meet regulatory needs, earn the trust of their customers, and address cyberthreats. Having the right support and tools in place is key.”

Microsoft is uniquely suited to help provide industry-leading protection against all major security threat vectors, including identity, email, malicious and open IP because of the company’s experience, innovation, and scale.

“We invest $1 billion annually in security, and over 3,500 full-time security professionals use AI tools to analyze over eight trillion signals daily and respond to security threats around the world, 24×7, in real time.,” said Erasmus.

Microsoft’s integrated, comprehensive offering can help organisations broadly adopt the “Zero Trust” security strategy critical in today’s distributed, multi-platform, hybrid cloud technology world. It extends identity, security, and compliance coverage across people, devices, apps, developer tools, data, and infrastructure.

Platforms like Microsoft Azure Active Directory, Microsoft Threat Protection and Azure Sentinel integrate to allow security teams to stop and manage threats for the entire hybrid estate—across clouds and multiple device platforms.

Meeting today’s complex regulatory requirements

“Lastly, our offerings also help enable customers to meet today’s complex regulatory requirements by helping protect sensitive data, wherever it lives or travels,” said Erasmus.

This is achieved using Microsoft’s Compliance Manager tool, which is now enabled to include POPIA.

It is a centralised dashboard that enables businesses to map and monitor their obligations, roles and responsibilities, and regulatory adherence to their use of Microsoft cloud services on Microsoft 365, Office 365, or Azure Active Directory.

This mapping and laying out of roles and responsibilities to get a risk-based compliance score allows enterprises to identify where the gaps lie in meeting their compliance obligations and take action to address these gaps.

It does this by giving organisations a better understanding of the activities taking place related to their data, such as data classification and flows, as well as providing a broad view of what they need to do to comply with the necessary regulations.

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Putting security at the heart of modern businesses