South African Security Breaches | Hackers

28 Sep

South African Security Breaches Raise Hackles

The latest surge in security breaches during 2021 has raised the hackles of CIOs and business owners who access sensitive data in their organisation, particularly from remote work environments. Hackers have clearly been using the lull caused by COVID-19 to hone and master their hacking skills.

most recent security breaches

In August 2021 soon after the cyberattack on Transnet, the Daily Maverick, a South African daily online newspaper, wrote that leading cybersecurity experts were warning that state agencies such as Eskom and other mining and manufacturing companies were likely to be the “next possible targets” of a well-executed cyberattack. They weren’t wrong…

Here are just a few of the more recent security breaches in SA:

An attempted cyberattack resulted in 20GB of data, taken from the space agency’s servers, being posted online.

It was determined that the stolen data didn’t contain particularly sensitive data. The downtime and stress involved in restoring the data and securing the hacked server would have impacted their productivity levels for quite some time.

Just when you thought you had done everything to keep your kids safe online, a hole was found in the proverbial fence.

Mahala by Microsoft is a site that provides students between the ages of 8 and 24 with free access to Microsoft apps. By simply supplying their name, email address, and phone number, they have access to a free Microsoft 365 license. However, these basic steps also exposed their details to other uses, raising the concern that their personal information could be sold or used for phishing attacks. Microsoft is currently working to resolve the issue.

The SA Justice Department has also become a victim of cybercrime in recent weeks.

It’s thought the department suffered a ransomware attack resulting in large amounts of personal information, including bank details, being leaked, and encrypted for possible sale on the dark web. The courts have had to resort to manual recordings to ensure scheduled cases can continue and a manual process to provide the relevant documentation for burials.

it could have been you!

If you think it’s only large firms that need to invest in data security, think again. Although hackers have targeted large firms and continue to do so, small businesses are also easy pickings. This is because hackers rely on the complacency of employees within small businesses who think that no one would want to hack their data. Unfortunately, this is what they want you to believe.

We recently heard of an SME that was hacked for ransom. Fortunately, they had both offsite and cloud data back up. However, as the attack happened over the weekend and a disc change had inadvertently been missed on the Friday preceding, it meant they lost two days of productivity and incurring the cost of an IT specialist for three days.

our final thoughts on security breaches

Data backup is essential to run your business effectively and safely. Even if you only have between three and ten employees and a handful of clients, if their payment details or personal particulars are hacked, it could result in a substantial cost to your business, not to mention the possible legalities involved. Take the steps to protect yourself and your business today and avoid the inconvenience and cost of a security breach.

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