Reducing cyber risk with next-gen technology

Johannesburg, 30 May 2023

The attack surface within the cyber security landscape is ever expanding and gaining in complexity, meaning that today, the securing and tracking of sensitive data is of the utmost importance – perhaps more than ever before.

“In fact,” explains Gideon Viljoen, Presales Specialist: ICT Security at hybrid ICT systems integrator and managed services provider, Datacentrix, “with the introduction of legislation such as the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA), organisations can be penalised for not taking every conceivable measure to ensure data is protected and secured.

“Add to this the fact that businesses are moving from an on-premises environment to the cloud, allowing users access to data sets and information to be used for daily activities, and it’s clear that it is becoming increasingly challenging to control and protect information.”

All these challenges are further exacerbated by the current global shortage of cyber security skills, which is a serious growing concern, Viljoen explains.

“Maintaining control and an audit trail of cyber security activities can be daunting and expensive if you are investing in human resources to manage and maintain this on your behalf. And it’s not just the skilling up of cyber security staff that is a challenge – retaining knowledgeable staff is another problem area, as experts in this field are frequently poached by the highest bidder.

“Furthermore, with the sheer amount of data flowing through our organisations on a daily basis, with millions, if not sometimes billions, of alerts and notifications pinging through, ‘alert fatigue’ has become a real challenge. Unfortunately, this can equate to significant threats sometimes being missed due to the ‘noise’ of it all, as it becomes more difficult to identify actionable threats from false positives.”

This being said, Mimecast’s 7th Annual State of Email Security Report (SOES) offers some optimism among all of these worries, stating that artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are helping under-resourced cyber security teams stay ahead of the curve.

The report states that 92% of companies are either using or plan to use AI and ML to bolster their cyber security. Forty-nine percent of those surveyed are already using some combination of these technologies (compared to 46% last year and just 38% the year before). It also says that, among the companies already using AI/ML, more accurate threat detection (50%), an improved ability to block threats (49%) and faster remediation when an attack has occurred (48%) are viewed as the three biggest benefits.

In addition, most SOES participants (81%) agree that AI systems that are able to provide real-time, contextual warnings to e-mail and collaboration tool users would be a huge boon. Twelve percent went so far as to say that the benefits of such a system would revolutionise the ways in which cyber security is practised.

Says Viljoen: “The use of AI and ML technologies and techniques can assist the human resources with the ‘heavy lifting’ of sifting through the data, analysing it much faster, making a decision based on collected artefacts and only requiring human interaction for the verification of the presented artefacts.

“AI and ML toolsets are becoming extremely useful for our everyday lives and businesses alike, helping to combat alert fatigue, decrease false positives, automate repetitive tasks and improve the quality of alerts to the human for verification.

“These valuable tools play an important supporting role, assisting cyber security professionals to do more with less and allowing them to deliver peace of mind in an ever-changing world,” he concludes.


Datacentrix provides leading ICT integration services and solutions to South African organisations, ensuring their success and sustainability into the digital age. The company’s approach is to partner with its customers, equipping them with valuable insight and helping to align their ICT undertakings with their business strategy.

Datacentrix offers a deeply specialised skills component and is endorsed by the world’s foremost technology partners. The company is recognised for its agility, in-depth industry knowledge, proven capability and strong overall performance.

Datacentrix is a Level One (AAA) B-BBEE Contributor, with 135 percent procurement recognition. For more information, please visit.

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Nicola Read