The true cost of cyberattacks in a hybrid world

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Interpol’s Africa Cyber ​​Threat Assessment Report for 2021 found that cyberattacks cost South Africa R2.2 billion a year. In March this year, it was reported that a major credit bureau fell victim to a cyberattack that compromised the information of 3 million people.

These incidents prove that the threat of cybercrime has become so pervasive that an Accenture report on digital security revealed that South Africa experiences around 577 malware attacks. per hour. Hybrid working has increased vulnerabilities as people’s lives become increasingly interconnected.

The pandemic has accelerated remote work, which has arguably overtaken required cybersecurity, as people and their devices migrate between the safety of their offices and the relative insecurity of their homes.

Philip Wild from santam, says: “Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have seen an upsurge in cybercrime. A contributing factor is that more and more people are working from home and reconnecting to the office without using a VPN.

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“It has become more difficult to detect when data has been compromised; Gone are the days when a virus appeared as a blue screen with a smiley face! Today, a Trojan horse or malware lurks in the system, “sleeping” or actively extracting data for an external source. »

If you want to ensure the security of your company’s confidential information, it is crucial that you take the following steps:

Cover your bases

Falling prey to a cyberattack can have a potentially fatal impact on any business. The average small business hack can cost your business anywhere between R50,000 to R250,000, if not more, to recover and if your organization is found to have failed to comply with POPI regulations, the fine can be significant.

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It is important to consider good cyber risk management practices as well as appropriate cyber insurance coverage, often available as a package in the market. This will help protect your business from losses such as business interruption, ransomware, and investigation costs, caused by a malware attack.

Measures to protect you

  1. Write a comprehensive cybersecurity policy: Keep an eye out for news stories about the most common cyber threats. Be sure to point out the dangers of cybercrime to your employees and constantly refresh their memory on the most important things they can do to protect your business. Warn them of common tricks, encourage them to create strong passwords, and remind them to change passwords regularly. Encourage them to ask if something is wrong.
  2. Have good password hygiene in place: Make sure staff choose strong passwords and change them regularly. A strong password is at least 10 characters long and includes symbols and numbers. You can use password generators to instantly create secure and random passwords.
  3. Download with caution: Have strict protocols on what can be installed on company computers without permission to increase your computer security.
  4. Fortify your system: Install barriers designed to fight spyware, viruses and phishing attacks.
  5. Keep a digital eye open to prevent employees and hackers from uploading data to cloud storage.
  6. Stay up to date: Updates can be annoying, but they exist for a reason, so always do them. Called “patches,” they exist to fix vulnerabilities in software that can be exploited by hackers or malware.
  7. Consider cyber insurance combined with good cyber risk management services.
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