In a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Fortinet in 2017, over 400 global decision-makers across a wide variety of industries, responsible for the security of their organisation’s critical infrastructure, were asked about the security risks they are facing and how prepared they are to mitigate these risks.
The survey was aimed at discovering how these companies’ decision-makers view their progress in their security transformation in concurrence with digital transformation. Questions were also aimed at respondents’ governance and procedures around security, and qualifications and skills to manage threats.
According to Paul Williams, Fortinet SA Country Manager, the results showed that South Africa’s marketplace and maturity value, in terms of cyber security and other security threats as well as preparedness, is on par with the rest of the world.
The survey results, however, also showed that SA is lagging in its response time to security breaches. According to Williams, the lagging response rate to security breaches is the result of a skills shortage in the country.
Despite being on par with new technology to monitor, detect, and mitigate these risks, there is a limited number of people in South Africa with the specific and necessary skill set.
Top security threats in South Africa
Some of the most concerning threats for South African businesses include malware attacks, ransomware attacks, botnet attacks, as well as cyber security hacks across the board, whether it is for identification documentation, other personal information, corporate espionage, or politically orientated.
According to Williams, intelligent ransomware and malware attacks have also been surfacing as new technology now allows them to do so.
“In 2018, another global occurrence we’ve seen is an increase in attacks on the Sandbox. Attackers block and attack the solution-set where they are trying to manipulate the Sandbox,” said Williams.
The business impact of a security breach can either be minor, or it can be crippling – all depends on the type of breach and how it occurred, he added, making training and upskilling critical.
In their journey to ensure that South Africa gets the skills they need to combat these threats more effectively and in real time, Fortinet together with universities, technikons, distributors, and their partners are driving internship programmes and training to graduates with an interest in IT engineering.
Fortinet has dedicated themselves to training engineers on a quarterly and annual basis with basic NSE 4 and NSE 5 training to get them grounded on what the technology can do, how to understand cyber security, threats, the security landscape, and the attack surface.
Fortinet’s security fabric
Fortinet also offers organisations a security fabric in combatting threats and helps them amplify their existing infrastructure.
Fortinet looks at everything across the board, from the end-point right through to the perimeter of the network, into the data centre, cloud, and even their cloud services. “We protect everything end-to-end, based on Fortinet Security Fabric,” said Williams.
“The security fabric has been designed with multiple organisational understandings or elements of attack. We look at the perimeter, end-point, cloud and data centre, and even the multi-cloud. Everything in security is always pushed back and updated by FortiGuard Labs,” Williams concluded.
For more information, visit the Fortinet website.
This article was published in partnership with Fortinet.