Threat of cyber attacks growing


South Africa is a potential target of cyber attacks and the threat is growing, a security analyst said on Tuesday in Sandton during the ITWeb Security Summit.

Anthony Olivier said cybercrime was getting more sophisticated with increased risk of attacks risk of attacks and that the business community must invest more in data protection.

“Information security is not just about business – it’s an undercover war. What’s relevant in South Africa is that there’s a fight for resources,” said Olivier.

He said that with South Africa now a member of the bloc of emerging economies, Brics, cyber security is now of paramount importance.

“The fact we’ve been invited to Brics is being seen that South Africa is key to the national interests of large superpowers, and this has an impact on cyber security,” he said.

The security expert said the country was now entering a dangerous cybercrime environment and organisations needed to recognise the importance of information security and consequently take a risk-based approach.

South Africa’s entrance into the four member block of Brazil, India, Russia and China wouldnow expose local businesses to increased risks.

Consulting firm Deloitte’s latest cybercrime report reveals that the growth of this threat has outpaced that of other cyber security threats. In many cases, organisations don’t even know when their valuable information had been stolen.

According to Deloitte, data was more valuable than money.

“Once spent, money is gone but data can be used and reused to produce more money. The ability to reuse data to access online banking applications, authorise and activate credit cards, or access organisational networks, has enabled cyber criminals to create an extensive archive of data for ongoing illicit activities,” says the report.

The two day security summit is being attended by business managers, CIOs and chief IT security officers who are discussing the current and future information security threat landscape.

This year’s event highlights the dangers of a connected world. These include cloud security, web services and online security, as well as the growing trend to use malicious code for industrial espionage and sabotage.

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