South Africa: Cyber Crime an Unfortunate Reality for SA

Johannesburg — SOUTH African companies have been urged to embrace new technologies to deal with rising cyber security threats.

The encouragement comes in the wake of cyber criminals recently hacking the website of the City of Johannesburg, while the country's bigger banks have also had their systems compromised at some point.

Schneider Electric, the automation-cum-electrical equipment company, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is giving rise to many new opportunities against the trend but companies' processes must be well protected.

"Organisation-wide changes, processes and employee training must inform and bolster any company's cyber security stance for mitigating digital risk," said Willem du Preez, the Cyber-security Lead for Schneider Electric Services in South Africa.

The company noted Africa's most advanced economy was increasing awareness of cyber security.

A recent report from Mimecast, 'The State of Email Security Report 2019 - South Africa', indicates that even email is becoming a cyber security issue.

Sixty-three percent of South African organisations reported increases in impersonation fraud; 84 percent saw email-based spoofing of business partners or vendors and 19 percent year-over-year increase in ransomware attacks.

"The impact of a ransomware attack can disrupt business operations for days and cause data access issues," du Preez said.

In 2019, it is reported that cyber-crime breaches are up 11 percent year-on-year and has increased with over 67 percent in the last five years according to a study done by Accenture in their Ninth Annual Cost of Cyber-crime Global Study.

According to the South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC), South Africa has seen an increase of over 100 percent in mobile banking application fraud alone.

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