Trend Micro held its first Security Trends event last week in Cape Town and Johannesburg, highlighting the importance of cyber security within South Africa, and globally.

Digital transformation is gaining speed, with up to 44% of decision makers in organisations in South Africa moving towards implementing it. Regulations such as GDPR and POPI will have a strong influence on how organisations store, share and gather data. With these things in mind, security is of the highest importance.

“Data is now the most valuable global resource. Breaches, hacks, ransomware and other malicious attacks can have a powerful and negative impact on the reputation and finances of any organisation. By 2020, we will have 26 billion ‘things’ connected via IoT, and you can be certain that security threats will grow, too,” said Indi Siriniwasa, vice-president of Trend Micro in sub-Saharan Africa.

Steve Quane, Trend Micro’s executive vice-president: network defence, emphasised the importance of gaining a broader understanding of security and ensuring compliance with regulations. He reported that while most CISOs are prepared for detection and response, they are not as prepared for disclosing breaches, should they happen.

“Threats are part of our reality now, and what needs to change is the way in which we view threats. We need to take an adaptive approach and see security not as something to do in case of emergency, but as part of our digital lifestyle,” Siriniwasa advised.

Trend Micro has turned its focus on sub-Saharan Africa, with an eye to grow their market as well as to enhance security on the continent. As part of its growth initiative, the global security company has increased its staff complement, with the South African office going from just five staff in January to 30 in August.

The company has also reported that it has increased its quotient of female staff to 50%, and 50% of leadership roles within the African region are now occupied by women.