Trellix has a bold plan to drive open XDR into Africa
When global cybersecurity company and extended detection and response (XDR) specialist Trellix was unveiled following the merged cybersecurity brands McAfee Enterprise and FireEye, Africa was identified as a key region of interest.
At the company’s Xpand Live 2022 conference hosted in Las Vegas this week, South Africa country lead for Trellix, Carlo Bolzonello told ITWeb Africa the company will take a bold approach to solution and service roll out plans for this competitive, but mostly untapped market.
Trellix’s value proposition is to address cybersecurity challenges and an expanding threat landscape with the use of intelligence-driven XDR and by strengthening SecOps teams.
The statistics show that Africa is not immune from cyber threats and is as susceptible to attacks as its international counterparts.
According to Research presented during the conference less than 40% of South African SecOps professionals are confident in their ability to adapt to new online threats, with 34% only somewhat confident. While 18% are not confident in their ability to deal with continuously evolving threats, over 10% are undecided.
In early December 2021, research by McAfee Enterprise and FireEye titled Cybercrime in a Pandemic World: The Impact of COVID-19, found that 90% of these professionals feel that their industry has experienced an increase in cyber threats since the onset of COVID-19 in early 2020, with data breaches, malware attacks, and phishing scams being the three cyber risks seen to be most threatening.
Sixty-three percent of these professionals add that there should be more emphasis on employee training and awareness about cybersecurity issues, with 61% saying that there should be more resources allocated towards planning for how to efficiently respond to them.
Although Bolzonello acknowledged the very real threat that ransomware attacks pose to African businesses, he pointed out that it’s not the only threat actor around.
“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.”
In terms of strategy for Trellix to address the broader Africa market, the intention is to introduce new components and new technology into this market. The company is eager to ensure that South Africa will benefit from the threat intelligence value proposition that Bolzonello said was missing before.
“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 added.
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.
Bolzonello said that the company uses a lot of data from the Africa space in its threat analysis and in its technology. “From a threat perspective and from a technology perspective, Africa is treated the same as the US and everywhere else, because we have to – the threat is exactly the same globally. So the threat is the same and so we want to defend and protect customers globally.”
Bryan Palma, Trellix CEO, said that Africa is a big and important growth market. “As the economy continues to mature, there will be a lot more opportunities for cybersecurity companies to help African companies protect their infrastructure, their data… we do relatively well in South Africa. If you look at our solution and what we’re doing, our portfolio will help medium-sized businesses in Africa get multiple capabilities from a suite of products. We are well-positioned.”
Palma added that part of sustaining this position is to secure a broader base in Africa, across the continent, and growing the top line. “If we do this, we become more attractive to partners.”
This is in line with the company’s channel-centric approach to the market, which Palma believes will stand the company in good stead for growth and expansion into Africa.
Cybersecurity skills crisis
In addition to the severity of cyber threats, Africa also shares another global challenge – an acute shortage of cybersecurity skills.
Trellix has announced new efforts to close the cybersecurity industry’s 2.72 million person talent gap under the banner of its soulful work campaign.
“Our work is all about protecting people, and there’s nothing more purposeful than this mission,” said Michael Alicea, CHRO, Trellix. “People are seeking meaningful, soulful work, but it requires industry-wide action to remove the unnecessary barriers to entry and build a diverse talent pipeline.”
The soulful work campaign is designed to accelerate inclusion for traditionally underrepresented communities within cybersecurity.