Intelligent CIO Middle East Issue 72 | Page 52

According to Hennah , there is no universal cybersecurity strategy that works for every organisation . “ Instead , each company must design a network security framework that suits its specific requirements and risk appetite , and reflects the overall digital readiness of the business ,” he said . “ An effective network strategy starts by carefully assessing the systems and processes already in place and identifying their weak points . Frequent audits become critical to ensure all these systems are running optimally .”
He explained that managed firewalls , malware protection and Business Continuity solutions form vital components of a network security strategy . “ Part of this will also include on-going employee education especially when it comes to social engineering-based attacks ,” he said . “ If the organisation stays up-to-date with emerging cyberthreats , it can take the appropriate steps to future-proof its network security strategy . This could include frequent pressure testing of potential weak points , and the building and maintenance of a cybersecurity maturity matrix .”
Edison Mazibuko , CTO , DRS implementing and maintaining network security remains behind the curve with skills and resources being sourced from outside Africa ,” he said .
Edison Mazibuko , CTO at DRS , a cybersecurity specialist providing innovative agile solutions that deliver information security , IT risk management , fraud detection and digital forensics , said the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic is well documented globally . Businesses around the world are pressured to do more with less which in turn will drive the consolidation of multiple security solutions .
Mazibuko said new technologies are encouraging a decentralised distributed architecture across multiple third-party service providers . The growing remote workforce expands the available attack surface for cybercriminals , as users connect through insecure networks .
He explained that a recent hack on a top cybersecurity firm resulted in the theft of critical security tools . “ This brazen act will encourage more direct attacks on cybersecurity service providers and vendors in 2021 . Attackers are aware every organisation has a weak link , even if it happens to be from a third-party . The rise of supply chain attacks will be more visible ,” he said .
Threat vectors
Given the expanding threat vectors , CIOs and their IT teams are being urged to design robust network security frameworks .
Gaskell said communication and Internet technologies are becoming cheaper and more available to the African consumer . “ This has been a major driving factor in the subsequent networking technologies in Africa . The underlying security and integrity of the underlying communication networks has become so important given the dangerous environment that is Africa ,” he said .
BT ’ s Hennah said security must become the top consideration for any C-suite decision-maker . “ The first thing is to get the basics right , making sure patching is up-to-date and the tools that you have already invested in are operating optimally . As networks become more complex thanks to the adoption of cloud and agile technologies , companies must rethink how they approach their proactive and reactive defensive measures and become less reliant on the outer perimeter but have a multilayer approach augmented by threat intelligence ,” he said . “ This will result in a more agile environment while delivering the flexibility needed to protect the data , assets and reputation of the business .”
Network security tools
With different types of network security tools on offer , CIOs are spoilt for choice .
Hennah said network security can encompass any number of tools , devices and solutions . “ From access control all the way through to behavioural analytics , the environment is complex . Selecting the best tools depends as much on the type of business as much as it does on its level of cloud access , employee education ,
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