Hijacking Broken Hyperlinks – Cyberthreats

Cyberthreats hiding in plain sight – hijacking hyperlinks 

Have you ever clicked on a link that takes you to a dead webpage or tried to type in your bank’s URL and found yourself on a phishing website?

Link hijacking is a technique that cybercriminals use to direct website visors to malicious pages on the internet. 

As a business owner, you’ll want to ensure that your website is safe from this tactic, but first let’s find out how it works and how it can be avoided

Broken links are like broken windows for cybercrime

Even the smallest gap in your cybersecurity can give hackers the entry point they need to carry out an attack.

Just like the broken window of a building, which can allow burglars to enter more easily, broken links create the perfect opportunity for cybercriminals to compromise your company website. 

Here is the typical pattern that this crime tends to follow:

  • Cybercriminals identify a link on your website that leads to a defunct webpage.
  • If the webpage hosting has expired, they may purchase it and populate it with potentially harmful links that visitors will assume are a legitimate part of your website.

The end game of link hijacking is to steal internet traffic and lead it to a site that cannot only carry out malware or ransomware attacks, but could also compromise the credibility of your business.

How many broken links are there on the internet?

You might think that broken links are only an issue for poorly maintained websites, but research has shown that the issue is far more common than that.

Recent research shows that more than 500,000 websites online are phantom domains created  by cybercriminals.

Given the frequency of this problem, it’s essential to check your own site for the presence of broken links without delay and take measures to correct them.

How to fix broken links for added security 

Checking your website for problematic links is easy to achieve with a website scanner or broken link detector.

  • Once you identify links that lead nowhere, you should remove them from the main site or update the link that they redirect to with a secure webpage.
  • Ensure that your redirection service and file hosting providers are above board and offer excellent customer support. 

To avoid impersonation sites with a slight alteration of your URL spelling, you may want to register several domains – with the different variations included in them – so that they can’t fall into the wrong hands.

Keep your business safe online with secure cloud storage

Protecting your business from link hijacking is just one step that forms part of a comprehensive cybersecurity plan. 

Secure cloud storage is the most effective way to keep your data safe offsite and out of the clutches of criminals. Our range of secure backup packages offer peace of mind along with the efficiency of automated encrypted file management.

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. 

Business Continuity with Cloud Backup – Cybersecurity

The Business Continuity Imperative: Ensuring resilience through cloud backup solutions

As South Africa faces a rapidly increasing number of cyberattacks this year, businesses across the country are coming to terms with the fact that their data can and may be compromised in the near future. 

If your organisation is unfortunate enough to fall prey to an online attack, the one thing on everyone’s mind (from management all the way to the IT department) should be continuity of operations. The question for every business is however, how to ensure continuity when the very data that underlies your business processes has been compromised.

Let’s take a look at some recent news about South Africa’s cybersecurity crisis and find out how businesses can secure their data for uninterrupted trading following a cyberattack.

Time to beef up your defences against cyberattacks

The ultimate goal of cybercriminals is to compromise your company’s data and demand a ransom for its return. 

This criminal strategy can be extremely effective if the company loses access to its sensitive files – but a recent backup of every important piece of data safely encrypted in the cloud means that the hackers have lost before negotiations even begin.

Recent cyberattacks against Telkom, the office of the Chief Justice, and even a high tech security provider like Tracker prove yet again that businesses and government departments are not immune from online data theft- in fact, every internet user needs to be on their guard as cybercrime increases. 

Secure cloud backup is the most powerful weapon against cybercriminals, and it can be obtained affordably. Our range of backup solutions that scale up to suit the needs of growing businesses are a case in point. 

Securing sensitive data couldn’t be more important in 2024

Perpetrator Type

Credit: Brett van Niekerk – Durban University of Technology

South Africa faced 230 million cyberthreats in 2022 alone and this figure is likely to be much larger for 2023 and ‘24 when the latest data becomes available.

With over 90% of the threats to local businesses arising from email cybercrime and an ongoing lack of staff training to identify suspicious correspondence, it’s likely that more and more businesses will fall prey to this type of crime. 

This corresponds closely to the findings of a research paper published in 2017 which identified “hactivism” and data loss as major threats to South African businesses.

When a cyberattack does occur, continuity is key. Here are some strategies businesses can implement to prevent losing access to their data.

Cloud storage is a key component of business continuity 

A cyberattack may be the last thing that any manager or company owner wants to think about, but the harsh reality is that thinking about it is crucial – and preferably, ahead of time.

In the minutes and hours following a cyberattack, your first priority will be returning your systems to functionality and recovering lost or corrupted data to ensure business continuity. 

A cybersecurity response plan – which can be meticulously thought out in advance and simply put into action in the worst-case scenario – is key during the damage mitigation phase following the attack.

Secure cloud storage is an essential component of any cybersecurity response plan because encrypted immutable storage means that your data will remain safe in the cloud even if your physical storage is compromised. A solid backup solution and response plan means that a business is able to safeguard its data and ensure business continuity in the event of a cyberattack.

Soteria’s range of secure cloud storage solutions for businesses of all sizes are your first line of defence against data theft. To learn more about our encrypted backup service, visit our website today.

Mitigating risk of a Cyberattack

Proactive cybersecurity measures mitigate risk of a cyberattack – cybersecurity

Lately, the media has been crawling with stories about companies’ responses – or transparent lack thereof, to cyberattacks, especially when hackers demand millions of Rand in exchange for the data they’ve taken hostage. But some business owners don’t realise that many of these incidents could be avoided if proactive steps were taken in advance.

Let’s take a closer look at the proactive approach to online security and find out what risk management steps businesses can take to keep criminals at bay and protect sensitive information, even if the worst-case scenario comes to pass.

Proactive versus reactive security

For many of us, responding to a security threat – be it a physical break-in or an online data theft attempt – means pushing the panic button. 

While putting boots on the ground is a reassuring strategy for management, the reality is that once a cyberattack has occurred the potential options for resolving it are already quite limited. This is because compromised data that’s already in the hands of criminals is extremely difficult to recover without spending a large amount of money on system recovery or caving in and paying the ransom – which only encourages hackers to attack other businesses.

Protecting your business assets from the relentless wave of cyberattacks currently faced by companies, from state entities to SMEs in South Africa, is an essential part of risk mitigation. A proactive approach, which could also be called closing every possible gap, consists of several aspects:

  • Cyber security investments. These include firewalls, antivirus software, and most crucially, encrypted offsite storage, which will allow you to restore your system and critical files in the wake of a cyberattack.
  • Employee training focusing on the signs of a cyberattack or phishing attempt will help your staff to be risk-savvy when they use the internet and reduce the ever-real threat of them falling to social engineering attacks.
  • Plan ahead. Even if the worst happens and your business falls prey to a cyberattack, incident response planning will help you recover your data fast.

Cyberattack investment: worth every cent in peace of mind 

Implementing rigorous cybersecurity measures may come at a certain cost, but the benefit of having a fully secured business that has the potential to withstand a cyberattack is worth the investment. 

The cost to your business in terms of financial and reputational damage can run into six figures or higher in the worst case cybercrime scenario.

By comparison, a small monthly investment in encrypted backup and a cyber incident response plan will pay huge dividends in peace of mind from day one. 

Secure data storage will tangibly reduce the damage hackers can do to your business by keeping a current version of your crucial data safe and accessible – to you and only you – in the cloud.

To learn more about our range of secure cloud storage offerings for businesses, visit our product page today.

Hidden Costs of Cyberattacks – Cybersecurity

Measuring the Hidden Costs of Cyberattacks on SMEs

Cyberattacks cost businesses around the world over $8 trillion in financial losses last year, but behind the dramatic headlines about costs that can be measured in Rands and cents is a hidden story of reputational damage and loss of credibility that can cost businesses a fortune in the long-term.

In this article we delve into the unstated losses that come in the wake of a cyberattack, study some common vulnerabilities, and find out how you can protect your business from the huge damage that hackers can do by breaching your data security.

Hidden Cost 1: Customer Confidence

One of the most valuable aspects of any brand is the confidence that customers place in the business and the word of mouth recommendations and positive online advocacy that this leads to.

On the flipside, however, once customers lose confidence in your business – especially if their personal data is stolen during a cyberattack – you need a comprehensive strategy to win back their trust or suffer reputational damage as a consequence.

It’s hard to quantify the exact amount that your business may lose as a result of declining customer confidence, but suffice to say that lost sales, a drop in referrals, and even online boycotts are all possible if your business suffers a major data leak or breach.

For some companies, the damage could run into millions or result in a major loss of business.

Hidden Cost 2: IP Theft

Intellectual property is becoming increasingly valuable with conceptual products accounting for 40% of US GDP in 2023.

Your confidential business plans or product prototypes falling into the wrong hands in a cyberattack could mean that your business could lose a competitive advantage, especially in the realm of manufacturing.

Copycat producers in countries with weak intellectual property laws are always waiting to undercut you in the market.

South African copyright and intellectual property laws are relatively strong and you’ll have a solid legal case to act against a local business that tries to copy your ideas – even if they’re stolen in a cyberattack.

Taking this type of action against a foreign business can be more tricky and certainly expensive, especially if international litigation becomes necessary.

Businesses should make sure that they’re insured against this type of outcome and that the amount of cover is sufficient to compensate them for the very real possibility of losses from IP theft.

Hidden Cost 3: Productivity Losses

Finally, a cyberattack can cause extended periods of downtime for your team as you struggle to bring your systems back online and eliminate the malware that was used in the attack.

During this time, your employees are likely to be distracted and less productive, and this could result in anything from delayed orders and invoicing to a total shutdown of operations for a  week .

For some businesses, this could equate to hundreds of thousands or millions of Rand in lost productivity.

Compliance Costs: When things get very real

The cost of compliance with the PPI Act is a fact that businesses should bear in mind when it comes to cyber risk.

The Information Regulator is authorised to fine companies up to R10 million if customer  information is mishandled in the event of a cyberattack. This is a very tangible amount for any business and underscores the importance of full legal compliance – no matter what size your enterprise may be.

The best way to avoid the hidden costs of cyberattacks is to make sure that your data is securely stored in encrypted form. Soteria’s range of secure storage packages for businesses provides all the data security that your enterprise needs. Visit our product page today to learn more.

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.

Ransomware

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.

Today’s Cyber Threats – Real Time Cloud Backup

What you don’t know about cybersecurity, and what that means for your business

Cybersecurity has become a buzz word in the business community affecting business from small SMEs to government groups. Five or ten years ago very few entrepreneurs had it on their radar, and still – ask many small business owners if they are worried about the cybersecurity of their operation today and most will respond by telling you they are too small for anyone to want their data! Wrong.

The massive escalation of online threats affecting South African businesses and highly publicised ransomware cases involving millions of Rands should have any size of business worried – but what’s the best way to defend your enterprise?

As with many things, the unknowns about cybersecurity can be the most dangerous. To bring business owners up to speed quickly, we’ve put together a list of the essential online threats facing every company and how to reduce them with innovative products like secure cloud storage.

Cyber Threat #1:unsecured credentials

There’s an image out there – probably created by Hollywood – that hackers are super advanced evil geniuses tapping away at their keyboards until they finally gain access to government secrets or billion dollar bank accounts.

In reality though, many cyberattacks take place because someone forgot to change their password.

The recent leaking of 70 million login credentials worldwide means that every business, no matter the size of it, should update its passwords without delay.

  • The single best (and easiest) thing you can do to enhance your cybersecurity is make sure that all your passwords are up-to-date and any devices associated with your business have multiple factor encryption enabled.
  • Changing passwords manually or by using password management software is the first line of defence against cybercriminals while having more than one factor to identify users will protect your data in the event that one of your devices is stolen.

Cyber Threat #2: lack of employee training

Many cyberattacks are carried out by criminals who are easily able to fool company employees into downloading a piece of software or clicking a link.

With the rise of AI applications like ChatGPT, which can write a convincing email, the dead giveaways of badly worded text and ridiculous offers which were typical of old online scams are a thing of the past.

  • To stay ahead of online criminals today, your staff will need to be trained to identify the signs of a social engineering or impersonation attack delivered by email.
  • It’s also essential to verify the authenticity and credentials of anyone who contacts your business with a potential order or service offering because hackers may use real names as a Trojan horse to carry out fraud and online attacks.

Cyber Threat #3: inadequate data protection

Relying on the office USB stick to keep your files safe simply isn’t good enough in 2024. If your business still hasn’t invested in a firewall and encrypted online backup, now could be the best time to secure your data – before you fall victim to a cyberattack.

No matter what size your business is, Soteria’s range of secure cloud storage packages gives you the flexibility of being able to scale up your storage as your business grows. Our backup system features the latest encryption technology with immutable storage for added peace of mind.

To learn more about how we can help secure your company’s crucial information, visit our website today.

Best Cloud Practices | Cloud Trends

The Future of Cybersecurity

Keeping up with the advancements in cybersecurity is enough to make anyone’s head spin, especially with the rapid pace of development the industry is undergoing.

The huge amount of data being produced on a daily basis, which is expected to grow exponentially in the era of AI,  is creating a multitude of opportunities for cybercriminals – and a desperate urgency for organisations to close their security gaps before it’s too late.

As a forward-thinking provider of secure cloud storage solutions, Soteria is committed to being ahead of the curve. Here are some of the big future cloud trends in cybersecurity that are currently on our minds. We think they should be on yours too.

Cyberattacks on smart vehicles

Today, cars can do so much more than give directions using GPS.

The full range of digital features found in modern vehicles, especially in the luxury category, extends to optional seat heating features, real time, tracking for accident and breakdown assistance, and cloud-based subscriptions that enhance the driver’s experience.

While these features are hugely impressive from a technological point of view, they also open the door to data theft and the potential for virtual hijacking.

  • As cars transmit information to the cloud in real time, there’s no doubt that cybercriminals try to find a way to infiltrate it. With multiple devices linked to the vehicle, hackers could find a way to access the driver’s personal information remotely.
  • The worst case scenario would be a virtual hijacking situation where the vehicle’s security systems or transmission is held to ransom, using malicious software rendering the car immobile until a fee is paid.

Car manufacturers will need to invest in the latest encryption technology to convince customers that their data is safe while they’re behind the wheel.

AI powered cybersecurity

The implementation of AI is becoming commonplace in every industry, and cybersecurity is no exception.

  • AI systems can be developed and used to scan large amounts of data to detect potential malware and other undesirable software.
  • AI can also monitor data traffic on a network and identify irregular file transfers and other activity which could be signs of a cyberattack.

As artificial intelligence applications take over routine cybersecurity tasks from humans, the IT department will need to shift its attention from monitoring and evaluation to sustainable strategic planning and cybersecurity response strategy.

This is especially vital since the number of cyberattacks is expected to increase exponentially as cybercriminals themselves harness AI to carry out their attacks.

State sponsored cyberattacks

Several geopolitical conflicts around the world have revealed how governments are using cyberattacks to undermine each other, prompting some experts to say that cyberattacks are now a legitimate form of warfare.

  • Hacking and denial of service attacks against government websites around the world have increased over the past few years.
  • As conventional warfare turns to drone strikes and other automated weapons the potential for a foreign government to attempt a takeover of enemy equipment is probably not far away.

These attacks could have severe consequences and escalate conflicts in areas like the Middle East, as well as tensions between the US and China. However, South Africa is not immune from these attacks with several government departments having been victims of cyberattacks over the past year.

Future solution: secure data at all costs

The future of cybersecurity will be centred on managing vast amounts of data and preventing it from falling into the wrong hands.

Products like our range of secure cloud storage packages for businesses of any size will continue to be the cornerstone of an effective cybersecurity policy.

As organisations move to secure their data at any cost, our clients can rest easy knowing that our solutions are priced competitively to keep costs down.

Choose the package that suits your monthly data requirements and budget for instant data protection and peace of mind.

Fintech Trends 2024 | Cybersecurity

Key Fintech Trends in 2024

2024 is off to an exciting start, and the fintech industry is expecting huge changes this year. From digital currencies to AI and biometric security verification, 2024 is expected to bring about some of the biggest changes in the sector in recent memory.

If you or your clients are part of the financial technology industry, staying ahead of the coming changes is essential.

Let’s begin the new year by taking a closer look at the developments unfolding in the industry, and how cybersecurity will play a key role over the next 12 months.

A  year of big changes for Fintech

The Financial Technology sector is one of the newest and most exciting industries out there, combining lucrative financial know-how with the latest IT expertise to develop cutting edge payment systems, financial apps, and blockchain based payment processing solutions.

As a heavily tech focused sector that processes huge amounts of financial capital on a daily basis, Fintech has to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to the latest advances in technology.

A recent report by the DeVere group lists three key areas of change that we can expect to see in Fintech this year. Let’s take a look at each of them in more detail.

1. Large scale AI adoption

Recent developments in artificial intelligence, including the universally known ChatGPT, are revolutionising the way that many sectors are doing business.

In 2024, we expect to see far reaching implementation of AI in the sector, from data processing and analysis applications including payment verification systems to the rollout of chatbots to assist with client facing tasks.

2. The rise and rise of mobile payments

As financial services clients opt to process transactions using their devices, the demand for mobile payment solutions is skyrocketing.

Cryptocurrencies have enjoyed a bumper year in 2023 with the value of Bitcoin increasing more than 150%.

The launch of reserve bank digital currencies around the world is also sending a strong message that traditional money no longer has exclusivity in the market.

Merging mobile payments with digital currencies will therefore be the next step for the Fintech industry as personal and business clients make payments on the go using both traditional and digital currencies.

3. Biometric identification and enhanced cybersecurity

The raft of changes that are set to take place in the financial tech industry next year mean that a huge amount of personal data and financial capital will be circulating digitally.

To help ensure the safety of this information and prevent a catastrophic theft of funds, enhanced biometric verification methods will be needed to facilitate Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures and transaction validations.

From a cybersecurity point of view, facial recognition and fingerprint verification will continue to play a huge role in the security of financial transactions.

Ensuring that financial data is kept safe using encrypted secure cloud storage will also be imperative for every Fintech business.

Secure your transactional data in the cloud

2024 promises to be an exciting year in both the financial and IT industries. To keep your data safe this year and focus on growing your business instead of stressing about the fallout of a cyber attack, browse our range of secure cloud storage packages for business of all sizes.

Financial Data Security | Hackers

Hackers Claim Massive Financial Data Compromise

Millions of South Africans rely on the credit bureaus TransUnion and Experian to calculate their credit scores and give them access to financing from banks and other lenders. In a shock announcement, a Brazilian hacking group known as N4ughtySecTU declared that it had compromised the entire database of both credit bureaus and taken control of every South African financial services customer’s details as a result.

Let’s take a look at the validity of this claim, find out how Experian and TransUnion are responding to it, and discuss what this means for financial data security in the sector.

SA’s confidential credit information hacked – again

The financial industry, which has a responsibility to keep the data of millions of credit customers safe, is constantly on the alert for a nightmare scenario in which the entire system and its data falls into the hands of cybercriminals. In late November, hackers, allegedly affiliated with N4ughtySecTU, claimed that they had done exactly that

The group reached out to local journalists and made several online posts to the effect that it had captured the cumulative information of all South African credit users. They then demanded an eye-watering ransom of $60 million, failing which the data would be released on the dark web.

The claim made headlines and sent shockwaves through an industry which had just been recovering from an attack by the same group in which TransUnion’s database was compromised. The privacy of millions of South African customers was compromised in the attack, with hackers going so far as to steal President Cyril Ramaphosa’s private details.

Credit bureaus fail to confirm a cyberattack, ransom amount may be unpayable

Neither Experian nor TransUnion have confirmed that a large-scale cyberattack took place at all.

As many experts have pointed out, the enormous ransom amount being demanded – which exceeds R1 billion at the current dollar exchange rate – would be nearly impossible to pay, even if the story turned out to be true.

This has led to speculation that the ransom demand is simply an online scam designed to scare the bureaus into paying “hush money” to the hacker group.

Spotlight remains focused on cybersecurity in the financial sector

While this story evolves, cybersecurity experts in the financial industry will be reviewing their security measures to ensure that a similar attack – be it real or fake – doesn’t affect the banking and insurance sector in the future.

  • As a bank and credit customer, you may not have full control over how your information is handled by credit bureaus – but you can take proactive steps to guard both your own sensitive data and that of your clients.
  • It’s essential to confirm all correspondence from the bank – including banking app sign in messages – to guarantee that they’re genuine. When in doubt, call your branch for assistance.
  • If you receive a message saying that your personal data has been compromised, treat it with suspicion too. Contact the sender by Googling their official phone number and don’t respond directly to the number or email address that the message was sent from.
  • Business owners should note that failure to protect client data can result in a major violation of the PPI Act, with potential fines running into millions of Rands.
  • Maintaining multiple copies of data and ensuring that at least one is backed up in the cloud using secure encrypted storage is essential for every business today.

Don’t let cybercrime concerns prevent you from doing business in 2024. Our range of secure cloud storage packages are the ideal way to level up your data security.