10 Ideas for Profitable Business in Data and Networks Security in Africa

only-the-paranoid-surviveSecurity is a huge issue in many African countries. Opportunities for business are endless here: from physical security to helping African governments protect their data from hackers and foreign spies, You’ll receive 10 ideas to start a business in this segment.

#1 Security conferences & Evangelism

It’s the easiest idea of the list, but it’s the most important. Security is a vast subject. It goes from simple virus infection, identity theft to massive global espionage malware project.

The first steps in enhancing security for all is to educate through conferences, bulletins, alerts, at local and continent wide level, key players like governments’ officials , big corporations executives, and Individual with enough valuable personal assets to be protected.

Starting a business specialized in producing Security focused events, conferences in Africa will be really profitable. The activity could be started by producing security related content and offering them for publication to local medias and continent wide medias. This content production and distribution might include expert posture on TV and Radio shows or magazine on subjects related to security, also commenting worldwide security bulletin like the one we have recently covered here.

Free information should be made available, and working with trustworthy network of professionals to provide access to resources will be a step by step process to build a wealthy events’ and publication business.

#2 Independent Network audit services

Lot of companies blindly trust their providers or internal network managers to care about their security. Doing so is a mistake, like a company which will not have an account auditing company, because it trusts its financial director or chief accountant. Fortunately the regulator requires companies of certain size to use certified third party to audit their account on regular basis. The same should be true for governments and companies computer networks.

This kind of service could be provided only by teams of alpha geeks who have world class skills in network security. They should possess some CISCO network security certificate or be majors from renown computer sciences colleges. Ideally, they should be security paranoiac, or being awarded some Alpha Hacker badge of honor.

A high code of honor, integrity and trustworthiness is required to start a business in this area.

#3 Private assets security services

Car, home, computer, mobile phone or smartphone are assets that people care a lot about. There is a growing African middle class which is in high demand of security services related to their private assets.

There are already few players on the market, but with services and solutions that are outdated.  They could be outsmarted very easily with integrated solutions or packaged offers that would include real time monitoring and intelligent alert system.

“On September 2012, the number of individual mobile malware samples observed by Symantec rose to 127,239, an increase of 39% from just the previous month. Even more startling is that since July 2011 the number of mobile malware samples seen by Symantec has increased by an average of 55% every month.” – EDGL

For the best entrepreneurs in this area, the ideal business model is to create the packaged solutions and use a franchising model to spread to many countries as fast as possible.

#4 Data protection

This is a field for those who are good with cryptography. Your service here is to secure data, voice and other electronic communication for your clients, from interception, corruption, espionage, eavesdropping, lost or destruction.

This is a fast growing and high in demand area of business from governments, big corporation and high profile personalities willing to protect their data, their communications, sensitive and classified data, intellectual property and digital identities.


Source: Safe-Inc

#5 On demand ethical hackers

Here, you’ll offer companies and governments the service of hiring you to hack their websites, network or infrastructure, but the vulnerabilities that eventually discovered are not made public but disclosed only to the contractor for action. The ethical hacker service is less formalized and more off the radar service than Independent Network audit services.

#6 Video Surveillance Solution

This area is one of the fastest growing segment of public spending by governments, municipalities, police in the developing world.  There are proven solutions on the market, but public administrations need local or direct resellers and addons services to get started.

The target market include construction sites, warehouses, supermarkets, public buildings, private properties, and city wide surveillance solutions.

#7 Cyber Army

Cyberwar is real. Within the last three years three espionage malwares targeting governments been discovered. First, “Stuxnet”, which targeted Iran. Then “Flame”, which targeted Middle Eastern countries in general, and “Red October”, which has a massive global reach. 12 African countries were found affected by Red October.

First, our governments need to understand the facts and reality of the  cyberwar, and take action which include recruiting Cyber soldiers, training them and putting them on the front for defending our nations assets. Those soldiers will need tools, and Cyber instructors.

Starting a business in this area would be very profitable in countries where the governments clearly understand the basic of cyber war, and are willing to prepare their countries infrastructure and intellectual independence.

#8 Anti Fraud & Compliance

Africa banking and financial system of steadily growing. The volume of electronic transactions has raised a lot in last years, mainly due to the popularization of ecommerce, such as online retailers. There is a dark side to electronic transaction which is fraud or  illegal electronic transactions, ranging from theft to fraud, often lurk undetected on computers and the Internet. Often the activities are invisible until a company discovers that it has lost large sums of money.

Solutions here resides in deep sociological and behavioral analysis, and also applying computational intelligence techniques to identifying fraud in electronic transactions, more specifically in credit card operations.

A recent study by Symantec Corp. found that attacks against small businesses jumped 50% in the first half of 2012 compared with the last half of 2011. Most of businesses victim of fraud don’t publish a press release, but go silent. They want to speak someone who could help them, and it’s You.

#9 Dishonest and Disgruntled Staff Monitoring

The enemy is at home. Dishonest or Disgruntled could cause huge damage to companies, specially in Africa where the intellectual property protection and the legal system still is very weak.

The first service needed here is background checking. Don’t recruit the enemy, or people who have so much to hide.

Then you have the angry employees, often those who have been reprimanded, fired, or laid off, who might vindictively infect their corporate networks with viruses or intentionally delete crucial files.  There are also employees known as “snoops” who will partake in corporate espionage, gaining unauthorized access to confidential data in order to provide competitors with otherwise inaccessible information.

Active employees monitoring system are highly in demand, as intrusion detection systems (IDS) which could detect unauthorized activities, send alarms to a management console with details of the activity, and eventually order
other systems, such as routers, to cut off the unauthorized sessions.

#10 Countrywide Firewall system

Countrywide Firewall system is like the border control activity of a traditional army, customs and gendarmes. All majors countries have a Countrywide Firewall system, but the ones who are using it most aggressively are United States and China.

These systems do active monitoring of all inbound and outbound network traffic to a country and use a risk scoring model to evaluate and dispatch alerts.



About Mawuna KOUTONIN

Mawuna Koutonin is a world peace activist who relentlessly works to empower people to express their full potential and pursue their dreams, regardless of their background. He is the Editior of SiliconAfrica.com, Founder of Goodbuzz.net, and Social activist for Africa Renaissance. Koutonin’s ultimate dream is to open a world-class human potential development school in Africa in 2017. If you are interested in learning more about this venture or Koutonin’s other projects, you can reach him directly by emailing at mk@linkcrafter.com.

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