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Amazon CTO advocates cloud migration for enhanced security

Amazon CTO advocates cloud migration for enhanced security

The most useful tool offered by a migration to cloud computing for enterprises is security according to Dr Werner Vogels, Chief Technology Officer at electronic commerce and cloud computing company Amazon.

Speaking at the AWS Summit in Cape Town this week, Dr Vogels said it is important to think about how cloud offers 'superpowers' to build and operate better - especially by securing information through interventions that include encryption, identity management, compliance and using shields and firewalls, for example, to secure the network.

"I think probably the absolute most important super power in all of this is 'force field'. That in essence relates to giving you tools (as an enterprise) to protect yourself, to protect your customers in ways that you could never do before. You really have to protect your business and your customers otherwise you don't have a business, and if you look at the last two to three years, the threats are increasingly advanced. No hacker has ever looked at a website and said 'oh it has an ISO 27001 stamp, I can't touch that'..."

Dr Vogels said security should be a consideration from day one and "not something that you sprinkle over your apps or systems later on."

He added that encryption of all critical information should also be done as a basic measure to ensure greater security.

"Encryption absolutely is the most important tool you have to protect yourself. (When) you encrypt your data, you are the only one who has access to your data and nobody else. You decide who else can access very critical business data."

Peter Rix, CTO at Absa, an AWS customer, echoed Dr Vogels views on the significance of the security offered through the transition from on-premise to cloud.

"We are a bank and we have to worry about security. We actually underestimated how much it takes to put all the security in place. We also underestimated how much it would take to put all the operations in place. We know we will be able to do it in bits and pieces, although we won't be able to scale the organisation (at once). We are spending a lot of time getting the right operations and the right security so that we can take that forward. We are also educating our staff. I am really pleased that one of our guys has gone through the professional AWS engineering certification. I think he is one of fourteen people in South Africa. That is the type of investment we are trying to encourage."

Kabelo Makwane, Managing Director for Accenture's Cloud First business in Sub-Saharan Africa, said, "Security is a very important aspect of Accenture's engagement. It is one of the key services that we offer to our clients, both in terms of applications security as well as the entire risk governance approach - which transcends into identity management in the cloud and kind of creating a federated security infrastructure where you are in a shared environment (which is the public cloud domain), but you are also defending from within the perimeters of all the services that you offer."

Forrester research in June, Cloud Security Solutions Forecasts between 2016 and 2021, predicts that global cloud security spending will reach US$3.5 billion by 2021 growing at an annual rate of 28% over the five years.

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