Identifying and mitigating cyber risk for remote work

3 min read 06 June 2022

As more people work remotely, employees are inadvertently creating opportunities for hackers to forge tunnels into company networks through often unsecured connectivity. According to a recent Accenture report, South African businesses experience 577 cyber-attacks per hour. This increase in the prevalence of cybercrime makes it imperative that businesses implement the best possible risk mitigation strategies if they want to remain safe.

Phillipa Wild of Santam says, “The proliferation of technology coupled with remote work have created the ideal environment for smart, opportunistic digital criminals. While cybercrime insurance provides quick access to service providers that can clean up the resultant fallout after an attack, simple measures such as updated anti-virus software and educating employees are the first step to helping prevent major cyberattacks and saving companies millions.”

What cyber criminals are after:

Being able to protect your business means knowing what hackers are after. Top data targets include intellectual property and databases of personal information about employees, partners, suppliers, and customers. Through a range of techniques hackers can wreak havoc within an organisation. These techniques include:

What a cybercrime incident could mean for your business?

The immediate effect of a cyber-attack is of course the cost of business interruption. What can often be even more devastating is the reputational damage if the attack is not dealt with properly.

Finally, the risk of litigation is also high. Companies found to be liable of not safeguarding their data well enough can run afoul of regulations like the POPI act. Contravening those laws could result in a fine of R10 million. Therefore, it’s imperative to have security measures in place to safeguard this information according to most up to date best practice.

Cover is key:

The average small business hack can cost an enterprise anywhere between R50 000 to R250 000, even more,  to recover from. As such it is crucial to have cover in place that combines risk management services and insurance to cover losses such as business interruption, ransomware and forensic costs.. Given the how disruptive a malware attack can be, getting comprehensive cover is paramount. The average monthly cybercrime instalment premium from Santam is generally less than R1000, which means the benefits of getting covered will greatly outweigh the cost.