HOW SECURE ARE YOU?!

It is no secret that cybersecurity is a worldwide concern, especially in our ever-growing digital world. As a business or individual you are constantly at risk of being hacked or targeted by scammers looking to con you out your money or to sneak past you into your personal documents and use them for their nefarious schemes.


According to the latest Canadian National Cyber Threat Assessment from the Centre for Cyber Security, most businesses that have fallen victim to cyber attacks lack basic security measures that are recommended.


2011 Statistics show that South Africa was one of the top three countries where citizens fall victim to a cybercrime called "phishing". In addition to 'phishing', other cybersecurity related issues has cost its people millions of rands! According to the National Cybersecurity Policy Framework for South Africa, Banks and financing institutions are especially vulnerable to cybercrime.


While we rely on government to provide good leadership, in this regard, it falls on the public sector and private sector to ensure our #cybersafety by implementing some basic strategies at least!


"Phishing" indicates, as an example, the fraudulent way of attempting to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details by someone masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication, to lure the unsuspecting public. These modus operandi are constantly evolving and is included here as typical examples of Cybersecurity I cybercrime threats that many people will encounter when using computers and information communication technology. Phishing is typically carried out by e-mail or instant messaging and it often directs users to enter details at a fake website whose look and feel are almost identical to the legitimate one.


SO WHAT NOW?


Now that you're up to be speed and probably more concerned about your cyber security, how can you protect your business?


STEP 1


Threat assessment is CRITICAL! You need to know where you weaknesses are before you can address them. Your critical data is your greatest asset. Data stores should be categorized based on business priorities and risk tolerance, with access controls and backup policies tailored for each level. The most secure protection against data loss or corruption is the use of immutable, air-gapped backup solutions that are physically disconnected from the network.


STEP 2


Be your own hacker! Look at your system from a hackers point of view and see where your vulnerabilities lie, this will give you insight as to where you need to put the work in to ensure cybersecurity!


The use of outdated software versions represents an all too common vulnerability. The simplest and most effective remediation strategy is simply to scan for updates and apply patches diligently. The importance of this practice cannot be overstated.

Likewise, cyber vulnerabilities may not be visible internally until one looks at their enterprise from a hacker’s viewpoint. Third-party assessments are beneficial here, but any fresh perspective from the outside facilitates the rapid identification of security gaps and likely attack areas.


STEP 4


Trust no one! While this may seem extreme it is a totally necessary step to ensure your security!


The days of feeling secure sitting behind a firewall are long gone. Cyber security in the digitally transformed world assumes no perimeter, given the use of public and private cloud infrastructure, SaaS, and remote workers. Given there no longer is a trusted perimeter, it stands to reason that no one should be trusted by default.

While initially this may seem inconvenient or even offensive to some, the minor inconvenience experienced by employees in this paradigm is well worth the security benefit. Multi-factor authentication should be considered table stakes at this point, as it is an essential safeguard against compromised passwords.


FINAL THOUGHTS

Above all, make cyber security a proactive part of your operational hygiene. New cyber threats emerge on a regular basis, especially given ongoing world conflicts. However, the good news is that organizations can take the straightforward steps discussed here to increase their cyber resilience.

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