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Mauritius Telecom punts emerging tech for competitive edge

Teswaree Heerah, chief data management and security officer, Mauritius Telecom.
Teswaree Heerah, chief data management and security officer, Mauritius Telecom.

To stay ahead of the competition, Mauritius Telecom says it is investigating the possibilities of using emerging technologies, including threat intelligence, generative AI and machine learning.

Teswaree Heerah, chief data management and security officer of Mauritius Telecom, recently spoke with ITWeb about artificial intelligence (AI) and the threats and opportunities it poses to organisations like hers.

She said: “Artificial Intelligence is considered as the Queen in this era. It can be beneficial for the defender and attacker and the one who plays it well is the winner.

“The industry we are in, we are becoming ever more digitalised and looking at embedding these technologies in our product and services.”

Heerah noted, however, that blindly adopting the latest technology isn’t wise and due diligence and addressing attitudes and culture are necessary.

“To get the most benefit from these emerging technologies we are finding ways to collaborate at the early stage of the project lifecycle with our management team to incorporate risk management and controls into our transformation strategies.

“However, the challenge is to make sure that our technology leaders understand the security implications.”

Speaking on the sidelines of the recent Check Point CPX 2024 event in Vienna, Heerah stated that increased cyber risk has prompted the Mauritian government to respond by strengthening legal frameworks, maintaining strong cyber security mechanisms across the country, and educating local communities about cyber security.

Heerah described Mauritius Telecom's own efforts to ensure cyber resilience. She said the company had taken steps to adapt to changes in the cyber landscape, while also taking action to defend against threats by strengthening the telco’s resilience to disruption and building confidence in its cyber security programme.

“We started by investing in an independent security office and reset our cyber strategy to understand and foresee the dynamics of the cyber threat landscape and boost our cyber resilience while embedding cyber hygiene in our risk management culture, making sure cyber resilience governance is incorporated in business strategy,” she said.

According to Heerah, Mauritius Telecom has now placed cyber security on its board agenda, and cyber risk is considered an enterprise risk.

She stated: "Improving cyber security culture is an ongoing project. To stay up with changing technology, security by design is at the heart of innovation."

Furthermore, Heerah said to manage and monitor the company's complex environment, which includes a hybrid cloud model, remote work, a large volume of data that requires protection, and a skills shortage, Mauritius Telecom is focusing on internal and external collaboration and automation to deal with the expansion of the cyberattack surface.

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