In an era of unparalleled risk and cyber security threats, Microsoft South Africa’s top Emerging Services Partner for 2020 has harnessed the power of black female cyber security engineers and analysts to protect the continent’s enterprises.
Phakamo Tech protects South African national government organisations, with expertise in healthcare, finance, natural resources, aviation, IP-sensitive data and information services, the environment, utilities, and critical infrastructure.
“African organisations need to support their digital transformations and maximise their existing investments in cyber security, governance and risk even though there is a worldwide skills shortfall of four to four-and-a-half million cyber security engineers. That’s why the tech risk and cyber security practice provides fully managed cyber governance, risk, compliance, security, and Microsoft Cloud services,” says Kabelo Sekele, Head of Strategic Partnerships and New Business Development at Phakamo Tech.
Among others, the business has enabled a secure and compliance-driven remote workplace for the largest asset manager in Africa, empowering remote users using advanced Microsoft enterprise mobility and security.
One of South Africa’s national departments has used Phakamo Tech’s services to gain visibility into the cyber threat landscape, a service that was particularly necessary during the global pandemic and lockdown. It gained a reliable single source of the truth with improved threat management accuracy and efficiency, with better security collaboration across the department that gave it the confidence to innovate new services.
A South African aviation organisation was experiencing whaling attacks, which is when hackers pretend to be someone senior at an organisation in order to gain access to systems and data of other executives at the business. Its employees also experienced abnormal operational behaviour. The organisation invested in a SIEM but did not have the skills to operate it effectively. Ultimately the board lacked confidence in the organisation’s security posture.
Within three months, Phakamo Tech identified security hygiene issues, provided a view into systemic exposures and risks, recommended actions to strengthen the security posture and improve resilience by leveraging Azure and M365 security, and developed a five-year information and cyber security roadmap for the organisation that put the board members’ minds at ease.
“An organisation’s biggest challenge in digital transformation is ensuring data security, privacy, and compliance,” says Sekele. “Hackers routinely take advantage of poor management and governance of user IDs and subsequent access to data and services.”
Phakamo Tech’s self-funded internship programme creates a pool of qualified engineers and analysts with the opportunities to develop practical operational experience. “Our customers get the best practices and qualifications that frame cyber security services, but maturity stems from experience and knowledge sharing,” says Sekele.
Additionally, technology must support the experienced engineers. Microsoft fully integrates security into the world’s single most popular enterprise device operating system and office productivity suite combination.
“Microsoft has invested more than $1.2 billion annually to innovate security solutions, it has more than 3 500 skilled cyber security professionals around the globe, which makes it one of the biggest worldwide security networks, and they continue to develop their capabilities,” says Sekele.