Cyber Crime and Liability

South Africa is increasingly becoming a global cyber crime hotspot. In 2014, cyber crime cost South African companies an estimated R5.8 billion. An international Cyber Crime and Liability study ranked South Africa in third place at 65% for computer virus and malware attacks, closely following Brazil and China at 68% with Mexico in the top spot with 71%.

Some of the cyber crime risks you or your company are exposed to include loss of revenue, loss of data, cost of replacing data and associated downtime, damage to your reputation, possible litigation due to compromised data, etc.

Part of the problem is a lack of awareness and not realising the extent of the threat due to personal negligence. Did you know that over 7 000 users left their laptops, smart phones or tablets at airports over the last year? 37% of users do not use their auto-lock on their laptop or smart phones which makes it even easier to access potentially sensitive and damaging personal information.

USB threats are worse than you think

Would you plug an unknown USB into your computer? A surprising 60% of users would and if that USB carries a company logo, 90% of users are more likely to do it.

The reality is the most secure systems can be penetrated by simple hacks. Companies that have a BYOD (bring your own device) policy are by far the most vulnerable. By activating an unsecure USB, hackers can easily gain entry into your company’s entire network without any warning signs at all.

The problem with passwords

The most common problem, believe it or not, is that many users do not change their password from the generic password (‘admin’, ‘password’, etc.). 48% of users have logged on to unsecured networks, such as free Wi-Fi spots at coffee shops. Networks without a password (like Always On) are easy targets for cyber-crime thieves.

By understanding the threats and taking it more seriously, we can minimise the threat to our data security and offer our clients good risk management tools to protect their own systems.

10 Reasons your clients need cyber insurance:
(From MSP Alliance’s website; for the full article, click here)

  1. Data is one of your most important assets; yet it is not covered by standard property insurance policies.
  2. Systems are critical to operating your day-to-day business but their downtime is not covered by standard business interruption insurance.
  3. Cyber crime is the fastest growing crime in the world but most attacks are not covered by standard property or crime insurance policies.
  4. Third party data is valuable and you can be held liable if you lose it.
  5. Retailers face severe penalties if they lose credit card data.
  6. Complying with breach notification laws costs time and money.
  7. Your reputation is your number one asset, so why not insure it?
  8. Social media usage is at an all-time high and claims are on the rise.
  9. Portable devices increase the risk of a loss or theft.
  10. It’s not just big businesses being targeted by hackers, but many small ones too.