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NITDA, Kaspersky, Others Address ‘New Normal’ With Cybersecurity In Africa

TECH DIGEST – With an aim to develop counterintelligence to tackle the increasing number of cybercrimes in Africa, Tradepass hosted more than 1500 cyber enthusiasts virtually at the 3rd edition of CyFrica recently.

CyFrica 2021: LIVE, held on 4th and 5th May 2021.

With global pandemic impacting around the world, Africa experienced a surge in the remote working (work-from-home) figures with an increased usage of insecure remote/home servers, making the region more vulnerable to cybercrimes.

CyFrica 2021: LIVE laid out the best practices required for public and private enterprises to understand the cybersecurity threats surrounding the digital landscape and the necessary measures to mitigate the whole issue.

“From time to time, there is a need for risk assessment to evaluate the risk of this new normal which is working remotely”, said Dr. Mohammed Onimisi Yahaya, Assistant Director, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) .

Kaspersky’s Head of Research Center META, Dr. Mohamad Amin Hasbini, while sharing his insight on the current pandemic period mentioned, “The attackers will continue to exploit the pandemic without any shame or restriction as they have not even spared the medical research centers that are working on developing the vaccine”.

Dell Technologies – DPS Division’s Manager of Systems Engineering, Ravi Baldev said, “If you want to protect your digital transformation journeys, you got to have the right mechanisms”, while enlightening all the participants on data protection.

Talking about cyber resilient strategies for businesses, Enrico Salvatori, Business Consultant, Security at Micro Focus stated, “A resilient organization is one that understands how to anticipate threats, withstand problems, recover from breaches and evolve to the next version of itself”.

The virtual summit covered a variety of topics like ‘Securing the future of work with Cyber AI’, ‘Diplomacy in Cyberspace’, ‘Africa’s CyberSecurity Culture’ and many others.

The summit also threw light on the emerging, new-age technologies and discussed the vulnerabilities faced by the 5G networks in Africa. Moreover, it left no stone unturned while giving an analysis about cybercrimes and security, every piece of industry intelligence related to Cloud Management, Malwares, Ransomware, Implementing the Zero Trust framework, Banking Trojans, Security Breaches, AI for cyber security, etc.

Demands on IT teams increased as technology became the key enabler for dispersed and digital organizations. Overall IT workload (excluding security) increased for 66% of IT teams, while 69% experienced an increase in cybersecurity workload

Adversaries were quick to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the pandemic: 60% of IT teams overall reported an increase in the number of cyberattacks targeting their organization over the course of 2020

The overall experience of 2020 enabled 82% of IT teams to build their cybersecurity skills and knowledge. It is likely that much of this professional development will have been informal on-the-job learning, acquired as teams tackled new technology and security demands, often under intense pressure and remote from their normal place of work

Facing challenges together boosted team morale. IT team morale also improved for many teams. More than half (59%) of the IT teams surveyed said team morale increased over the course of 2020. Morale is also likely influenced by external and personal circumstances during the pandemic, such as local lockdowns, the inability to see family and other factors. Regardless, the findings suggest that a shared purpose, a sense of value and facing adversity together helped to bond and lift the spirits of IT teams

The experiences of 2020 have fuelled ambitions for bigger IT teams and using advanced tools such as artificial intelligence (AI) in future technology strategies.

Many organizations appear to have entered 2021 with plans to increase the size of both in-house and outsourced IT teams, and to embrace the potential of advanced tools and technologies.

The survey found that 72% of IT teams anticipate an increase in in-house IT security staff by 2023, and 51% expect the number of outsourced IT security staff to grow over the same time frame.

An overwhelming majority (94%) expect AI to help deal with the growing number of attacks and 93% with the complexity of attacks. This could be due in part to the fact that 47% of IT teams believe that cyberattacks are now too advanced for the in-house team to tackle on their own

The IT Security Team: 2021 and Beyond survey was conducted by Vanson Bourne, an independent specialist in market research, in January and February 2021. The survey interviewed 5,400 IT decision makers in 30 countries, in the US, Canada, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Austria, France, Germany, the UK, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Poland, the Czech Republic, Turkey, Israel, UAE, Saudi Arabia, India, Nigeria, South Africa, Australia, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines. All respondents were from organizations with between 100 and 5,000 employees.

The “IT Security Team: 2021 and Beyond” survey report is available in full on Sophos.com.

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