The IDC anticipates that worldwide cyber security spending will reach $133,8-billion by 2022, achieving a compound annual growth rate of 9,2% over the 2018-2022 forecast period.

Furthermore, the banking, manufacturing, and government sectors will be the most prominent investors in these solutions. Hardly surprising given the spate of breaches that occurred globally (and locally) over the past 18 months.

“But considering the level of connectivity in the digital workplace, it is paramount for any organisations irrespective of size and industry to ensure their systems and data are safeguarded. In a real-time world, downtime is not an option especially with customers expecting service delivery at any time of day. This means there can be no security compromises with decision-makers needing to ensure they have adequate business continuity and disaster recovery systems in place,” says Prebashini Reddy, Microsoft product manager at Westcon-Comstor, Sub-Saharan Africa.

Of course, complicating this is the rapid adoption of the cloud in South Africa. This has resulted in many companies rushing to migrate without giving a lot of thought to the security implications. Yes, once the information is stored at one of the local Azure data centres, it is protected. But getting it there safely is something that must be carefully considered.

Building a secure workplace is therefore critical especially as the threat actors are becoming more sophisticated in their attacks. This is where Microsoft, with the specialist help from distributor Westcon-Comstor, can empower companies to more effectively (and securely) make the migration.


Enter Microsoft 365

Microsoft 365, part of the Microsoft Modern Workplace Solution offering, becomes an essential ally in this regard. It has been carefully designed to offer business owners simplicity and ease of use when it comes to managing and deploying their business software, while keeping costs down.

This business-focused collection of Microsoft services bundle Office 365, Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS), and machine learning as a subscription thereby saving companies from purchasing the software outright.

“A fundamental aspect of the Microsoft 365 value proposition provided by Westcon-Comstor is the bundled Microsoft EMS tools. These enable businesses to secure and manage the software installed on their workers’ computers from a single dashboard,” adds Reddy.

With Microsoft forming part of the top three cloud solutions providers in the world, it is understandably focused on ensuring its products and services are secure. Using EMS, there is improved visibility into the security status of all devices on the network, software installations, and users. The user-friendly dashboard readily provides business owners and IT administrators with all the right information.

In the Microsoft 365 Security Centre, there is a real-time view of all the devices inside the organisation. From the state of user identities, data, devices, apps, and business infrastructure, the information results in more insightful business decisions and recommendations. By examining the infrastructure, Security Centre assigns a security score – the lower the score, the more work is required to protect against an attack.

“Furthermore, Security Centre also informs management how many users are at risk, the percentage of devices that are non-compliant, and reports on the general security of the business’s cloud apps. EMS also features a Compliance Dashboard,” she adds.

As the name suggests, it focuses on the overall compliance levels of the organisation to ensure it meets the strict guidelines and legislation as a part of its daily operations. Not only does the dashboard examine the organisation’s infrastructure configuration, it provides recommendations on how to resolve any issues it identifies.

“Companies can ill afford not to have their data protected and being compliant with evolving compliance regulations. With Microsoft 365, this becomes a much more intuitive process,” concludes Reddy.