Accenture, Microsoft and Avanade are collaborating through a multi-year, multi-million-dollar agreement to develop, integrate and bring to market enhanced cyberdefence solutions to help clients better detect, investigate and respond to cyberthreats.

The collaboration extends the companies’ longstanding strategic relationship, which began in 2000.

“C-suite executives are facing a critical challenge in justifying huge cybersecurity investments that are failing to be as effective as envisioned,” says Kelly Bissell, MD of Accenture Security. “The expanded collaboration brings together Accenture’s deep cybersecurity, industry and digital business transformation expertise, Microsoft’s innovative technology platforms and services, as well as Avanade’s focus on digital innovation in the Microsoft ecosystem to address today’s most pressing cybersecurity challenges. Together, we will move the market forward and help clients more effectively manage and guard against the full spectrum of cybersecurity threats.”

According to the Accenture Security Index, more than 70% of organisations globally cannot identify and fully protect their corporate high-value assets. In addition, the associated costs of cyberattacks are having a growing financial impact on businesses. In 2017, the average cost of cybercrime climbed to $11,7-million per organisation, a 23% increase from last year, according to a new study by Accenture and the Ponemon Institute.

“Our joint customers expect us to provide the best options in strategic planning, technology and execution to accelerate their secure digital transformation,” says Ann Johnson, Microsoft worldwide vice-president, enterprise and cybersecurity. “By extending our longstanding strategic alliance, we bring together Microsoft’s extensive cybersecurity capabilities and services with Accenture’s managed security services and Avanade’s implementation expertise to ensure access to customised and comprehensive defences, continuous monitoring and specialised cyberskills that protect enterprises throughout their journey.”

The cyberdefence offerings will be infused with joint threat intelligence and initially span three core areas:
Managed Security Operations: enhancing existing Accenture managed security services with integration of the latest Microsoft security products and services to monitor, detect and quickly respond to security breaches – targeted for on-premises, cloud and hybrid systems.
Incident Response Support: a joint, global and collaborative teaming approach leveraging tools and integrated processes to help clients return to normal operations after a significant security breach.
Integrated Threat Hunting: leveraging the Incident Response experience of the three companies to actively locate previously undetected breaches.
“In a world of persistent cyberthreats, it’s more critical than ever to have the right strategy and technology in place to get secure — and stay secure,” says Chris Miller, Avanade’s chief technology innovation officer. “Built on the strength of Accenture, Microsoft and Avanade, these new cybersecurity offerings will ensure that we are helping our joint clients defend against and address the most advanced threats while empowering them to innovate for the future and operate confidently in a digital world.”

“In South Africa, the cybersecurity landscape has changed over the last couple of years as cybercriminals are rapidly becoming sophisticated and continue to monetise stolen data,” says Willie Schoeman, MD of Accenture Technology in Africa. “These criminals are using new and innovative ways to access sensitive business and personal data. We’re continuously innovating to provide next-generation cybersecurity services that can help clients detect, protect, investigate and respond to threats.