IDC and Microsoft Host Digital Event to Discuss Business Continuity

IDC and Microsoft hosted an exclusive webinar featuring industry experts to discuss business continuity and its challenges, as organizations in the region and around the world maintain the remote working norm. The session titled ‘Powering Through Together ‘explored the recent surge in uptake of cloud technologies and collaboration tools and urged business leaders to take a holistic approach to cybersecurity, while ensuring productivity of their workforce.

Mark Walker, Associate Vice President, Vertical Industries for IDC Middle East and Africa, delivered the opening keynote and discussed the challenges that leaders are facing during the unprecedented times, as well as the implications on businesses considering the outlook. Business has significantly changed in terms of priorities, customer focus, and digital transformation plans across all sectors – uncertainty and risk has increased significantly. 

IDC research indicates that after an initial surge in IT investment in communication and collaboration solutions, focus is now on accelerating digital transformation using highly secure cloud-based platforms to deliver solutions that accommodate remote work and provide reliable, secure accessibility. Ann Johnson, Corporate Vice President for Cybersecurity Solutions Group at Microsoft, shared her perspective on business continuity, and laid out guidance for businesses to adapt and enable secure remote work options to become more operationally resilient in short and longer term.

“Cybersecurity provides the underpinning to operational resilience and business continuity as more organizations adapt to enabling secure remote work options, whether in the short or longer term,” said Johnson. “Cloud technology and artificial intelligence help unlock new capabilities to extend the power across endpoints, networks, data, applications, and infrastructure to improve productivity and collaboration as we must also be empathetic to the end user experience during times of constant disruption.”

Microsoft has been a frontrunner in empowering organisations to adopt remote working solutions while implementing the right security measures. The AI capabilities built into Microsoft Security tools are trained on 8 trillion daily threat signals backed by insights from 3,500 security experts. Custom algorithms and machine learning models make, and learn from, billions of queries every day. And as a result, Microsoft Security solutions help identify and respond to threats 50% faster, as well as automate 97% of the routine tasks that occupied defenders’ valuable time.

During the webinar, Microsoft experts from the Middle East and Africa highlighted key security strategies that can help organizations in improving their security posture. Mina Nagy, Azure Security Lead shared best practices for security professionals on how an organization can enable security and management for their remote workforce. And Mehmet Uner, Services Strategy Lead discussed ways that can allow secured access to cloud and on-premises applications with ease of modern management capabilities for all devices.

The session also hosted a panel discussion with participants from the Financial services industry. Yuri Misnik, Group Technology Office at First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) shared insights on the strategy put in place while implementing remote working procedures. “Security of our customers and their data is our top priority. Our model is one of continuous improvement across all functions of the Group, this discipline that gives us confidence that we will stay one step ahead of the emerging threats and determined adversaries. ” concluded Misnik.

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Chris Fernando

Chris N. Fernando is an experienced media professional with over two decades of journalistic experience. He is the Editor of Arabian Reseller magazine, the authoritative guide to the regional IT industry. Follow him on Twitter (@chris508) and Instagram (@chris2508).

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