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By 5 October 2021 | Categories: feature articles

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Features sponsored by Drive Control Corporation with Dell Client Peripherals

Todd Schoeman, BT Client Business Director in South Africa, shares insights on how a collaborative model for security can help organisations defend against rapidly increasing cyber threats.  

In 2020, tactical IT decisions had to be taken at breakneck speed to enable work-from-home and keep businesses going. Inevitably and understandably, some of these decisions have led to increased risk when it comes to security controls. Now, security teams are striving to regain visibility and control of their estate and security posture while shifting their focus to supporting hybrid work models over the long-term.

One of the side-effects of the move away from the controlled environment of the office has been an increase in the threat landscape. During the first year of the pandemic, BT’s Threat Intelligence teams have tracked a 600 per cent increase in email scams, 100 per cent increase in ransomware, and 400 per cent increase in brute force attacks. Eight out of ten (84 per cent) of executives, polled for our CISOs under the spotlight research conducted in September 2020, told us that their organisation had suffered from data loss or a security incident in the last two years.

Cyber threats have been ranked as the main priority for CEOs after managing the consequences of pandemic according to a recent PwC survey. The change in attitudes to security has also been noted by industry analysts, who highlighted the increase in value of security skills overall.

It’s encouraging to see a wider recognition of security as a business enabler and security teams gaining a more important seat at the table. Yet at the same time, they are facing more threats, more technology choices, and a surprisingly persistent degree of inconsistency and complacency to treating security as a priority.

Our CISOs under the spotlight report highlighted the importance of the basics, including maintaining cybersecurity hygiene measures.

It’s clear that maintaining security in the face of the increasing pace and volume of threats can’t be addressed singlehandedly. Supercharging the human firewall is a critical part of the solution, and employees training is key. But in addition to this, getting the right support must be a priority as cybersecurity becomes a central strategic pillar to support digital transformation.

As we’ve talked to our customers about their sourcing strategies, a few key themes have stood out:

  • The need to maximise existing resources and investments
  • The need for clarity on what activities need to be retained inhouse, and which can be managed by a trusted partner
  • The impact of previous experiences with outsourcing
  • The need for flexibility, both operationally and commercially
  • Trust and shared responsibility – both from their customers being able to trust the organisation, and from them being able to trust their partners and vendors
  • Taking risk-based decisions – both in terms of maintaining control and ownership and benefiting from outside expertise

Driven by an organisation’s current state and priorities, a hybrid or co-sourcing model can provide the level of flexibility necessary to support effective digital transformation. Organisations need help from external partners to augment and bolster their in-house capabilities.

We believe that both customers and service providers need to develop a new shared responsibility model, supporting strong security while maintaining the agility necessary for digital transformation. This requires change on both sides. With all the headwinds in place, organisations can’t lower risk without investing in either in-house resources, partnerships, or a combination of the two.

Managed cybersecurity providers like us know how to help organisations secure an acceptable return on their investment. We can achieve this through a quantifiable reduction of risk, while building confidence in a hybrid co-management model that can adapt to meet customer’s future needs.

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