27 October 2021

Cybercrime ‘tsunami’ on the way

Submitted by Mickey Engelbrecht
Cybercrime ‘tsunami’ on the way

South Africa’s retail organisations, particularly on-line stores, could expect a significant ramp-up in cybercrime ahead of the holiday season. This is the warning from Deon Smal, CEO of Cyber Insight, a Cape-based cyber security assessment firm.

“While data breaches increased alarmingly during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, organisations - particularly those in the ecommerce sector - can expect a ‘tsunami’ of new attacks as the festive season approaches,” he cautions. “This is as a result of intensified on-line shopping activity which creates more opportunities for cyberattacks.” Smal notes that many companies that supported work-from-home employees during the pandemic – and possibly continue to accommodate a hybrid workforce - have had to take short-cuts in terms of security to rapidly protect sensitive data which is accessed on-line.

“These ‘quick-fixes’ are now leaving these organisations vulnerable to increasingly sophisticated cyber threats. They should be addressed as a matter of urgency,” he says. According to Smal, the most common threat facing SA companies is a ransomware attack, in which criminals encrypt files and then demand a ransom to restore access.

He says that globally, ransomware is viewed as the most malicious of the numerous malware models that were experienced this year. “Smal encourages organisations, of all sizes, to accurately and comprehensively assess their cyber security positions. This will expose possible vulnerabilities which could result in breaches of security within the corporate infrastructure. This includes basic facilities, structures and services on which businesses rely.

“They should also consider penetration testing to prove the existence and determine the extent of their weaknesses before committing to a definitive security solution to ensure that it offers an appropriate level of protection against the most evolved threats and determined cyber-criminals,” he adds.

Cyber Insight

Cyber Insight is a leading cybersecurity consulting and advisory firm with the expertise and resources necessary to assist clients build secure cyber defences. Using best practices and industry-recognised frameworks, Cyber Insight provides an in-depth evaluation of a client’s current cybersecurity position, exposing possible security flaws and potential weaknesses. Comprehensive penetration testing and vulnerability assessments, designed to minimise risk and maximise damage containment, are included in Cyber Insight’s extensive range of services. The firm’s battle-tested implementation and configuration skills are linked to the provision and management of world-class solutions geared to protect critical digital assets against threats associated with multiple cyberattack vectors.