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Taking your business online: Safeguard your business from cyber-attacks and bank fraud

Cyber-criminals are using the global pandemic to target our vulnerabilities. Here’s how to keep your business and your employees safe.

Cyber-attacks affecting South African devices grew ten-fold over just a few days in March 2020, with cyber-security provider Kaspersky reporting a spike from 30 000 attacks per day to 310 000 attacks.

It’s not a problem limited to South Africa. After the recent security issues that video-conferencing platform, Zoom, faced for example, the company has decided to pause all new features to focus on security during the Covid-19 surge. Google and Microsoft have already announced similar measures.

Cyber-threats and how they’re targeting us

According to cyber-security experts, Cynet, there are two main trends that cyber-criminals are leveraging during Covid-19: they’re stealing remote user credentials, which they use to access bank accounts and business databases, and they’re multiplying phishing and malware attacks on businesses.

The uptick is for two main reasons:

1. During a crisis, our behaviour changes, which gives cyber-criminals an ‘in

  • Covid-19 means that we are consuming more information online than ever before – and we’re hungry for it.
  • We are far more likely to click on an attachment, link or even through to a web domain if we think it’s going to give us information we need to help us protect ourselves, our family, our businesses and our finances.
  • We’re therefore far more likely to open a link stating that it’s vital information from the World Health Organisation or that promises to help secure our banking details during these turbulent times.

2. Millions of people are suddenly, and without real planning, working from home

  • They’re using their own devices and accessing networks through unsecure home WiFi connections. 

  How you can safeguard your business from security breaches

  • Set up a VPN for employees to connect securely to the business network.

  • Separate personal devices and life from corporate computers and educate your teams around why this is important.  

  • Ensure the latest available updates are installed regularly or migrate to the cloud to ensure this is happening automatically. 

  • Only use secure teleconferencing software.  

How you can safeguard your business from phishing and malware

  • Educate your employees. In a PwC simulated cyber-attack before the Covid-19 crisis, 70% of phishing emails were delivered to their targets in mid- to large- financial institutions and 7% of recipients clicked on the malicious link. It only takes one click to let a hacker in, and this was before everyone was stressed, anxious, panicked and willing to click on anything Covid-19 related. 

  • Encourage your team not to click on anything unless they have verified it. There are no stupid questions – if they aren’t sure, they can forward the email or link to your IT department. 

  • To find out more about combating phishing and malware attacks, click here

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