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Covid-19 driving cyber attacks on African businesses

More than 57 percent of businesses across Africa have registered an increase in cyber security threats since the outbreak of the coronavirus, as more people are increasingly working from home to prevent the spread of the disease, a pan-African telecommunications company has said.

Businesses are now focussing on securing confidential data and information systems on their networks.

Liquid Telecommunications Holdings, which already offers network and cloud services that are critical for remote working in more than 13 African countries including Zimbabwe, has since launched a cyber security unit as part of a response to the growing threats.

It is believed that the new work-from-home model that is being adopted by companies is inherently creating vulnerabilities in networks that are opening the door to cyber attacks.

Research has shown that it worryingly takes an average 228 days to identify a breach, in which period the damage would most likely would have been done.

Through the new cyber security unit, Liquid intends to leverage on its network, which already provides data, voice and IP services,  and its cloud services – allowing for remote access of data in a company’s system – to create a seamless system that can provide a secure network.

In a statement to launch its new product offering on Wednesday, Liquid Telecom said cyber threats are now “a real and imminent threat to businesses and their end-users”.

“Cyber security is a real and imminent threat to businesses and their end-users, as highlighted by the survey commissioned in August 2020 by Liquid Telecom. IT decision-makers across Africa were asked for their insights on cyber security trends, with 57 percent of those surveyed stating that they have seen an increase in threats over the Covid-19 pandemic period. And while many employees across the continent are returning to work, organisations are embracing a hybrid model of digital and onsite working.”

According to Liquid’s group chief digital officer Mr David Behr, the company is leveraging on the expertise from some of the industry’s biggest cyber security solution providers, which are its strategic partners, to create a secure network that is not likely to be breached.

“Although we are unveiling the cyber security unit today, Liquid Telecom is not new to this space. We have successfully secured our own network for the past 15 years, and now 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,” he said.

The recently commissioned survey also showed that companies are largely focussing on cyber security threats to their businesses.

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