Modern security and citadels in the cloud

SA tech professionals took a deep dive into Microsoft’s products and services during Microsoft Ignite | The Tour at the Sandton Convention Centre.

Microsoft Ignite, the technology titan’s premier event for IT pros and developers, was held in Orlando, Florida, in September 2018. The audience’s appetite for hands-on training from the company’s experts was clear, and shortly afterwards, Microsoft announced plans to take the show on the road. Microsoft Ignite | The Tour began in Berlin in December 2018, and will end in Mumbai later this year.

South Africans recently had their chance to learn from Satya Nadella’s team of specialists. Microsoft Ignite | The Tour Johannesburg was held on January 28 and 29 at the Sandton Convention Centre. As Gold Sponsors of the event, we were thrilled to see the level of enthusiasm! So many delegates stopped by the BUI booth to ask us about cloud migration, digital transformation, and cybersecurity. And we, in turn, took every opportunity to hear from Microsoft’s top tier. Here are our four key takeaways…

#1 | Cyberspace is the modern battlefield

Mina Nagy (Microsoft’s senior product marketing manager for the Middle East and Africa) said this often-stated figure of speech is worth repeating – because it’s as true as ever. And because we sometimes forget how digitally connected we are. The Internet of Things spans equipment, vehicles, energy systems, smart cities, sensors, marketplaces, business machines, personal devices, and so much more.

“Virtually anything can be attacked,” warned Nagy. Cybersecurity solutions need to be all-encompassing, with visibility across assets, comprehensive control, and in-depth guidance to allow real-time responses.

#2 | Azure Front Door Service will simplify connectivity

Senior Cloud Developer Advocate Ruth Yakubu gave attendees a brief overview of Azure Front Door Service, the newest addition to Azure’s application delivery suite of products. Currently in public preview, Azure Front Door Service is designed to provide web and mobile apps, APIs, and cloud services with always-on reliability, high performance, easy scalability and simplified connectivity. View additional information from Ruth, here:

#3 | Security is still everybody’s job

Senior Cloud Security Advocate Tanya Janca stressed the importance of making security a company-wide priority for technical and non-technical staff alike – especially in SMMEs. “When smaller companies suffer a big cyberattack, they often just don’t survive,” said Janca, highlighting the prevalence of data breaches, privacy breaches, insider threats, corporate espionage, and denial of service attacks, as well as the growing problem of ransomware.

Cloud-based security offers organisations the complete infrastructure visibility and threat-monitoring they need to remain agile and responsive in an evolving digital world. Check out Tanya’s cloud security resources here:

#4 | Continuous learning is imperative – even for Power Users

Alastair Pugin (Microsoft Office Apps & Services MVP), Stephen Thair (co-founder of DevOpsGroup), Tracy van der Schyff (Microsoft Office Apps & Services MVP), and Marissa Salazar (Product Marketing Manager at Microsoft Corporation) weighed the impact of cloud on traditional IT. One trend was clear: technology professionals have to keep learning if they want to keep up. Three-year release cycles are a thing of the past: three-week rollouts are the norm in some areas.

New tools require new skills, but there isn’t always time for formal training. Computer users (and even recognised Power Users) need to become their own teachers. Microsoft has created free resources to encourage self-guided learning. Explore the tutorials available via Microsoft Cloud Society and Microsoft Learn, and check out these articles from Tracy:

On-demand content, including downloadable slide decks and videos, are available to all Microsoft Ignite | The Tour Johannesburg delegates. Visit the online portal and login with the same credentials you used to register for the event, and then explore the curated digital assets.

If you missed the Johannesburg event, Microsoft Ignite | The Tour continues in other parts of the world until May 2019. Upcoming tour cities include Amsterdam, Dubai, Mumbai, Seoul, and Stockholm. Register your interest on the official event website if you’re able to attend those sessions.

And don’t forget to browse through the 700+ videos on the Microsoft Ignite YouTube channel, where experts address everything from Azure infrastructure and applications to the future of artificial intelligence.

Microsoft Ignite | The Tour Johannesburg was held at the Sandton Convention Centre on 28 and 29 January 2019.BUI was proud to be a Gold Sponsor at the event.Hundreds of South African technology professionals attended the two-day conference.Conference delegates attended workshops and presentations at the Sandton Convention Centre.

BUI is an official Microsoft Partner in South Africa, and an award-winning leader in identity and security solutions.

Four Key Takeaways From Microsoft Ignite | The Tour In Johannesburg

Our commitment to ensuring business continuity – even in the face of disruption – has been recognised by the British Standards Institution.

We’re proud to announce that we have earned ISO 22301 certification after a rigorous independent evaluation by the British Standards Institution last month. The ISO 22301 badge is recognised internationally and sets the standard for Business Continuity Management Systems.

“This certification highlights the strength of our company’s business continuity strategy,” says Gayle Roseveare, our Chief Operating Officer (COO) here at BUI. “It proves to our staff, partners and customers that we’re prepared for any eventuality – and that we’re able to serve and support the people who rely on us, no matter what. Our ISO 22301 badge represents our commitment to effective risk management, organisational resilience, and reliability – even in the face of disruption,” notes Roseveare.

What is ISO 22301?

Developed by the International Organisation for Standardisation, ISO 22301 lays out a framework to help companies like ours create, implement, and maintain a comprehensive business continuity management system (BCMS). The main aim is to ensure that companies are protected against unforeseen business challenges and equipped to respond and recover when such events do occur.

“BUI is a global company with offices in East Africa, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States,” says Roseveare. “On any given day, our teams are provisioning cloud infrastructure, monitoring and securing digital environments, and delivering a wide range of IT services to customers. We operate around the world and around the clock – and we have to be able to do so continuously. Whether there are power outages in South Africa or internet connectivity issues in Europe, we need to ensure we can deliver uninterrupted services to our customers. Our ISO 22301 certificate validates our planning for disruptive incidents and disasters.”

Why is ISO 22301 certification important?

“In an unpredictable business climate, it pays to be prepared,” explains Dhiren Boodhia, our Group Governance and Compliance Manager. “And that goes double for service providers like us. To earn our ISO 22301 certificate, we had to demonstrate that we have a thorough BCMS in place; that the staff in our various offices understand the BCMS and the processes required to sustain it; and that we are focused on maintaining business continuity and sustainability regardless of market uncertainties and challenges. I think the ISO 22301 badge is an important differentiator – especially when customers are looking for a steadfast technology ally that is as dedicated to legal and regulatory compliance as it is to protecting the business resources of the organisations it works with,” he says.

For customers who choose to partner with BUI, there are five key benefits, adds Boodhia.

  1. Consistency. ISO 22301 emphasises the importance of consistency when it comes to best practices and business processes. “We’ve been assessed on our capabilities around risk assessment and impact analysis as well as our strategies for mitigating disruptions. Our teams excelled in every area – and that means our customers can expect the highest standards of service and care from everyone at BUI,” says Boodhia.
  2. Data protection. With the cyber threat landscape evolving so quickly, data privacy and data security are critical considerations for customers. “ISO 22301 includes extensive conditions for data protection and data recovery,” notes Boodhia. “Our ISO 22301 badge, together with the ISO 27001 certification we achieved for our commitment to information security management, should give our customers even greater confidence: we handle all data respectfully and safely.
  3. Faster recovery. “ISO 22301 requires us to have a holistic strategy in place to deal with disruptions and disasters. It also mandates a detailed recovery plan to ensure that downtime is minimised – for our company and for the business organisations we serve,” says Boodhia. “BUI customers can be assured that, in the event of an issue, our teams will follow a step-by-step framework to resolve the problem as quickly as possible.”
  4. Greater compliance. By achieving ISO 22301 certification, BUI has met the global benchmark for business continuity management, adds Boodhia. “Many of our customers operate in highly regulated industries, like financial services and healthcare, and they must adhere to their own standards in terms of the services they provide to their clients. BUI is committed to maintaining essential functions during adverse circumstances – and that’s a big plus for customers who have strict compliance obligations.”
  5. Peace of mind. ISO 22301 calls for certified organisations to update and improve their business continuity processes to ensure that their strategies remain current, relevant, and effective. “We’re obligated to adapt and enhance our BCMS plan as our company grows,” explains Boodhia. “It’s good news for our customers because it means we’re always prepared. Whatever happens, the BUI services and solutions that so many businesses utilise every day will be available.”

Our commitment to your success

ISO 22301 may be our newest certification, but it’s also a testament to our unwavering focus on our customers, notes our COO. “To be a dependable, reliable technology partner, you need to anticipate the challenges you’re going to face and then take the necessary steps to ensure that you can address those challenges as soon as they arise. We’re being proactive today so that we’re ready for tomorrow – and always on hand to help our customers be productive, secure, and resilient,” Roseveare concludes.

Do you have a disaster recovery plan in place?

Our experts can help you craft a comprehensive backup strategy aligned with your business structure, your IT resources, your budget, and your goals.

Contact our team to arrange a discussion today.

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