Over 90% of IT decision makers across South Africa, Kenya and Zimbabwe have accelerated their cyber security efforts due to the substantial emergence of digital ways of working.
This is according to the latest 2021 research undertaken by Liquid Intelligent Technologies.
The study established some of the main concerns about cybersecurity threats and the most significant impacts of digital breaches on an organisational level.
A critical insight from the research suggest that 79% of businesses from all three countries attribute an increase in cyber-security threats to te advent of more remote working.
Data breaches like data extortion, data leakage and data disclosure constitute almost 71% of the cyber-attacks for Kenyan businesses, and over 70% of South African and Zimbabwean organisations consider email email attacks like phishing the most prominent digital threats.
The participants from the research also indicated an increased consumption of cloud-based services this year, with the numbers being as high as 96% in South Africa, 95% in Kenya and 75% in Zimbabwe. This comes from a jump in Microsoft Office 365, Teams, Zoom, Google Workspace, Microsoft Azure, and Amazon Web Services.
Consequentially, cyber security threats and concerns seem to be spiralling up as the workforce continues to shift to working through digital platforms.
According to the research, managing user access to information, data loss and recovery, visibility and control of data, and compliance challenges remain some of the biggest concerns for organisations.
Almost 80% of organisations that participated in this research from Zimbabwe, South Africa and Kenya agree that cyber security threats have increased over the past year.
When segmented by respondents working specifically in large enterprises, the research permitted a more informed audience and knowledgeable opinions. According to the study, an emerging trend for 2021 is that 53% of the respondents emphasise security and data protection as significant concerns.
Some of the biggest security concerns cited by businesses using cloud services are managing user access to information, data loss, recovery and lack of security controls made available by cloud providers.
The research also pointed out email attacks, web-based attacks, social engineering, malware, ransomware and data breaches to be the top concerns around cyber security in 2021.
Ignus de Villiers, group head of cyber security at Liquid Intelligent Technologies, says: “The result of our research confirms that Cyber Security should be at the centre of every business conversation and emphasises the need to establish an appropriate Cyber Security Framework that matches the business environment.
“Critically, the framework must look beyond technical security controls to include information security management covering governance, risk, compliance, people, processes and technology.”