Friday, 22 October 2021

Why Prioritising Cyber Security is Critical to Your Business

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Why Prioritising Cyber Security is Critical to Your Business

Cyber Security is non-negotiable! Cyber-attacks can affect businesses and individuals in a professional, or personal capacity, with disastrous consequences. While October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, the seriousness of cyber-crime should always take precedence; particularly in companies where a ‘work-from-anywhere’ culture is the order of the day.

Did you know?

Malware – It has been estimated, that South African businesses suffer 577 malware attacks every hour via online communications. Malware is malicious software such as a virus, worm, spyware, ransomware etc., which are designed to steal information and disrupt or damage a network.
Phishing & Social Engineering – A Mimecast report found that social engineering tactics through phishing increased by 64% in 2020. Phishing is fraudulent emails aimed at getting the receiver to click on a link or download malware. Social engineering refers to the communication tactics a hacker uses to interact with a cyber victim (via telephone, email or social media) and persuades the person into sharing sensitive information, clicking on a link or downloading a file.
Ransomware – The same Mimecast report found that 6 out of every 10 companies experienced a ransomware attack last year. Ransomware is malware that gains access to sensitive information, encrypts it and then sets a ransom amount for the release of said information.
South Africa is a hacker hotspot – Hackers focus a lot of their attention on South Africa, taking advantage of internet users who have a lack of online security awareness. We experience the third highest number of attacks in the world, losing R2.2-billion every year.
The Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) holds you accountable – Companies have a responsibility towards their online customers and are required to follow certain protocols to ensure the protection of their personal information. When a company is successfully hacked the business not only suffers financial losses and a tarnished reputation but will also be liable to legal action.

The biggest treat

Securing a company’s network is only part of the solution. Due to cyber-attacks becoming more highly organised and sophisticated, and working-from-home (WFH) on the increase, employees have become a company’s weakest and biggest cyber security risk. According to the 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) 85% of data breaches involve a human element such as phishing, stolen credentials or human error.

Lastpass, an encrypted password manager recently released research done on the password habits of 3750 professionals across seven countries. The Psychology of Passwords research results found that:

65% of respondents use the same or a variation of their password for most accounts;
only 8% think it’s not a good idea to use a password that’s personal to them; and
20% share pictures of their pets with their names on social media even though they use their pet names as passwords.

Even more alarming is that since working remotely, 47% did not change their online security habits whatsoever.

All it takes is one employee’s bad judgement to bring an entire organisation’s defence to its knees. Employees’ online behaviour is therefore a notable threat to businesses, and ongoing cyber security awareness is a must.

Domains.co.za takes cyber security seriously

“It is essential to appoint a cyber security officer that will help set-up and drive your company’s cyber security strategy,” says Laura Kruger, head of client operations at Domains.co.za

“We believe that the best way to combat this threat is to implement on-going training sessions and using practical, real-world examples. An employee who knows what to look out for will be more prepared when suspicious activity occurs. The best and most sophisticated software and scanners are useless if a company neglects to educate its employees. You are only as strong as your weakest link,” she adds.

Next week we will share practical tips for businesses and employees to better prepare against this growing concern.

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn to receive helpful cyber security tips during our 10 Days of Cyber Security Awareness social media campaign.

Domains.co.za is a domain name and website hosting company based in Johannesburg. We offer various value-added solutions to help our customers succeed online. Our domain validated and organisation validated SSL certificates can help your business secure its website and our ESET Anti-Virus solutions provide device protection.

Learn more about our products and services, here.