What’s the #1 Risk for Companies in South Africa?

28 Jan

Owning and operating a company in South Africa comes with its risks and challenges. While business interruption is a major risk for companies in SA, it turns out that cyber incidents are also a leading risk factor. Or so says the latest 2019 report from the Allianz Risk Barometer.

In fact, according to the survey, both cyber incidents and business interruption hold first place in the list of top 10 risks for companies.

How are cyber incidents considered a #1 business risk?

When you consider the latest privacy scandals, data breaches, and the ongoing increase in cyber-related crimes, it is little surprise that cyber incidents are a #1 risk.

It has become so serious that stricter data protection laws and regulations have been imposed in South Africa, the European Union and a variety of other countries.

The Findings of the Allianz Risk Barometer Survey

The Allianz Risk Barometer Survey found the top 10 risks to companies to be as follows:

  1. Cyber incidents
  2. Business interruption
  3. Legislation and regulation changes (think Brexit, trade wars, etc.)
  4. Market fluctuations (competition, stagnation, volatility)
  5. New emerging technologies
  6. Fire & explosion
  7. Political violence/risks (terrorism, war)
  8. Climate change and weather patterns
  9. Natural disasters (storms, floods, earthquakes)
  10. Shortage of skilled labour/workforce.

With such a broad scope of potential disruptions and risks, it becomes evident how difficult the business landscape is nowadays. The potential losses can be astronomical.

The Role of Cyber Incidents as a Business Risk

Perhaps business interruption and cyber incidents go hand in hand, as cyber incidents are actually a cause of business interruption. With the Internet of Things making just about everything interconnected, it stands to reason that when a cyber incident occurs, business supply chain and systems come to a standstill. And thus, major losses are incurred.

Ransomware attacks, accidental IT outages, and even data breaches can all lead to the disruption of regular business operations. And this results in the loss of millions of rand.

While more and more people are becoming aware of cyber-crime and the related risks, it doesn’t seem to be reducing the number of incidents. On a world-wide basis, the cost of cybercrime is estimated at around $600 billion per annum!

It’s an acknowledged fact that criminals are always advancing their data-stealing, fraud-committing, and money-extorting techniques, which makes it hard to put a stop to cybercrime. Cyber criminals are taking things a step further, using their skills to steal trade secrets and expose sensitive political information.

Incidents often lead to lengthy litigation and time spent on increasing security measures. This, in turn, slows down business and presents liabilities as customers and shareholders scramble to recover the losses that such incidents incur.

How to Avoid Being a Victim of SA’s Number 1 Business Risk

It seems that the only way to avoid being a victim of cyber incidents and associated business interruption is to tighten up on cyber security. Some tips to assist include:

  • Store all sensitive information (passwords, private documents) off-site. Back up your data to the Cloud and make sure that the data is securely encrypted.
  • Don’t allow staff members to use business devices for private purposes and vice versa.
  • Educate your staff members on the various cyber risks and what to do when security is breached.
  • Act promptly and responsibly the moment you suspect that security has been breached.

Don’t be part of the shocking statistic

With the right procedures and processes, you can run your business in such a way that your cyber incident risks are kept to a minimum. Take the first step towards a more secure cybersecurity setup – contact us for more information on safe and secure Cloud backups today.

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