An upsurge in cyber-attacks – The wave of the pandemic

South Africa has third-highest number of cybercrime victims in the world with about R2.2bn lost each year through fraudulent activities carried via the internet, according to recent headlines. The research suggests that threat actors perceive organisations and businesses in South Africa as potentially having lower defensive barriers compared to those in more developed economies, and that they may enjoy a lower risk of incurring consequences for their malicious activity.

https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/companies/telecoms-and-technology/2020-05-29-sa-number-three-on-world-list-of-most-cybercrime-victims/

A recent global study conducted by the ACFE, undertook a series of benchmarking surveys conducted from late-April to mid-May 2020, exploring how fraud risks and anti-fraud programs are changing in the current environment. The report highlights how fraud risk is evolving and the importance of staying ever vigilant in protecting against its harms in the wake of the novel coronavirus. The threat that has risen the most during the COVID-19 pandemic is cyber-fraud, which includes schemes such as business email compromise, hacking, ransomware, and malware. The majority of survey respondents (81%) have already seen an increase in these schemes, and 93% expect them to increase over the next 12 months.

The impact of cyber-attacks can disrupt business operations for days and cause challenges with data access. Organisations should adopt a proactive approach such as investing more in security to protect their data and confidential information from hackers and other cyber threats. Organisations should also provide awareness training to their employees on the protocols in the handling and protecting online confidential company information, as well as perform audits on a regular basis to identify and deal with potential threats to their business before they cause harm. 

Nortons offers Forensic Services and has the expertise inhouse to assist organisations in matters regarding fraud, and conduct audits to identify threats and ensure that robust systems and controls are in place to mitigate any risks identified.

Should you require additional information, please contact Anthony Norton on 082 452 7336 or by email on anthony@nortonsinc.com; or Tendai Kanongovere on 073 172 0800 or by email on tendai@nortonsinc.com