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Sefalana Group renews its network & autonomous response tools with Grove, Darktrace partner of the year 2021

The first listed company on the Botswana Stock Exchange, Sefalana Group, has officially renewed their next-generation cyber AI tools with Grove for a further 4 years giving them access to our leading cyber defense tools until 2025. This news is off the back of Grove being announced again as one of the global Darktrace partners of the year for 2021, following our award in 2020.

Sefalana Group is the second-largest food retailer, also operating in the manufacturing, motoring, and property industries. Since its founding in 1974, it has expanded to over 84 stores across three countries with a workforce of over 3,400 employees.

Sefalana Group joins over 6,000 other organisations who are already seeing the value of the Darktace Cyber AI platform including other retail giants like eBay, Trek, Billabong, Pizza Hut, Jimmy Choo, Ocardo, Ted Baker, Kohls, Spar, Lewis Stores, Woolworths, and Steve Madden to name just a few.

Like many organizations on the African continent, Sefalana Group was being targeted by increasingly sophisticated ransomware threat actors using new tools, techniques, and procedures to evade traditional defenses. The team already had measures in place to deal with known threats, but with the speed of attacker innovation, needed something which could stop novel and sophisticated attacks.

Sefalana Group decided to trial Darktrace in early 2019, via Grove a leading Darktrace partner with customers in 17 African countries, to see the value of its Self-Learning AI in their own environment. The installation was quick and easy, and immediately the technology began autonomously learning a sense of ‘self’ for every user and device within the organization.

During the 30-day Proof of Value, run by Grove and Darktrace together, Sefalana Group was hit by an attempted ransomware attack that targeted the domain controller and moved laterally using TeamViewer. Despite the attacker using legitimate tools that were regularly used by the organization, Darktrace’s AI detected the anomalous nature of this activity and immediately raised a clear, high-confidence alert. The security team was also contacted by Darktrace’s 24/7 SOC, to ensure they were aware of this highly concerning activity.

Darktrace’s Cyber AI Analyst launched an automatic investigation and surfaced the wider context of the incident, including the origin and full scope of the attack. This allowed the Grove and Sefalana Group security teams to quickly dismantle the attack, saving the company from a serious and potentially very costly incident.

Autonomous Response with Darktrace Antigena

The team was so impressed with Darktrace’s ability to shed meaningful light on a serious incident undetected by other traditional tools, that they immediately brought on Darktrace Antigena – Darktrace’s Autonomous Response technology. Now, when Self-Learning AI detects the early stages of a cyber-threat, Antigena will take targeted action, in seconds, to stop the threat in its tracks, without disrupting the rest of the business.

The team has greatly benefited from this machine-speed response.

“Antigena is genius because it literally disrupts the threat in a couple of seconds,” commented David Levin, Corporate Services and IT Director at Sefalana.

This speed of response gives the Sefalana team peace of mind that they are protected around the clock from disruptive ransomware and other cyber-attacks – particularly as threat actors deliberately strike at night or on weekends when they know human response time will be slower.

To test the organization’s cyber security posture, Corporate Services and IT Director David Levin regularly conducts his own tests and is relieved to find that Antigena consistently takes action to curtail any threatening activity.

“My computer is kicked off the network in seconds,” he says. “I don’t think we could live without Antigena’s Autonomous Response”. says Corporate Services and IT Director David Levin

When Antigena takes action, the team receives a notification via the Darktrace Mobile App, allowing them oversight of what’s taking place in their digital environment, wherever they are in the world.

Self-Learning AI is the only technology in the world that autonomously fights ransomware– without disrupting normal business operations. With a new organisation being attacked by Ransomware every 11 seconds in the world it's critical to have a layered approach to your cyber security by including tools that use advanced AI to detect known and unknown threats before they become news stories.


Support Services from Grove

The team continues to benefit greatly from additional cyber support services provided by Grove, who have partnered with Sefalana Group to deliver a layer of local support, early indicators of compromise, and ask the expert services. These services offer proactive alerts from the Grove cyber security team to help Sefalana Group keep on top of any early indicators of compromise or compliance risks. If there is an incident then Sefalana Group can ask one of Grove’s certified Darktrace cyber support engineers to deliver an event log report to help with further investigations.

Sefalana receives daily emails from Grove’s cyber support team revealing the major security events that Darktrace’s AI has discovered in the past 24 hours and offers continuous best practice advice and threat hunting services for critical incidents flagged by both Darktrace and Grove.

This complements Darktrace’s 24/7 SOC services to ensure that at any given point, there are always eyes on the activity occurring within Sefalana Group’s digital enterprise, allowing the IT team and executive leadership to have better levels of peace of mind around advanced cyber threats.

“Darktrace's groundbreaking approach to cybersecurity has disrupted the global marketplace and it's been an exciting journey to be part of the process and enjoy such success alongside customers like Sefalana Group,” says Johann de Wet. “Our role as a leading Darktrace partner is to help customers like Sefalana Group maximise their investment in mitigating cyber risk and this is where we have focused on building a rich customer experience to complement Darktrace's powerful technology.

Working alongside the Darktrace teams around the world has been fantastic and it has been great to see how the strong collaborative relationships between us have added significant value in ensuring happy customers. We look forward to continuing this journey with Darktrace as we look to further our investment and to help more organisations like Sefalana Group mitigate the latest cyber attacks.”

Grove and I look forward to helping many other organisations on their journey to a higher level of cyber peace of mind using the latest cyber AI and autonomous response tools that over 6,000 other organisations globally are already using.



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