Johannesburg, 14 Jun 2023
AWS, a sponsor of this year’s ITWeb Security Summit on 15 June in Cape Town, plans to use the event as a platform to demonstrate to business leaders and government executives how its solutions elevate their data security posture in the cloud.
Jabu Sibanyoni, head of solutions architecture, sub-Saharan Africa, AWS, will deliver a presentation focused on the strategies and steps required to achieve this elevation.
He says the company has a comprehensive product portfolio that is designed to help businesses strengthen their security posture using AWS cloud.
According to Sibanyoni, data residency, data sovereignty and data security dominate client discussions around cyber security strategy. “What we are seeing today is that organisations are starting to accelerate their journey to the cloud… they still want to ensure that they have control over their data. They also want to ensure that they are able to meet applicable laws and regulations.”
AWS is pleased to see that organisations are becoming more aware of their regulatory requirements and how this fits into their cyber security strategy.
“Security is a top priority at AWS,” says Sibanyoni. “This is the starting point in the process to elevate security posture.”
He emphasises that AWS has always placed the control of users’ data and data sovereignty in the hands of the customers.
“AWS has a range of data protection features, as well as the accreditation and contractual commitments that give those customers control over where they locate their data, who can access it and how the data is used by the customers.”
Customers are responsible for managing their data and Sibanyoni advises customers to classify their content so they can start using AWS identity access management tools to apply specific appropriate permissions, for example.
AWS advises customers to follow its Well-Architected Framework, which is a set of best practices and tools available in the AWS management console.
These resources can be used to evaluate infrastructure, data, systems and processes. They can be applied to check on aspects like operational excellence, professional excellence, reliability, security, performance efficiency and cost optimisation.
Within the security console specifically, issues like identity access management, data detection, data protection and infrastructure protection are scrutinised for maximum efficiency and output.
If followed correctly and leveraging AWS technology and support, businesses can advance on their data security journeys – specifically within the public sector.
Innovative healthcare systems start-up Right ePharmacy is a good example, says Sibanyoni. The company is focused on supplying solutions and technology within the primary healthcare space.
Fanie Hendriksz, managing director, Right ePharmacy, says the healthcare system is overburdened and has many challenges, not least of which is a shortage of healthcare professionals and a lack of important infrastructure.
“We have about 45 million people who are not insured and who rely on the public health sector. Our aim is to improve access to and availability of medicines and especially for now, our programmes are aligned with the National Department of Health’s continuous effort to improve access and availability to quality healthcare."
AWS has been a key technology partner in the growth of this start-up.
Chris Baisch, Business Unit Manager: IT & Technology, Right ePharmacy, says cloud was able to provide the backbone for its Collect & Go Smart Lockers deployment. “AWS provided us with their EC2 environment with additional functionalities, to create a secure solution that could sync data to and from our devices in the field and our cloud environment, without any risk to the patient or us as a business.”
Hendriksz says the company is rolling out Collect & Go smart lockers. “These are used by Amazon all over the world for e-commerce. We’ve customised and localised production and adopted that technology into the public health space to monitor and enable better patient-centric and managed care solutions within the distribution and collection of medicine. We are very excited and currently establishing and scaling implementation in five South African provinces and 101 medicine pickup points that contain 392 locker units. We have also recently expanded into another three sub-Saharan countries with 20 medicine pickup points that are containing 86 locker units as well as our custom-designed centralised dispensing software.”
The synchronisation of data, online and offline, is key and a big part of the puzzle to solving healthcare problems on the continent, says Hendriksz.
“That is the benefit of us working with AWS and one of the additional benefits is going into the rural areas to know that when you’ve got connectivity, the patient data and the key information and data is transmitted in the correct manner.”
Sibanyoni adds: “Security now has become everyone’s job. Its management has become a strategic and an organisation-wide concern. The way forward really is for organisations to start building a culture of security throughout… so it shouldn’t just be an IT job or tech job, even at enterprise level we should be creating a different organisational culture.”