What Exactly are Cybercriminals Looking for?

25 Sep

South Africa is not experiencing Cybercrime for the first time. In fact, the general population and businesses have been hearing about cybercrime – and been adversely affected by it – for many years.

Have you ever wondered if you have what a cyber-criminal is looking for? Are you computing habits and behaviours putting you at risk? To answer this question, you first have to know what cybercriminals are looking for in the first place.

Cybercriminals all have an agenda

There’s no such thing as “winging it” as a cybercriminal. There’s a target, there’s a plan, and then there are weeks (sometimes even months and years) of hard work to achieve their goal. Most companies find it impossible to detect a hack attack before it’s too late.

What the Average Cybercriminal Looks for

Industry professionals imply that cybercriminals are looking for scenarios where their work will be hard to detect. Essentially, cybercriminals are searching for the following:

  • Business plans
  • Innovations
  • Opportunities to connect with partners, investors, shareholders
  • Government links
  • University scientific research

To date, the most reliable method for a Cyber-Criminal to hack these particular types of projects and data is – you guessed it – phishing. It’s a sad reality that people are still unmindful that clicking on a link in an email, or opening an unknown attachment to an email, can put them and their organisation at serious risk.


What most Cybercriminals do is send out emails pretending to be a colleague, manager, or interested party! When the email is opened and the files with it; the criminal gains access to the victim’s sensitive information.

How to Protect Yourself & Your Organisation

Protecting yourself and your organisation against potential cybercrime is essential. Below are a few tips:

  • Set a Cybersecurity policy in place that determines how members of the organisation are expected to behave electronically/digitally.
  • Educate all the various teams in your business to ensure that everyone is aware of the risks.
  • Use repetition to continually remind staff and team members of possible risks. You can put up warning posters, send out warning emails, and include it in the weekly agenda at staff meetings.
  • Ensure that you do regular encrypted data backups to a remote server; chat to a consultant at Soteria Cloud about this, at your convenience.
  • Don’t allow personal devices to store sensitive company information.
  • Ensure that you have anti-virus, anti-malware and a firewall installed on all computer systems.

Cyber-crime is no longer something that just affects the rest of the world. It is a problem that is very real in South Africa too. Protect your business, assets, research, and sensitive data with meticulous care.

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