Cybersecurity Readiness – Cybersecurity

Benchmarking your company’s cybersecurity readiness

South Africa is still under major threat of cyberattacks, with high profile companies and government departments falling prey to ransomware and other online threats on a continuous basis. 

You may have heard a first-hand account of a company having its data taken hostage, and some of the stories have certainly made headlines over the past two years, but now there’s further support for this trend from a major cybersecurity survey.

Cisco’s 2024 cybersecurity readiness report was released recently and to sum up: we aren’t ready.

Cisco, which is one of the world’s foremost productivity software and cybersecurity app providers compiles an annual report based on industry surveys of IT managers and cybersecurity experts to gauge a country’s readiness for online attacks.

For the 2024 report, Cisco analysed the five pillars of cyber security readiness and asked company representatives how well they have prepared for them.

Let’s take a look at each factor to understand exactly what it entails

  • Identity intelligence. This measures how effective a company’s authorised user identification systems are and how easy it might be for cybercriminals to impersonate an employee or steal their credentials.
  • Network resilience. This factor assesses how easily a cybercriminal could gain access to your network remotely due to inadequate security measures.
  • Machine trustworthiness. This is a measure of how effective your cybersecurity system is at the machine level, which is especially important in the age of “bring your own device” or BYOD.
  • Cloud reinforcements. This is an assessment of the sophistication of your cloud backup technology, which provides the ultimate layer of data theft protection.
  • AI fortification. This measure – which was introduced recently – assesses the extent of AI deployment in companies and also whether they are resistant to AI enabled cybercrime attempts.

Most SA companies expect a cyberattack, but few are ready

The South African IT managers and cybersecurity experts surveyed by Cisco overwhelmingly expect to have to deal with a cyberattack in the next year, with 73% of companies, indicating that this is the case.

Unfortunately, only 5% of local businesses have reached the mature stage of cybersecurity readiness measured by the report, indicating that the majority of companies would not be able to cope well in the aftermath of a cyberattack.

Considering how the number of cyberattacks in South Africa keeps increasing and the relatively low level of readiness found at most companies, one of the most effective ways you can increase your own preparedness is  by investing in secure cloud storage with immutable encryption.

Our range of cloud storage solutions with automated backup are suitable for companies of all sizes and can scale up in line with your business requirements. Browse our range of packages and raise your readiness level instantly today. 

Cybersecurity Threat Landscape – Cyberattacks

Understanding the Threat Landscape of Cyberattacks on SMEs – Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity has become just as important as physical security for companies both in South Africa and abroad – and considering the number of cyberattacks that take place each year that’s no surprise.

The latest data from Sophos shows that cyberattacks took place against 78% of South African companies surveyed last year, with many attacks affecting small to medium sized businesses.

In this article, we take a look at the cybersecurity landscape, highlighting some of the main threats that hackers and cybercriminals pose to businesses, and outline the best practices that your organisation can follow to secure its data.

Cybersecurity threat landscape has never been bigger

The cybersecurity threats facing SMEs are growing alongside those facing major corporations. As the threat landscape expands, small to medium business owners need to come to terms with the fact that their enterprises could – and frequently do – fall victim to online hacking, ransomware, and phishing attacks.

The study conducted by Sophos may not have surveyed every small business in South Africa, but the fact that so many respondents have faced the difficulties of a cyberattack in the past year paints a bleak picture of the online security environment, both locally and abroad.

With the total cost of cybercrime around the world estimated at a whopping $9.5 trillion for 2024, business owners can no longer afford to hope that it won’t happen to them.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can mitigate your small business vulnerabilities and stay safe online.

Know the enemy: the top cyber risks facing businesses

Online threats that affect small businesses can be divided into several categories. These are the main ones to take note of.


This type of attack happens when criminals gain access to your files and encrypt them so that you can’t access them. Some companies have paid millions of dollars to recover sensitive files compromised in ransomware attacks, but with the right strategy you can avoid becoming the next victim.

Data leaks and breaches

While ransomware attacks involve stealing your data and holding it hostage, data leaks are almost the opposite. This type of incident happens when your data is released on the internet for anyone to see and use, thus compromising the security of your business and clients.

Not only can this be bad for your reputation and cost you clients in the long run, but can also result in heavy fines in terms of the Protection of Personal Information Act.

Social engineering attacks

These take place on social media, with hackers contacting you or your employees posing as trusted figures like clients or service providers.

Once trust is established, criminals will convince the person they are dealing with to release sensitive information or download malware. Like the two other types of attacks mentioned above, social engineering can cost your business a fortune in revenues and reputational damage.

SMEs are especially vulnerable to this type of attack since they often deal with smaller suppliers or clients whose businesses aren’t necessarily household names. Impersonation scams like the one that almost bankrupted The Big Issue last year, are also rampant.

With the threat landscape shifting to dangerous ground, you’ll need a solid plan to keep your sensitive data secure.

Strategies to mitigate your online risk

The reality is that cyberattacks can, and will, continue as long as criminals know that it pays to carry them out.

As a business owner, you’ll need to take steps so that your enterprise can function and trade effectively online.

  • A firewall, updated antivirus software, and secure cloud storage are some of the tech solutions that you can implement to keep your data safe.
  • Automated backup is especially useful because it protects your files without the need for constant conscious action on the part of your staff.

Protecting your business against social engineering attacks and phishing scams requires staff training to enable your employees to detect the signs of a cyberattack and encouraging them to always verify the identity of outsiders communicating with your business.

Soteria offers a range of secure cloud storage solutions using the latest encryption techniques for companies of all sizes.