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Cyber criminals no longer only target large corporates. Big or small business, city or small town – no one is exempt from criminals trying to gain access to your money or personal information. Yes, even your business. According to Santam’s specialist liability insurance underwriting manager SHA, around 974 million company records were lost or stolen in 2014 – that’s around 31 records every second. What’s more, cyber crime cost South African businesses an estimated R5.8bn. Breaches continue at an alarming rate: South Africa has the third highest number of cyber crime victims worldwide, while cyber crime is now the fourth most reported economic crime in South Africa, according to the findings of PwC's 2016 Global Economic Crime Survey. Almost a third (32%) of the organisations that took part in the survey reported cyber crimes in the last 24 months.
With these shocking statistics in mind, we’ve put together information on the types of things cyber criminals are looking for, what a breach can mean for your business and ways to up your cyber security.
What cyber criminals are looking for
Top data targets include intellectual property and databases of personal information about employees, partners, suppliers and customers that can be used for identity theft and fraud. Credential theft is a very common and potentially devastating tactic use by cyber criminals. Other types of threats include:
The threats an intermediary should watch out for
As an Intermediary, you will face the same risks as many of your clients who are small business owners. Criminals particularly look for this type of data to steal:
What a cyber crime incident could mean for your business
The immediate effect of a cyber attack is of course business interruption. You can’t run a business if you can’t use your computers or access important data, so you could lose valuable company time. Secondly, the reputational damage could be immense. Personal and business clients provide you with important personal information that could cause great financial damage if it fell into the wrong hands.
What’s more, depending on the damage that is done, you could be held liable and even face litigation. Therefore it’s imperative to have security measures in place to safeguard this information. It’s a good idea to back up your files daily and to store the data offsite or in the cloud. If you fall victim to cyber crime, you will have the most current records of the system, which should shorten any downtime considerably.
How to keep your business safe from cyber attacks
How to respond to a cyber incident
Just like a fire drill, having a plan of action for responding to a cyber incident is crucial. Even more important, it should be practiced so that all your employees know exactly what to do in the event of a breach. Say your main database suffers a ransomware attack, how will you keep your business running? How will you reassure clients? You should also consider getting your own insurance. Protect yourself from a loss of income and help yourself recover from any cyber breaches by taking out relevant insurance.
If you want to find out more about the cyber crime threats your customers may be exposed to, watch this video of SHA’s Simon Colman on cyber liability and cyber security. Get in touch with your relationship manager or contact us if you have any queries about Santam products.
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