Soaring Cybercrime Puts South Africa at the Top of Most Impacted Countries in the World

Over the last two years, South Africa has recorded one of the biggest spikes in cybercrime globally. This increase has thrust the country into being the sixth highest country to be impacted by digital crime. With continued growth in the digital space, as well as the knock on effects of COVID-19, cybercrime is impacting the country more than ever before. 

A shocking 97 people per hour fell victim to cybercrime in 2021, with phishing topping the list of being the biggest threats to online security. While personal cybercrime stats trump the number of attacks on businesses, corporate brands are not immune to online attacks. We took a closer look at the phenomenon. 

Cybercrime Impacts Both SMEs and Large Corporations   

In fact, in recent years, TransUnion South Africa made headlines when they suffered a large-scale cyber attack. 54 million records of personal data were stolen in a data breach that sent the company reeling. Personally identifiable information (PII) including ID numbers, employment information, email addresses and even passport numbers, was stolen by hackers. 

And this is just one example of companies being impacted by digital attacks. Over the last three years, corporate companies have become increasingly vulnerable to online crime. With COVID-19 forcing employees to work remotely, critical company data has become more accessible. Penetration points into the company have increased significantly as communication and access points become more remote. 

Remote workers are often accessing company data and systems from unsecured networks and devices, which can make them vulnerable to cyber attacks such as phishing and malware. To mitigate this risk, companies should implement strict security protocols, such as two-factor authentication and VPNs, to ensure that remote workers are accessing company systems securely. They should also provide regular training to employees on how to identify and avoid cyber threats, and ensure that all company devices are secure and regularly updated. 

Organisations Need to Adapt to Evolving Threats

Businesses around South Africa and further abroad have had to remain vigilant, and be on the look-out for technology to protect them against the attacks. However, with the constant evolution of attacks, many have expressed frustration in not being able to keep up with what is needed. 

Not only do they need to keep up with the latest in technology and blockchain to protect against cybercrime, but companies need to permanently be on top of potential threats. 

To protect against cybercrime, companies need to implement a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy that includes both preventive and reactive measures. 

This can include measures such as employee training and awareness programs, implementing firewalls and anti-virus software, monitoring network activity, and regularly backing up data. It is also important to stay up-to-date with the latest security trends and to regularly update security systems and software. By taking a proactive approach to cybersecurity, companies can minimise the risk of cybercrime and protect their sensitive data and assets.

The Bottom Line 

By taking proactive measures to protect against cybercrime, companies can protect themselves as well as their customers against online threats. This comes in the form of protecting themselves through elegant cyber protection strategies, next generation technology, as well as ensuring that their remote workers can work securely and productively from any location.