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Case study: Averting patient data breach – the power of cyber anticipation in healthcare

Johannesburg, 11 Mar 2024
Armand Kruger, Head of Cyber Security at NEC XON.
Armand Kruger, Head of Cyber Security at NEC XON.

In the volatile cyber security landscape, the ability to anticipate and prevent cyber threats is paramount. With sensitive data at stake, especially in industries like healthcare, proactive measures are essential to safeguarding against potential breaches. According to Armand Kruger, Head of Cyber Security: “NEC XON is a leader in cyber security solutions and exemplifies this proactive approach through its innovative xCTEM (Extended Continuous Threat Exposure Management) platform.”

The threat: Protecting business-critical patient data

In the digital age, threats to data security lurk in the shadows of the dark web, waiting to exploit vulnerabilities. NEC XON's xCTEM platform serves as a vigilant guardian, monitoring the dark web, detecting credential leaks and identifying potential attack surfaces. “In a recent incident, xCTEM alerted the NEC XON Cyber team to the sale of a leaked credential, an employee's enterprise ID, on a dark web trading platform,” says Kruger. “Investigation revealed that this credential provided access to a shared platform used by medical professionals to access patient data and medical aid information. The gravity of the situation became apparent as the cyber team successfully accessed confidential health data belonging to South African citizens, posing a serious risk to NEC XON's customer.”

The response: Swift action and enhanced security measures

In response to the imminent threat, the NEC XON Cyber MDR Team swiftly mobilised, assessing the overall business risk associated with the compromised account. Immediate measures, including password resets and engagement with third parties to address the leak, were enacted. Despite challenges, such as the shared platform's lack of support for MFA (multi-factor authentication), NEC XON remains proactive in bolstering security measures.

Engaging the development team, efforts are under way to integrate MFA into the platform, enhancing identity security resilience. This proactive response not only mitigates immediate risks but also lays the foundation for a more secure future.

The benefits: Empowering resilience and trust

“Through cyber threat anticipation and prevention, NEC XON empowers its customers with greater resilience against potential breaches. By leveraging the xCTEM platform's early warning capabilities, disruptions to operations are minimised, resources are conserved and business impact is reduced. Most importantly, sensitive patient data is safeguarded, nurturing trust and confidence among customers and consumers alike,” Kruger explains.

Embracing proactive cybersecurity

Reactive cyber security measures are insufficient. NEC XON stands at the forefront of innovation, championing cyber threat anticipation and prevention. By staying ahead of threats through platforms like xCTEM, businesses can navigate the digital landscape with confidence, knowing that their data and operations are safeguarded against evolving cyber threats. As we continue to embrace proactive cyber security measures, the path to greater resilience and trust becomes clearer, ensuring a safer digital future for all.



NEC XON is a leading African integrator of ICT solutions and part of NEC, a Japanese global company. NEC XON has operated in Africa since 1963 and delivers communications, energy, safety, security, and digital solutions. It co-creates social value through innovation to help overcome serious societal challenges. The organisation operates in 54 African countries and has a footprint in 16 of them. Regional headquarters are located in South, East, and West Africa. NEC XON is a level 1-certified broad-based black economic empowerment (B-BBEE) business. Discover more at

Editorial contacts

Michelle Oelschig
Scarlet Letter
(083) 636 1766