By Kathy Gibson – Cyber protection is becoming the new imperative as organisations around the world realise that the plethora of security tools and data protection protocols they’ve got running are doing little to protect them from being attacked or losing valuable data.

Serguei Beloussov, CEO of Acronis, explains that the new imperative is to ensure that workloads are protected from the perspective of both data protection and cyber security.

“They must be protected against all possible problems,” he says. “And what is important is that the solution works.”

Beloussov points to five features Acronis believes are needed to meet this objective: safety, accessibility, privacy, authenticity and security.

The unique circumstances brought about by the pandemic in 2020 have highlighted the issue of cyber protection, he adds.

“In 2020, it has definitely become more important. Our revenues are growing very rapidly, close to 100% per year, and in the areas of cyber protection, the growth has been even faster.

“This is because it is now very clear to anyone that you cannot do anything without IT. It used to be possible to work or meet without IT, but today you need IT to do those things.

“So cyber protection has become more important as well.”

And this issue is universal, Beloussov adds. “It doesn’t matter where you are: you have workloads, systems, applications and data everywhere.”

He cites the example of people in Zambia managing a pontoon river crossing and using their smartphones. “There is no bridge, but there is connectivity.”

Acronis has the additional benefit of being more cost-effective – and easier to use – than the many point solutions that would traditionally be needed to provide the same level of cyber protection.

“This is one of the main benefits of Acronis,” Beloussov adds. “It makes sense because it is easier and cost-efficient at a fraction of the cost of other solutions. If you are spending money on a workload, you can now spend the money on making sure it works.”

Acronis is available through the channel.

Tarsus is one of the company’s distributors in Africa, along with about 200 active partners.

They are part of a larger global channel network that comprises about 25 000 partners. “We go to market through a two-tier channel comprising distributors and aggregators who sign up resellers and service providers,” Beloussov adds.

He believes the Acronis solution is particularly significant for Africa. “We believe we are doing a very important thing: cyber protection is the only way to protect a broad number of workloads – especially in places like africa where budgets are limited.

“None of us can continue with our lives and business without IT, and you have to have protection – and easy-to-use, secure protection.

“If you don’t have people, money or time – yet you need IT. Without it, you cannot be successful, effective, or competitive.”

Going forward, Beloussov believes that IT is a constant battleground, with the fight raging between good and evil. The borders or IT are being expanded as it becomes more useful to people, but if it isn’t protected that usefulness disappears.

“So we are constantly fighting to make computers safe. Today, in terms of software and services, the market to do that is about half-a-trillion dollars and growing in double digits.”

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a growing technology that has the potential to increase the threat landscape and also to help curb it, he adds.

This is particularly true in the area of privacy. “I predict that privacy is going to be a major issue. Many people don’t think it’s important, but there are systems that are always listening and can manipulate people to make a certain decision.

“People may think they have nothing to hide, but they are always making decisions about what to buy, where to go, who to work for. And these decisions are being manipulated by what you see, and that is being curated by engines that benefit businesses.

“This all happens automatically, with advanced engines extracting and analysing data – and it happens all the time.”

Another issue that people will have to contend with in the future is authenticity, Beloussov believes.

“In the past, developed by years of evolution, we had the ability to understand what was real and what was not, because we could meet one another in person.

“In a future that is digital, it is possible to fake anything, or change anything online.

“So we have to have the ability to check authenticity.”

While it’s not possible to halt the technology that undermines privacy and authenticity, Beloussov says tools like Acronis can go a long way to mitigating the effects. Training and education are also important.

All-in-one cyber protection

Acronis Cyber Protect is an all-in-one cyber protection solution that addresses the full gamut of cyber-security and data protection.

The solution is available on the cloud or on-premise, and integrates data protection, cybersecurity, and endpoint management.

Acronis Cyber Protect solves modern cybersecurity challenges by going beyond traditional signature-based anti-virus solutions, with AI-based behavioural and heuristic anti-malware that stops ransomware and cryptojacking attacks in real-time.

Acronis’ solution has been proven to have a 100% detection rate with zero false positives by both Virus Bulletin and the independent security lab AV-Test.
This combination of real-time anti-malware protection with on-demand scanning and malware removal, AI-based pre-execution analysis, behavioural analysis, dynamic detection rules, and the other capabilities of traditional anti-virus and endpoint protection products ensures Acronis Cyber Protect delivers all of the capabilities needed for modern cybersecurity, with industry leading data protection services.

The integrated and automated architecture of Acronis Cyber Protect enables it to provide greater data protection than backup alone – delivering proactive, active, and reactive capabilities:

* Vulnerability assessments and patch management, removal of malware from backups, hard drive health checks, and patching on recovery to prevent reoccurring infections offer proactive protection against downtime.

* Continuous data protection, real-time defenses against viruses, ransomware, and cryptojacking, and self-defense capabilities that guard the agent and backup storage deliver active protection from threats.

* Integrated disaster recovery, metadata storage for the forensic investigation of incidents, and the ability to co-exist with other security solutions provide reactive protection.