Cyber Attacks in Africa? … Really?

Anonymous-Africa-launches-cyber-attack-against-SABC-over-censorship.-Photo-TVwithThinus-620x350Have you been hit by a serious attack and are quickly looking for solutions or are you just getting to know about cyber security threats? Well, you came to the right blog.

Today, we are going to highlight;

  • Many of the vulnerabilities companies have.
  • Why security is everyone’s problem
  • What everyone can contribute to keeping the company from cyber attack
  • What solutions are available right now in the event of an attack?

These days, viruses are commonplace. So common that it was selected as the third biggest global threat this year and sadly, people are no longer thinking about how to prevent them from attacking. This could be a big problem for organizations as viruses can cause businesses to lose a lot of money or even go bankrupt. (Yeah, you heard right)

So what is all the fuss about?

After all, aren’t we in Africa?

Why make so much noise about a threat that isn’t here?

Or so you think…

There are a number of reasons we do not hear much about corporate cyber-attacks in this part of our world.

First of all, No company will tell you that they’ve been hacked! You know why? It’s because you’ll never trust your money, information, details or infrastructure to that company.

Truth is, it is in a company’s best interest to keep news that calls its competence into question. Thus, the fact that we don’t hear as many stories of cyber-attacks on companies as we do of individuals, does not mean they are rare. In actual fact, they are not!

Secondly, even if companies aren’t being attacked, it’s only a matter of time.

The world of cyber-crime is incredibly profitable. It’s only a matter of time before hackers decide to stop targeting the small fry and start targeting companies. The potential payout from companies are huge!

As a company that collects personal and critical information of your customers or other stakeholders, including that of your employees, you do not want to be locked out of your own databases or have that information erased… It could happen…

Even if you fail to pay any money to these hackers, there is still money lost in terms of down time, the purchase of new equipment and the loss of customers.

In 2016 alone, Ghanaian businesses lost about $50 million dollars to cybercrime, and according to information security experts, cybercrime is going to cost Ghanaian businesses around $100 million this year alone if measures aren’t quickly put in place.

As more and more information gets digitized, companies and government institutions have to defend themselves from such cyber-attacks.

The problem is not just that many people are indifferent about Cyber Security, but even for those who do take cyber security seriously, many of them simply see it as an IT Department problem.

Hacking doesn’t just involve sitting behind a computer and coding to get past a company’s firewall (security measures). Often times, hackers don’t just hack computers, they hack people. They use the very people that work within companies to get into a company’s system. Your employees… So yes, we are all in this together!….

Did you ask How? Through social engineering.

Social engineering (in the context of information security) is the use of deception to manipulate individuals into divulging confidential or personal information that may be used for fraudulent purposes.

There you have it!

It may happen that you receive an email from what seems like your boss’ email address, asking you to send him/her some critical document, only for you to later realize that your boss never sent you such email!

So, what solutions are available to help you combat these threats?

Eset

There are many antiviruses out there. But Eset is in a league of its own.

Eset is the award winning antivirus with over 110 million users and has a presence in over 180 countries.

Eset is light on your system but provides complete security. It utilizes its cloud technology to keep you safe even from new and unknown cyber security threats.

It comes with many features including;

  • Banking and Payment Protection.
  • Protection against spyware and phishing(Software designed to steal your information)
  • Endpoint Protection( Protecting all devices connected to your corporate network)

 

Mimecast

Mimecast has distinguished itself in the area of email security. Who else can archive your emails for 99 years?

Mimecast comes with sandbox technology that prevents harmful downloads from infecting your computers and corporate servers.

It has a three person authorization to prevent people from carelessly sending out sensitive information. This includes the administrator who does due diligence before allowing emails through. This puts a check on social intelligence.

It also allows you to access corporate emails even when company servers are down for a full month.

Microsoft Office

Don’t underestimate Microsoft office 365. Microsoft office 365 is an online version of office. It comes with inbuilt security features in software like Onedrive and Sharepoint.

These not only keep your corporate data safe but allow for seamless coordination between employees in your organization.

Also available are tools like monthly planner that enable you to track performance.

IT Support

One cannot take advantage of the full power of these solutions without engaging people who have expert knowledge in security and all the security options these solutions provide.

Whilst you may have an IT Department, IT is a broad field. You can’t go wrong by getting an expert who fully understands the solution you choose to implement.


Thank you for your time, see you next week!

Written by: Joshua Tetteh.

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