SEACOM to remain on acquisition trail in 2023
SEACOM says it is working on a multi-country acquisition the details of which it will announce in 2023, and while it cannot provide detail, it says the strategy will see it transform into a fully-fledged pan-African provider.
The company recently hosted an event - Evolve - in Kenya, during which it shared some information about its vision for the country and the broader East Africa region.
Included in the vision is the rollout of several new network security offerings, including solutions to cover Secure Access Service Edge (SASE), Security Incident and Event Management (SIEM).
SEACOM said that Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks are increasing at a staggering rate, and Kenya has been amongst the top targets on the continent.
“In the past three months alone, the country has experienced 30,000 attacks with the Financial and Insurance, InfoTech and Public Sector industries being the top targets of these attacks. The volume, intensity and frequency of attacks have also increased. This year, Kenya experienced the highest volume of attacks on the African continent, reaching a record of 600 Gbps. Attacks in Kenya on average last between 10 - 60 minutes, which is above the continent and the global average of 5 - 10 minutes, and the longest attack lasting seven straight days,” the company stated.
Due to the impact and implications on businesses DDoS attacks are not commonly spoken about.
Grant Morgan, Group Managing Director of SEACOM Business, said: “Today, hybridity defines the workplace experience. With this way of working comes the need for new connections and the means for enterprises to support and, most importantly, secure their employees, infrastructure, and data. Solutions such as SASE allow us to consolidate the security tools clients are already using, bringing the multiple applications and mechanisms they use to protect their data and systems together into a single solution. With that process, we can achieve a significant reduction in both system complexity and cost.”
In addition to the all-new SASE and SIEM network security solutions, SEACOM Kenya will also be relaunching the company’s software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) solution in the region in 2023.
According to SEACOM, East Africa has undergone radical transformation thanks to internet connectivity via undersea cables.
“As we head into 2023, we face a great challenge in terms of connectivity but also meeting enterprises’ technical, logistical, and economic requirements. We want to ask them: What is on the top of your mind? How can we help you with your digitalisation journey? These are the conversations that will inform our own journey and help spread SEACOM and the vital Internet services it offers across the region,” said Tejpal Badi, Managing Director of SEACOM East Africa.
Badi added that businesses require increased bandwidth to accommodate new (cloud, hybrid work, BOYD, etc.) requirements.
“Reliable connectivity is the foundation for businesses to gain access to their data, whether on-prem or in the cloud, and provides customers and staff with a seamless experience. Most large-to-medium-size businesses are moving to the cloud or have a strategy to get there.Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS) have been the prevalent solutions of choice by the majority of businesses. Post-COVID most businesses have adopted a hybrid working environment, this places pressure on security, and that is where SASE solutions will help businesses,” said Badi.
In October 2021, the company acquired 200kms of metro fibre in Nairobi, Kenya, and in March 2023, it acquired 800 km of fibre assets in Uganda with the acquisition of Africell.
“… this ensures that our customers operate on our own network where we provide better uptime and reliability,” Badi added.
In early 2020 SEACOM Group underwent a major transformation by introducing a new leadership team … this set the stage for the company’s ambitious five-year strategy (2020-2025) to become a pan-African converged telecommunications provider.
Badi added, “Our short-term goals are to acquire the right partners and businesses and leverage our strengths with these new acquisitions and partners.We have been achieving short-term goals since the introduction of the strategy, and so far, have acquired the Hirani Metro Network in Nairobi, and the Africell assets in Kampala, which has strengthen our core network – this is now enabling us to provide world-class solutions with our global partners.”
SEACOM said 80% of the top 100 companies in East Africa use SEACOM Business as their main Internet provider, and most of the other providers buy capacity from SEACOM Wholesale to sell to their customers.