Africa-focused network and telecommunications group Liquid Telecom has launched a cybersecurity unit, which provides end-to-end managed services for digital security and is designed to protect customers' digitally transformed businesses including networks, people and systems.
Liquid Telecom CEO Nic Rudnick says the new unit has brought together specialist companies as partners to protect clients, users and networks and to keep the total environment of clients safe against cybercrime.
Some of the challenges facing businesses when trying to manage their cybersecurity include complexity, as there are more applications (apps) to be managed and more apps deployed by staff. There is also increased complexity of threats and attack, and more attack surfaces, owing to the need for remote access, which also increased during the Covid-19-related lockdown, besides other challenges.
"On average, about 10% of apps used in businesses are implemented by the information technology (IT) department, 70% by business departments and 20% by employees. We do not want to prevent departments and employees from using apps, but want to make these apps visible to IT so that they can be monitored and the risks managed. We aim to keep the business network and users safe, irrespective of where they are," says Rudnick.
Chief digital officer David Behr adds that the aim of the cybersecurity unit is to help clients manage cybersecurity risks, including the evaluation, design and planning, targeted cybersecurity training and assessment of personnel, and monitoring and detection, as well as threat-hunting.
A cybersecurity posture starts with an evaluation and understanding of the cybersecurity risks a company faces, and then developing a strategy to eliminate or mitigate these risks.
The complexity of managing end-to-end cybersecurity solutions necessitates partnerships and Liquid has joined forces with existing partners in Africa, as well as specialist cybersecurity companies, to provide the service.
"Through our strategic partnerships with Netskope, Logicalis, Microsoft and Cyber Risk Aware, we have curated the best solutions in the industry to address the changing demands of a digitally transformed business world. The service allows customers to focus on their core business while we manage their complete IT environment,” says Behr.
"Cybersecurity is not a single product; there is lots that companies need to think about. Liquid, as a trusted adviser, is helping to design a data-informed cybersecurity tool for the specific cybersecurity challenges Africa faces. We do not want to, and cannot, do everything, and have partnered with the best to deliver this service, which provides customers with a huge array of cybersecurity options that they can select.
"The aim is to build the foundation for secure business by focusing on three core aspects, namely securing people and key assets and managing risks and threats."
Detailing some of the service options, Behr notes that the cybersecurity unit is adhering to zero-trust design models, which do not assign risk based on where in a network a user is accessing the business network from, but monitor what data or systems users access, whether they are permitted to access these data or systems and what actions they are taking.
Part of the newly launched service will use a centralised identity management system to secure access and provide visibility for the IT department, and manage access and authentication of users across a company's cloud and on-premise infrastructure.
Similarly, most of the analysis, reporting and responding to potential threats or major incidents is supported by machine learning and artificial intelligence systems, enabling cybersecurity officers to eliminate noise, respond quickly and proactively to threats and to identify and contain breaches.