My travels have continued over the past few weeks. First stop – South Africa, where I met with some of our customers and partners. It’s an exciting time for Africa at the moment in terms of opportunity. According to Canalys, Africa is leading growth in EMEA with a year-on-year growth rate of almost 15%. The Economist also commented recently that six of the world’s fastest growing economies are in sub-Saharan Africa.
While the outlook is bright for businesses in these countries, the flip side is that all of this change and growth breeds favourable conditions for cybercrime. The cost of cybercrime in South Africa is estimated to be worth $573 million, representing 0.01% of the GDP. And as the adoption of IT, mobile and technology such as cloud computing become increasingly widespread, this figure is set to rapidly increase in 2013. While the finance and telecoms industries take security quite seriously, there are still areas that need to be improved. McAfee is committed to supporting customers in this region with our extensive portfolio of Next Generation Endpoint Security, Network Security, Security Management (SIEM), Database security and Web security solutions.
My next stop after South Africa was the McAfee Cork office, for the very intense closing week of Q1. The Cork office is the headquarters for our EMEA operations, including engineering, R&D, procurement and logistics. A few weeks ago it ranked among the Top 100 Great Place to Work in The Irish Times, so it’s always a pleasure to be in that kind of environment.
During my time in Ireland, I was interviewed by a journalist from the Irish Examiner. We discussed the growth currently taking place within the business, including the 60 new hires McAfee is making for its centre of excellence. This was particularly hot news for the journalist – earlier in the week, Irish Prime Minister, Enda Kenny, and the Industrial Development Agency (IDA) – an organisation responsible for attracting foreign investment to Ireland – visited McAfee Co-Presidents Mike DeCesare and Todd Gebhart at the McAfee headquarters in Santa Clara.
The interview with the Irish Examiner also explored the major changes currently happening in the security market. Due to the rise of trends such as Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) and cloud, antivirus security is no longer sufficient to protect businesses from smarter, more targeted cyberattacks. Instead, businesses need to be looking at holistic, real-time and actionable threat intelligence solutions.
The highlight of my trip to the Cork office was the McAfee Coderdojo class that was underway in the cafeteria. These Coderdojo classes are hosted every Tuesday afternoon by McAfee employees in the engineering and R&D departments, and are focused on teaching young people how to code. Our Cork office was the first to start the programme in Ireland, and it’s a great achievement for our business that I personally am proud of.
What a great Q1 the team has had. Here’s to an even better Q2!