Business Insights

Urgent need to increase cybersecurity awareness and education in Africa

An urgent need to increase cybersecurity awareness and education across many industries is being sounded by Deimos, a major African cloud-focused cybersecurity company well known for its crucial role in cloud-native development and security operations. With a broad customer that includes companies in the public sector, fintech, and e-commerce, Deimos is unwavering in its belief that proactive security measures are essential for protecting organizations against cloud security vulnerabilities.

Deimos prioritizes automated security procedures to minimize human mistake by reducing manual checks and controls. According to Verizon’s 2023 Data Breach Investigations Report, social engineering assaults, human mistake, or misuse were engaged in 74% of breaches.

Businesses are relying more and more on cloud technologies as remote and hybrid work become the new standard. Deimos clarifies three crucial techniques that engineering teams must use to improve their cloud security:

Moving security planning, design, and testing of major products earlier in the software development life cycle as opposed to after release is referred to as “shifting left”.

“Defending right” means putting intrusion detection systems and firewalls in place to safeguard products from outside attacks. Using automated methods to create safeguards before going into production, such as package vulnerability scanning, static and dynamic application security testing, or web application vulnerability analysis.

These safeguards are essential for Africa’s rapidly developing IT sector, which houses valuable assets and data in the cloud, making unprepared companies an appealing target for hackers. Although cyber security solutions are widely accessible, many of them are not implemented, which has a negative impact on millions of Africans both on the continent and in the diaspora.

Deimos illustrates the main mistakes that newly formed businesses make while trying to secure their operations. These consist of:

  • In their go-to-market strategies, startups place a higher priority on speed and agility than security.
  • Pursuing a reactive strategy for cybersecurity, one that only deals with protection after breaches or cyberattacks have already happened.
  • Not putting in place secure access control procedures for personnel using sensitive systems and information.

Businesses need to “fortify themselves against cloud security vulnerabilities,” according to Deen Hans, Director of Security Engineering at Deimos. Working with our clients has taught me that the emphasis is firmly placed on operations that foster growth, competitive advantage, and other such outcomes. Usually, a cybersecurity plan is developed after a breach. However, this can be expensive because of serious flaws that harm reputation and undermine confidence. Growth without a robust security posture might have negative repercussions.

The distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, which occurs when an attacker floods a target organization’s server with traffic to prevent users from accessing connected online services and websites, is a persistent threat that has recently become more common. The cloud security company has recently taken on educating its clients about this threat. The leading private provider of Internet security products in the world, Kaspersky, reports that in Q3 2022, there were about 57,116 Distributed DDoS attacks reported to the platform.

Deimos emphasizes that a failure to prioritize appropriate governance procedures, education, and awareness of cloud technologies from a security standpoint is the cause of DDoS attacks and related breaches.

According to Deimos, customers frequently approach them with questions about their compliance status and security, and occasionally they discover security issues right before launching their services, necessitating a return to the development stage. The business has noticed that remote work is most affected by the lack of cybersecurity in Africa. According to IBM, 82% of breaches involved cloud-based data. African businesses frequently ignore access control measures and necessary permissions, which leads to risks when they adopt remote teams and cloud operations in their daily operations. Consequences from a single hacked user may be extensive.

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