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Use load shedding to bolster cybersecurity advises SA Trellix boss

While load shedding has gripped South Africa of late and has businesses worried, Carlo Bolzonello, South African country lead for enterprise cybersecurity infrastructure and intelligence organisation Trellix said the issue can actually be used to strengthen cybersecurity.

Bolzonello said one thing companies in South Africa can rely on is the continuation of their cybersecurity defences during blackouts.

Carlo Bolzonello, country lead for Trellix in South Africa.
Carlo Bolzonello, country lead for Trellix in South Africa.

“Power outages can, in some cases, even prove to be beneficial, as when systems are offline, hackers are not able to use their cloud-based methodologies to gain access to your business network.”

Bolzonello goes on to explain that when power shortages happen, business targeted by cyberattacks have, in some circumstances, taken advantage of the opportunity to restore systems using their offline servers, and avoid paying any ransoms.

He adds that the majority of software providers have more than enough backup capacity to keep systems running through even extended power outages, and are unlikely to be affected at all.

“While there are many bleak realities South African businesses face due to load shedding, organisations can at least rest assured that their cybersecurity systems will remain in place, protecting critical business data and assets."

Africa’s untapped potential

In September this year, Bolzonello attended the Trellix Xpand Live 2022 conference in Las Vegas and said the company plans to take a bold approach to serve a competitive but mostly untapped market.

“South Africa is a very mature market, they know what they want and they know how they are going to get it… so yes, it will definitely have an impact,” he said.

The company considers South Africa to be a stronghold, but it is not the only growth market, there is plenty of opportunity in the rest of the continent too.

“Ransomware is a global thing and if you look at it, it’s not really predominantly in South Africa more than it is in like in another African country. Ransomware, it’s there and it is a very dire threat for businesses that are hit. South Africa has a different play in terms of threats, there’s that, but we do see some activity from the bigger threat actor groups operating in the South African space, and government space. When I look at the statistics, yes ransomware is there, but there is definitely activity from these well-known groups.”

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