Photo: EPA/RITCHIE B. TONGO
Photo: EPA/RITCHIE B. TONGO

Why you need to protect your cyberspace like you protect your health

By IOL Time of article published Jul 9, 2021

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By Ignus de Villiers

Since the era of computers began, we have manifested an entire new universe with enormous benefits and cutting-edge technology that has made our lives a million times easier in comparison to those of our ancestors.

It even seems fair to go as far and call computers our “super-power”, but with every great power comes an even greater responsibility.

Computers may just be the cheat-code for our civilisation to progress and advance at a lightning speed, but it’s also vital to protect this asset like we protect our health, our house and our savings. Our responsibility lies in protecting our sensitive data and information that is stored electronically. With technology advancing by the day, the level of threat from cyber-attacks has also increased.

The digital world is a lot like the physical world where you are more at risk of getting attacked if you are not really on top of your survival game. That’s where cybersecurity steps in – it’s an absolute crucial priority for businesses to protect information, save data and control privacy. Cyberattacks have the potential to make an organisation’s information inaccessible, impacting its reputation, leading to financial consequences.

Companies, corporations and businesses are especially vulnerable as most of the sensitive and confidential company information is stored online, but individuals can succumb to such attacks too. That is what makes cybersecurity so indispensable, because anyone can be exposed anywhere in this digital economy.

Sitting on a virtual land mine

A PwC study last year revealed that about 62% of global chief executives worry that cyberthreats will affect their company’s growth prospects. With the post pandemic era shifting gears to a totalitarian digital world, it’s becoming apparent why organisations are rushing towards securing their Cloud and private assets.

Even before the onset of the pandemic that transformed the global landscape of working, accelerating digital adoption, cybersecurity risks and dangers were considered one of the biggest safety issues for an organisation. However, the post-pandemic era hints towards cybersecurity being the single most important focus to secure a company’s future.

Human error – number 1 cause of cybersecurity breaches

According to a study done by IBM, human error is the main cause of 95% of cybersecurity breaches. In other words, if human error was somehow eliminated entirely, 19 out of 20 cyberbreaches may not have taken place. Other research predicted that 94% of malware is delivered by email (CSO Online).

To make matters worse, many organisation don’t have sufficient resources to educate staff on the best way to manage their data. With this lack of awareness and resources, human error continues to be the driving force behind an overwhelming majority of cybersecurity compromises.

Poor password hygiene is also a significant contributor towards compromises, with not enough individuals and corporations applying best practice and taking advantage of built-in mechanisms such as group policy enforcement, strong encryption and multi-factor authentication that could save the day from such threats.

Defence in-depth

Partner with a service provider with proper expertise and experience, helping the business construct a well-tailored cybersecurity strategy specific to business needs. With the number of complexities involved in protecting information, it is key to have a defence in depth multi-layered approach.

Perpetrators are coming up with newer and newer techniques to gather information through attacks, causing punitive damages to the economy and sparking an urgent need for cybersecurity. The only real way to ensure that you are protected against cyberthreats, frauds and attacks is to have a resilient cybersecurity framework in place.

Ignus de Villiers is group head of cybersecurity at Liquid Intelligent Technologies.

*The views expressed here are not necessarily those of IOL or of title sites.

IOL TECH

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