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'Businesses in Africa urgently need cyber security training'

'Businesses in Africa urgently need cyber security training'

As registration for m:lab East Africa's three-month cyber security training program draws to a close, Richard de Beer, general manager for solutions architecture at cyber security service provider InfoGuardian, believes the need for this type of security training in Africa remains as high as ever.

Designed by Africahackon, the m:lab training program has been introduced to help participants detect and thwart online threats.

De Beer feels that cybersecurity training is a valuable method of creating awareness in all individuals and organisations.

"Users need to be aware of the threats that exist when traversing the internet, as well as the types of behaviour that have the potential to adversely affect the operations of the organisations that they work for.That being said, it is important to understand that user awareness training is only one component of an effective cyber security defence, which requires a multi-layered approach."

Cyber security is not a matter that African businesses should take lightly, De Beer cautions. "Even when one excludes the most developed economies in Africa, such as South Africa and Nigeria, nine of the world's fastest growing economies exist in Africa. As these economies grow, the organisations that support them will inevitably become more attractive targets for cyber criminals who want to gain access to the information and financial resources."

According to m: lab its training empowers businesses "to be smarter, safer and more cautious online" in order to protect themselves from scams and attacks, and protect corporate networks against Advanced Persistent Threats (APT).

However, De Beer feels the training alone is only one aspect and much more needs to be done by businesses.

"First and foremost, business owners need to understand the local and international regulations that they need to comply with. These regulations and associated frameworks will dictate the level of cyber safety that their organisations need to be compliant with. In addition to training such as that provided by m:lab, business owners should ensure that they familiarise themselves with the threat landscape and provide awareness campaigns to their users."

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