There has been an increased effort on the part of cybercriminals to take advantage of any opportunity or weakness in a government or company so that they can launch a cyberattack, breach a system, and in most cases demand payment. The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC) reported that it is costing South Africa over R2.2 billion per year and increasing almost exponentially. The attack in SA on the Transnet system may have been the most noticed, but these crimes occur on a daily basis, striking at companies that are vulnerable.
There are two types of digital cybercrime and it helps to understand the difference:
Digital theft occurs with the use of such devious methods as malicious software, ransomware attacks, and DoS (denial of service). In this case, the criminals will steal personal and/or proprietary information as well as intellectual property.
Digital fraud happens when the cybercriminal accesses what they call an “open door” which can be through an employee email access point or a customer portal, makes use of the organization’s own network process, spreads malicious software such as ransomware and then demands payment to unlock the system or correct what they have done.
South Africa Ranks as one of the Top Three for Cybercrime
SA continues to rank third in the sheer volume of cybercrime, with banks and infrastructure being the main focus. With increased internet advances and penetration in the digital world, cybercriminals are making use of more dynamic methods such as social media platforms and the “dark web.” This is an uphill battle for many South African businesses and as many as 29% of companies report that in the last 2 years they have had at least some form of cyberattack.
However, apparently, some in South Africa have “had enough,” and are now being more proactive than ever before. Thulas Nxesi, the Employment and Labour minister is establishing a “Standing Committee on Information Systems Security” (SCISS), which represents all departments of the government to talk about cybersecurity and information security.
Nxesi indicated: “The SCISS has come up with an initiative of departments sharing resources and transferring skills to one another in matters relating to cybersecurity.
“The initiative is still at the beginning stage where a database of cybersecurity specialists in the public sector is being developed.” Nxesi continued with: “Internal Information Security staff have also subscribed with other global threat security intelligent institutions i.e. Microsoft- Security Slate, Centre for Internet Security (CSI) and Hackers Choice, where we regularly receive ICT security-related awareness’s, newsletters, information on vulnerabilities, viruses and data privacy related breaches that the department should be aware of.”
Cybersecurity Insurance is on the Rise
More and more companies are now investing in cybersecurity insurance. The insurance is designed to address a variety of complex issues to assist organizations in examining networks for vulnerabilities and using best practices. Typical insurance costs now outweigh the vast millions that are being lost annually and cover such cyberattack problems as business interruption, network damage, and breach of data.
“The topic of cybersecurity in South Africa is no longer one that can be ignored. DaVinci Cyber Security works closely with the business community and as a cybersecurity specialist with cybersecurity insurance. Our team coordinates every critical step to assist in assuring that our clients have taken precautions to help to keep them secure.”
Sharon Knowles, CEO DaVinci Cyber Security