Etion targets West Africa with cyber security solutions

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Etion CEO Teddy Daka.
Etion CEO Teddy Daka.

Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed technology company Etion has laid out ambitious growth plans, as it sets its sights on offering cyber security solutions on a continental scale.

The firm, headquartered in Gauteng, already has clients in SA, Europe and the Middle East, but now sees Sub-Saharan Africa as a new growth market with good opportunities in safety and cyber security.

Etion Group CEO Teddy Daka, who is in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, says he wants to grow significantly beyond South African borders and identify potential partners that can represent his firm in the Western African market.

Daka, who is part of the Outward Trade and Investment Mission organised by the Department of Trade and Industry to Abidjan, says he aims to grow his client network and sell high-tech digital solutions in that region.

“As we have never been in Côte d'Ivoire before, this mission will also be a good opportunity to get a view of the economic landscape and to meet with different entities that may be interested in our products and services. Our main goal is to make a meaningful connection with one or more government agencies that we could get interested in our cyber security portfolio.

“Our participation in this mission represents a vote of confidence in our ability as Etion to showcase how South Africa is at the forefront of digital transformation on the African continent. We are in the midst of a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way people live, work and relate to one another.”

Cyber security shortcomings have become a big threat for the continent and Etion believes this presents growth opportunities.

In PwC's 22nd Annual Global CEO Survey, released in January, cyber threats were identified as the fifth largest threat to global growth, following over-regulation, policy uncertainty, the availability of skills and trade conflicts.

Daka’s trip to West Africa comes as analysts say African organisations need to do more to invest in their cyber security infrastructure.

“This includes investing more resources towards network security and cyber security infrastructure, specifically improving on their network and host intrusion prevention systems,” Derrick Chikanga, senior analyst of IT services at Africa Analysis, told ITWeb recently.

Etion’s African adventure has been in the making for some time.

In June, at the company’s year-end financial results presentation, Daka expressed his desire to take advantage of accelerated digitalisation of economies.

At the time, he said Etion had also “shifted focus” to cyber security as it sees the sector as a growth area.

“We can certainly do much better in terms of cyber security readiness. If you look at the reports that come out, we are very vulnerable when it comes to cyber attacks. It’s only that it’s under-reported, but most reports that come from think tanks are telling us that most of our country is not that secure from cyber attacks. We see cyber attacks in the public sector and we see it in the private sector as well.”

Etion’s pursuit of the cyber security market was evidenced by the company’s recent acquisition of LAWtrust, which is now Etion Secure.

“We got LAWtrust so we can enhance our capability and offerings. Cyber security is a growth area for this business,” Daka said.

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