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The 3rd Most Cybercrime victims are in South Africa. Are you willing to risk your business?

Cybercrime in South Africa is at its worst. In fact, according to Accenture, South Africa has the third most cybercrime victims worldwide, losing R2.2 billion a year. Between 2019 and 2020 alone, ransomware increased by 767% in the country. How does the higher cybercrime rate impact businesses and what can be done to reduce your risk? Read more here.

Cybercrime’s impact on business

Is there a way we can shorten but still give the impacts of cybercrime but enhance the solution aspect of how managed services and choosing the right partner in today's high risk will be an action not to delay

The impact that cybercrime has on a business can be devastating and last for years. Here are some of the major issues that arise:

Financial costs

Ransomware is when malware is used to encrypt a victim's (or business’s) files and the attacker demands a ransom to restore their access to it. In this case, the ransom fee – which 42% of victims do pay – is one of the first major financial costs of cybercrime.

In the case of phishing, it’s typically the money itself that is stolen via fraudulent communications. But the financial impact can be a result of less direct implications too, like the costs of:

· Stolen financial information

· The inability to transact online

· Loss of business

· Repairing impacted systems, networks, and devices

Disrupted operations & revenue

When a business is impacted by cybercrime, there are also costs to the business, like the influence it has on operations, productivity, and what this means for revenue. In fact, disrupting a business’s operations is often intentional, and it’s why cybercrime works so well.

For example, in 2019, City Power was locked out of its system in a cyber-attack. While the situation may have been resolved quickly, the potential impact could have been huge. People and businesses all over the country could have been stuck without power for an indefinite period, with cumulative costs to the economy that could quickly add up to millions.

Additionally, even after (or if) a business does recover its data, the cost of change management is very real too. Some businesses don’t store sensitive client data anymore as a precaution, for instance; a practice that requires setting up other processes, so the business can still run effectively.

Damage to reputation

Nothing scatters faster than the clients of a brand that’s just had a data breach. After all, personal information is valuable – in the wrong hands, it could ripple into cybercrime attacks on the clients too. If clients (or even suppliers or partners) can’t trust a business with their data, they’re not likely to stick around. This eroded trust can quickly snowball into substantially reduced profits and sales long-term.

Stolen intellectual property

There’s a lot of value in your business’s intellectual property. Product designs, marketing strategies, and in-house know-how are all intangible assets that make your business distinct from others. When cybercriminals steal, it can bring a business to its knees.

Even if your business is a victim of a ransomware attack and you pay the ransom, it still doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get your data back. According to antivirus software manufacturer Kaspersky, only 24% of ransomware victims do.

Legal implications

If a data breach wasn’t damaging enough to a business with all the above ramifications, the legal system puts the cherry on top. If your business hasn’t taken the necessary precautions to secure systems and protect customer data, you could be taken to court, where you’ll need to cover attorney fees, damages, and data-privacy fines.

What you can do to prevent it

There’s a lot you can do to cyber-secure. This can include:

  • Knowing what to look out for when it comes to cybercrime like ransomware and phishing scams, and communicating it regularly to employees. Read our article on the 5 most common cyber threats to look out for.

  • Updating all your software applications as and when updates are available to prevent cybercriminals from finding and leveraging vulnerabilities

  • Backing up data regularly to a location or cloud service that can be accessed quickly in an emergency. Here’s how moving to a service like Azure can help.

  • Doing regular cybersecurity audits, either manually or using software like Cybsafe, and fixing any issues immediately

  • Adding multi-layer defenses, like antivirus software, multi-factor authentication, and firewalls protects you from all angles.

If your business is based in South Africa, you’re at a much higher risk of a cyber-attack than if you were operating somewhere else. But luckily, there are ways to reduce these risks, and professionals who can guide you on how to do it.

Reach out to JEC Technologies for a free cyber risk assessment today, so you can get all the cybersecurity support you need.



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