Cyber security – Time to batten down the hatches

South Africa is known to be the world’s third most popular destination for Cyber criminals. A recent survey conducted by niche underwriter SHA found that 39% of businesses had already suffered a cyber incident.

Cyber Attacks can take many forms including cyber extortion, denial of service, hacking and malware, to list a few.

Recent attacks on Liberty, Ster-Kinekor, Jigsaw Holdings and ViewFine are well-publicised examples.

You could easily fall victim to cyber criminals i.e. the loss of an employee’s laptop computer can create exposure to this risk.

A Cyber Attack can impact an organisation in a number of ways:

  • Operational shutdown.
  • Cyber extortion, regulatory fines, incident mitigation costs including forensics, credit monitoring, crisis communications and other related costs.
  • Liability for Third Party losses.
  • And the potentially big one – Reputational Damage!

So, what steps can your business take to minimise cyber threats?

  • Understand your IT Infrastructure – know where your most important data is stored. Only then can you take effective steps to protect your data.
  • Identify which data is most likely to be attractive to cyber criminals – data such as names, ID numbers, banking details, financial and medical records are particularly attractive.
  • Ensure that you have downloaded the latest security patches from your software providers.
  • Install reputable anti-virus software.
  • Make regular backups of your data and have a full system backup available. Ransom-ware feeds off the opportunity created when you do not have the benefit of full system and data restorability.
  • Consider taking out a Cyber Risks Insurance policy.

For more information and assistance, or a quote for Cyber Risks Insurance, contact Rodney Caruana on 011 778 9300 or

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your financial adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted. (E&OE)