Sponsored: Homebrewed is best

When it comes to security, South African corporates should be looking to local suppliers to solve complex security challenges.

01 November 2023

Stephen Osler, Co-Founder and Business Development Director at Nclose.

Nclose’s co-founder and Business Development Director, Stephen Osler, is a man on a mission. Of course, his main focus is to convince corporate South Africa that Nclose’s flagship Managed Detection and Response (MDR) service offering is the one to go for, but he’s looking at the big picture as well. South Africa’s cybersecurity ecosystem is consistently undervalued by business and government organisations, he says, a classic case of assuming an international vendor must be better.

“International vendors have shoals of hard-sell salespeople and marketing budgets denominated in dollars; they’re slick and make a big splash. The security threat is so daunting and confusing that IT-illiterate boards tend to see the overseas vendor as the safe bet,” Osler says. “In fact, local companies like Nclose have excellent skills to offer, plus world-class IP, both denominated in rands. Even more to the point, we understand local business conditions from the inside, and we’re right here, operating in the same time zone and in the same business culture.”

Anyone who has spent time trying to get an international call centre to take action will understand what pain really means.

“Our business is built on long-standing relationships of trust, on creating world-class offerings delivered with passion, and that’s true of much of our local cybersecurity ecosystem,” says Osler. “For most international vendors, we are classified as an emerging economy and that leads to a certain element of neglect, if I can put it like that.”

No surprise then that Nclose MDR has displaced many international vendors because of the superior service it offers, says Osler. The company is now the largest MDR service offering in the country, he adds, and thus has the scale to ensure it has as good a handle on the evolving threat landscape as any vendor globally. One point of difference is the relatively rapid and smooth onboarding process — an average of five-and-a-half weeks, he estimates, compared to the global average of 2.5 months. Osler says he knows of a company that is 18 months into the process and it’s still no completed.

The heavy lifting

Onboarding is only the beginning. The key is the premium service offered by Nclose compared to international rivals. It does not just offer a platform to collect large volumes of data, analyse them and send out a large volume of “alerts” for the client to investigate. Nclose has a celebrated Blue Team that is skilled at identifying false positives.

“We undertake not only detection, but also triage, followed by a full investigation and response; our clients get roughly only 20 alerts for every 1 000 endpoints under management a month, as compared to the hundreds a typical provider would give, and each alert comes with an actionable recommendation,” Osler says. “We are genuinely doing the heavy lifting.

“You need good people in your corner, and that’s what our Blue Team has.”

Osler believes that the stronger the local cybersecurity ecosystem becomes, the better the service offerings and solutions it will be able to offer South African corporates in both the public and private sectors. In so doing, it will create a virtuous cycle of upskilling more South Africans, ultimately creating more jobs. But, as the man says, corporates need to open their eyes and really see the benefits of the homebrewed stuff.

Want to know if Nclose fits your cybersecurity needs? Visit our website at www.nclose.com and feel free to contact us.