Johannesburg, 22 Nov 2023
Global Computing and Telecoms, a Microsoft solutions partner, has become one of only a handful of South African companies to achieve Microsoft Advanced Specializations in both Threat Protection and Identity and Access Management.
Global Computing and Telecoms MD Sello Mbuli says the achievement is a milestone for the company, emphasising its commitment to helping customers secure their Microsoft environments.
Mbuli notes that the majority of South African public and private sector organisations use Microsoft solutions and a significant number use the Azure cloud. However, many of them do not optimise the security available through Microsoft solutions.
“Microsoft is a major force in the cyber security realm, with over 20 000 security engineers, billions invested in enhancing security services and a security portfolio surpassing $20 billion in revenue,” he says. “Most organisations have third-party security tools, yet they don’t come close to what Microsoft provides.”
Mbuli explains that local organisations were forced to make a move to remote work during the COVID-19 lockdown, but many exposed serious vulnerabilities in the move. These have not been addressed.
Beystor Makoala, Director of Cybersecurity at Global Computing and Telecoms, says vulnerability assessments reveal vulnerabilities virtually every time. “This may be due to factors like legacy technology or a shortage of specialised security skills. However, it increases risk to business continuity, strategy and revenues.”
Building on its track record of helping customers improve their security posture as part of its broader Microsoft services offering, Global Computing and Telecoms has scaled up its security activities and invested in upskilling its security team and achieving the Microsoft Advanced Specializations. “The bar to achieving Advanced Specializations is high,” he notes. “We now have a team of 20 certified security engineers, and this month we are onboarding a further 10.
“As a 100% Black-owned company, this underlines our competency and expertise,” he says. “We are in the business of helping customers achieve their objectives, and these objectives can be put at risk by cyber security vulnerabilities. We want to enable our customers to do business freely without worrying about whether their data assets and systems are well protected.”
“Companies like Global Computing and Telecoms understand that the expanding threat landscape requires organisations to rethink their risk approach to safeguard against cyber security threats. Global Computing and Telecoms continues to build strong capabilities across our solutions areas and invests in skills development, particularly in security where market demand is high. We are proud of the work they continue to do and look forward to working with them to protect customers’ systems and enable businesses to keep up with the rapid pace of change in today’s world,” says Shaun Reuben, Global Partner Solutions Director, Microsoft South Africa.
Microsoft Advanced Specializations validate a partner’s capabilities, and eligible partners are required to meet the highest standards for service delivery and support. The Threat Protection Advanced Specialization demonstrates deep knowledge, extensive experience and proven success deploying Microsoft Threat Protection, Microsoft Cloud App Security or Azure Sentinel workloads. The Identity and Access Management Specialization demonstrates deep knowledge, extensive experience and proven experience deploying Microsoft Identity workloads with Azure Active Directory (Azure AD).
Global Computing and Telecoms’ security value propositions include a team of highly skilled professionals and an extensive suite of security services, including vulnerability assessments, threat intelligence, advanced threat detection and monitoring capabilities and incident response. Global Computing and Telecoms understands that each organisation has unique security challenges, so it works closely with organisations to assess its specific needs and design customised threat protection solutions aligned with business goals.
Mbuli adds that an important focus area is identity protection: “We receive special benefits from Microsoft to help customers thoroughly secure their identity platform. We also host workshops to educate customers on additional security capabilities in Microsoft products as part of our comprehensive approach to help secure organisations.
Aggregating scarce security skills
Makoala notes that Global Computing and Telecoms’ move to grow its security capabilities is a timely one: “There has been a cyber security skills shortage for some time, but it has been exacerbated by people leaving South Africa for greener pastures. Organisations need trusted advisors to take on critical security roles – such as running SOCs, for example.”
Having built up a team of specialised and in-demand security skills to support customers, Global Computing and Telecoms goes to great lengths to retain these experts.
Mbuli says: “We create a conducive environment for them to stay. This is an environment where employees can achieve their full potential and be remunerated on merit. We take professional development very seriously and measure it as part of KPIs.”
With its investment in building advanced cyber security capabilities, Global Computing and Telecoms expects demand for its end-to-end solutions to grow significantly. “Organisations need world-class solutions and expertise to mitigate risk and counter-attacks. Our expert teams and Advanced Specializations enable us to differentiate ourselves as true specialists in cyber security, capable of assisting our customers to secure all their digital estate,” he says.