The fourth edition of the International Data Corporation (IDC) CIO Summit 2018 on ‘Developing a Blueprint for Thriving in the Digital Economy’ took place on the 22nd August at the Hilton Resort, Flic en Flac. Cybersecurity was at the heart of the discussions during the summit.
The premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets, the International Data Corporation organised the IDC-CIO Summit 2018 on “Developing a Blueprint for Thriving in the Digital Economy,” which brought together professionals of the Information and Communication Technology field. Cybersecurity was the major theme which emerged from the conference.
According to a study carried out by the IDC, Mauritian professionals are mainly concerned with the safeguard of their digital data. During his presentation, Mark Walker, Associate Vice President of the IDC for the sub-Saharan region, highlighted that half of the respondents of the study expressed their concern regarding the availability of new security technologies and solutions. He stated that today, the reality of cyber world puts into question the very usage of firewalls and other network protections. In other words, firewalls were reliable when cyber-attacks were not so frequent but they have become irrelevant in present day. Mark Walker also underlined other cyber dangers that exist among hacking, cyberware and others.
As for Karen Geldenhuys, CEO of the South African society FABS, she trusts that Mauritian enterprises have a traditional approach when it comes to cyber security. “We cannot continue using only firewalls or anti-viruses. We must understand that we need to move to another level as parameters have changed. We need to dedicate more time to prevent and anticipate the various types of cyber-attacks,” she explained. She advised enterprises to adopt advanced and resilient security programmes which regularly update. She also recommended random periodical checks in order to detect flaws. Praven Pillay, General Manager of Maxtec, warned that all enterprises are vulnerable to cyber-attacks. “Firewalls are outdated. We need a wide range of advanced security,” he said.
The Summit also saw the presence of the Minister of Technology, Communication and Innovation, Yogida Sawmynaden, who indicated that the National Computer Board will organise a competition open to individuals and groups of developers to create innovative web and mobile apps to facilitate the lives of Mauritians as well as the millions of tourists visiting our country every year. “We want to have an apps ecosystem in Mauritius as diverse and useful as what exists in, say, the USA, Singapore or India,” he said. He shared that Info-Highway, introduced as platform for data sharing across all Government agencies, was recognised in February this year as one of the WSIS Prize 2018 Champions, that is, it has been chosen as one of the top five E-government projects in the world among 685 similar projects.
On the same occasion, the Minister highlighted that the Government has released seven mobile apps with a view to democratise access to information and Government services for all citizens and people visiting Mauritius. He indicated that the Emergency Alert Mobile App was introduced in order to allow members of the public to have a direct channel of communication with the National Emergency Operations Command and the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Centre. The Minister added that the Family Welfare Mobile App allows anyone to report cases of child or domestic abuse. “The app features a ‘Help Me Now’ panic button when someone needs urgent assistance. As soon as a report is made, the information immediately goes to the relevant 24/7 Governmental service at the Ministry of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare for immediate action.” Yogida Sawmynaden stated that new mobile apps will be launched by the end of the month of August.
Moreover, Mark Walker, Associate Vice President of the IDC, uttered that the future of computing is in cloud computing. He explained that by year 2020, 25 percent of global businesses will opt for cloud-based, remote-hosted, or software-as-a-service (SaaS) cloud services. In addition, he said that investments in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) will increase in the coming years. He trusts that the setting up of start-ups using big data, namely in the Middle East, Turkey and Africa (META), will move from 35.7% to 62.5%. This will lead to the emergence of new storage and data management needs and the increase of security and privacy levels.
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