Kathy Gibson reports – Companies need to change and step up innovation in the businesses – and security is a critical component in achieving this.

This is the word from Doug Woolley, GM of Dell Southern Africa, who points out that crime today is not the way we remember it; now it is cybercrime and data is held hostage.

“We are in a war and you have to set up systems, precures and skills sets to deal with a multitude of attacks that are coming through,” he says. “And today, security it very different from how we would have run it a couple of years ago.”

The four components keeping IT leaders awake are security, multi-cloud, data and people, with innovation and breakthroughs happening at the intersection of people and technology.

“People are a new vulnerability, with work from home having opened up new end points and opportunities for cybercriminals,” Woolley says. “And data, of course, is the reward that they are after, so companies have to be more aware than ever of protecting their own and their customers’ data.”

Modern cybersecurity concerns are driven by complexity: the environment is 10-times more complex that before, with many systems being more open.

Globally, and especially in South Africa, there is a massive skills shortage, which is especially concerning for security.

Companies are vulnerable, and recognise it, with 60% of organisations having experienced a data loss due to an exploited vulnerability.

Uncertainty is also real, with 65% of IT leaders not sure their systems are able to withstand an attack.

Companies need to protect data and apps across the organisation; monitor networks for threats; increase automation; augment staffing gaps to reduce risk, isolate and protect backups offline; and have a response  place in place that is proactively tested.

Modern security solutions can help them to protect data and systems, enhance cyber resiliency, and overcome security complexity, Woolley says. “I think the automation piece is critical if you want to have a cyber security strategy that works.”