ICT has plenty of potential, and the entire A1 Telekom Austria Group has taken the strategic decision to currently focus on cyber security. A portfolio is being developed – primarily internally and in exchanges of experience with the Group and with A1 Digital and local partners – in order to offer users a broad palette of cybersecurity products
We spoke with A1 leadership team member Goran Stojadinović about the expanding of the A1 portfolio from telecommunications to ICT, data storage and preservation, and potential internet threats, but also the need to invest continuously in technical protection measures and the education of employees.
Your transition from a telecommunications company to an ICT company is noticeable. What would you highlight as the key segments of development and in which direction will the company continue developing?
– It was crucial for us to know precisely which direction we want to head in and to be ready to work consistently and in a structured to build a market position, because nothing comes overnight.
Although we are currently focused more on cybersecurity, that is only a small segment of ICT. The broader perspective and direction we will move towards is in providing users with full coverage in entering cyberspace with the help of cybersecurity solutions and services, advanced connectivity, data storage and machine to machine communications. As a provider of internet and digital solutions, we have the ability to merge services and offer them all in one place, in accordance with the one-stop-shop principle.
You’ve placed a major focus on cybersecurity solutions and support for business users. How has the market response been and what results give you the greatest sense of pride?
– With a cyberattack occurring every 39 seconds, Serbia tops the world when it comes to the frequency of such attacks, while last year we ranked 13th worldwide when it comes to the number of cyberattacks on management systems and critical infrastructure. Although awareness of internet threats is higher than it used to be, three quarters of people are still unsure about how to protect themselves. That’s why our approach was to act preventatively, to educate the market and offer adequate solutions.
As a provider of internet and digital solutions, we have the ability to merge services and offer them all in one place, in accordance with the one-stop-shop principle
The market is responding very well for now, but there is still plenty of room for improvement. As much as a quarter of our user base uses A1 Net Protect, and just over the course of the last year this addition has stopped more than 165 million attacks. We are also recording the best results at the level of the Group, which is a consequence of the efforts we’ve exerted in continuously raising awareness through various channels. All of this served as inspiration for us to go a step further, and thus our portfolio will soon include an even more advanced “all in one” solution for protection on the internet.
What should companies pay attention to today to ensure that their digital transformation is safe and secure?
– Digital transformation is like perpetual motion; every business will always aspire to render its operations more efficient and profitable. Data are among the most valuable resources that companies today possess, which is why it is necessary to protect them. This is achieved by developing an underlying cyber protection plan, which includes operational continuity, communications, a recovery plan and an incident response plan. It is important to have active data protection and backup at a daily level, such as, for instance, a Cyber backup solution, and to have employee education, which is often neglected. Security problems are today most commonly linked very closely to fraud activities, so major investments in technical protection measures won’t have their full effect unless employee education is at an appropriate level.