Protecting Businesses From Devastating Cyber Attacks

South Africa ranks sixth on the list of most targeted countries for cyberattacks, and world-wide SMEs
are considered most vulnerable to breach attacks. Affordable cyber protection is essential.
By First Distribution 

The global Cyber Exposure Index ranks South Africa sixth on the list of most-targeted countries for
cyberattacks.
SMEs are not immune to this – far from it: One global study suggests that 58% of all breach victims are
categorised as SMEs. Without access to the same skills and technologies as larger enterprises, SMEs
remain vulnerable to attacks and often lack appropriate response and resilience capabilities that can
restore normal operations in the aftermath of a successful cyberattack.
Consider a denial of service threat; an attack meant to shut down your machines or networks, making
them inaccessible to intended users. These attacks often target SMEs because hackers know how
devasting the cost is when time and efficiency mean money – and the difference between an SME’s
ability to keep the lights on and salaries paid or close its doors.
In our experience, large enterprises can survive cyber-attacks. For SMEs, they can be far more
devastating.
Accessible Cyber Security Solutions
What does all this mean for SMEs though? There’s a reason that hackers take a chance on SMEs – many
businesses in this space don’t have IDS and IPS DDOS protection. SMEs are also ‘softer’ targets that
hackers can use to access the data of larger, enterprise customers.
As lifelong allies in business transformation, Microsoft believes that success made possible by the Cloud
should be accessible to every business and organisation – large or small. In many ways, the Cloud is a
democratising force – systems and solutions that were previously unattainable for SMEs simply because
of the expense involved are now freely available – including cyber security.
Azure is a trusted hybrid Cloud solution: 95% of Fortune 500 companies trust their business on the
Microsoft cloud. All the services that are available to the world’s largest organisations are available to
SMEs as well.
Because it’s in the Cloud, Azure essentially becomes a software solution – a way for SMEs to access the
platforms, software and functionality they need, as they need it, without investing in on-premises
hardware and servers.
The key to Azure from a security perspective however, is that just by using it, SMEs are protected
against cyber-attacks. Azure has built-in protection automatically, so even SMEs that are accessing the
simplest functionality are automatically protected.

3 500 Cyber Security Professionals At Your Fingertips
This can of course, be increased as well. Advanced threat protection for workloads, whether in Azure or
on-premises can be extended through using other applications, such as Kaspersky, to further protect
and guarantee protection against cyber multiple attacks.
Consider how Azure can so successfully cater to the SME market. Microsoft invests over a billion dollars
annually into cybersecurity, including the Azure platform, to ensure its government, Fortune 500 and
enterprise clients are protected.
3 500 dedicated cybersecurity professionals work together across the Cyber Defense Operations Center,
digital crimes unit and other teams to help protect, detect and respond to threats in real time.
For physical security, Azure has hundreds of DataCenters in 50 regions, and these have extensive multi-
layered protections to ensure unauthorized users cannot gain physical access to your customer data.
Because Azure is a Cloud-based solution however, all of that security and expertise is available to any
business that utilises the platform. When Azure was conceived, the goal was to offer SMEs the same
functionality as large enterprises, which means SMEs can benefit from Microsoft’s 3 500 dedicated
cybersecurity professionals just as much as a Fortune 500 company can.
The most important element of Azure’s security features however, is that they are constantly evolving.
As technology and data science evolve, cyberattacks evolve in intelligence. In Azure, applications and
services are always changing and being updated to keep up with the evolution of cyberattacks – with no
additional investment from Azure users. It’s simply built into monthly user fees.


First Distribution is the leading value-added distributor in Africa. Our offering includes a product
portfolio of global leading Datacentre, Cloud, Networking and Security products and services. This
embraces hybrid solutions with access to any combination of on premise, private cloud and public cloud
end-to-end solutions from multiple vendors.
The portfolio, together with highly skilled staff to support and manage vendors with an unrivalled level
of expertise, ensures that our partners have the key elements required for success.
First Distribution additionally hosts one of the largest technology partner-to-partner networks in Africa
allowing partners to extend the reach of their solutions across the continent.
Visit www.firstdistribution.com to find out more.

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Natasha Bezuidenhout
Natasha.Bezuidenhout@firstdistribution.com
First Distribution is Africa’s leading Cloud distributor.

cybersecurity, data protection

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