Data needs to be prioritised and protected.

Data has replaced oil as the world’s most valuable resource and the profound integration of computers and information technologies is the strength of modern life, but it is also its vulnerability.

The increased interconnectivity of society exposes information to the risk of falling into the wrong hands. The protection of information from the eyes of those for whom it was not intended is a need as old as writing itself.

In the modern age, one cannot be naive about the inherent and acquired risks of engaging in the digital sphere, as systems can be controlled and manipulated in new and unintended ways.

Devices that were not originally designed for a connected world but rather a closed system are built on intrinsically insecure protocols. Now, in this hyper-connected world, the devices are talking to each other, making decisions and acting autonomously based on machine learning algorithms with little to no transparency. This is a huge problem.

As one of Africa’s largest tech distributors, data security remains a top of mind issue for all and sundry at Axiz. Case in point is the recent announcement of the new partnership between Axiz and Rubrik – a Gartner Magic Quadrant leader for data centre backup and recovery solutions.

This was an immediate response to the advanced data protection and availability needs of the current market and, with rising demand and rapid digitisation of industries, the partnership has set its sights on the rest of Africa.

In a recent interview, Werner Vorster, Country Manager at Rubrik, expressed: “Our longer-term goal is to expand the business into the rest of Africa, so when we are ready to make the move, we already have a partner to support us.” Quintessentially tailored for private, public and hybrid cloud environments, Rubrik provides an industry-leading backup and recovery solution offering unified protection from edge to core to cloud.

One could wax lyrical about the many advantages of the latest security offering made available by this and many partnerships like it, but at the core of data protection and availability is a concept the channel needs to communicate more effectively to the market – culture.

Organisations need to cultivate a culture of securing all points of entry to their most valuable asset, data. This comes with a lot of learning and unlearning, but partnerships akin to that of Axiz and Rubrik can act as a value-driven education platform and increase a partner’s ability to be a trusted asset to the organisations they serve.

Moreover, solutions like those offered by Rubrik integrate seamlessly with those offered by larger vendors, giving partners and end-users a trusted solution. In the same interview, Voster highlighted the importance of working with a distributor that could foster said trust, adding: “Importantly, we also looked at Rubrik alliance partners in the Axiz stable.

“We partner with Microsoft and work closely with the likes of VMware, both of which are strong within the Axiz portfolio. This will allow us to leverage the ecosystem within Axiz. Another area in which Axiz is strong is that they have already onboarded a few next-gen vendors, and as a disruptive technology, Rubrik wanted a partner with experience in taking next-gen vendors to market.”

When asked about the budding bromance between Axiz and Rubik, Axiz CTO Jacques Malherbe stated: “We see strong demand for solutions that integrate with customers’ existing solutions and hybrid cloud infrastructures, make data secure and safe, and automate data management.

“Rubrik fits right in there, with the advantage that it meets the modern demand for technology that is simple to manage, automated and easy to run.”

Recent and timeworn instances of data breaches have taught the industry that once trust is broken, it takes more than a media statement to regain and rebuild a reputation built over decades. The market dictates, and currently it demands what can only be described as “all or nothing”. Not only is this a reasonable commercial demand by the market, but one that vendors, distributors and partners can foster, when and only when the channel begins to help stakeholders cultivate a culture of security in their organisations.

Axiz provides several in-person and digital events to help foster a culture of security in organisations. It is part of the organisation’s responsibility to the channel. The company recognises the need for channel-driven information-sharing platforms that help organisations take stock of vulnerabilities and remain abreast of the available tools at their disposal.

Through tech breakfasts, webinars, hackathons, POCs and panel discussions, Axiz has engraved security into the very fibre of its interaction with the market, availing vendor, partner and in-house experts to unpack the latest security risks and, more importantly, solutions.