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Services news

Cybercrime on the up: Kaspersky

Latest research by global software firm Kaspersky shows that defending corporate infrastructure against cybercriminal attacks has become a vital challenge for information and technology (IT) security specialists globally.
The study found that 52% of IT specialists were convinced that these targeted cyber attacks would become even more frequent.

Global businesses and consumers have been under attack from cybercriminals and this has seen many of them lose millions of rand. The growth and proliferation of the mobile web in SA means that more consumers than ever are open to cybercrime as they access the internet through their cellphones. The top cyber services targeted are internet banking‚ e-commerce and social media sites.

According to Kaspersky's report‚ which was released last week‚ one third of some global specialists surveyed believed that sooner or later their company would face a targeted cyber attack.

More than 3‚300 senior IT professionals from 22 countries took part in the survey. Although SA was not of those countries‚ it is not immune to cybercrime.

Another dubious SA honour

The Norton Cybercrime Report‚ released this month‚ has ranked SA as the third worst country in the world in the frequency of cybercrimes‚ behind Russia and China. Daniella Kafouris‚ a legal risk advisory manager at professional services firm Deloitte‚ says the annual global consumer price tag of consumer cybercrime is around $110bn.

She says the perception that cybercrime was more of an overseas problem was incorrect as cybercrime throughout Africa is on the rise. Companies and consumers should be vigilant of local cybercrimes such as identity theft‚ data leakage‚ online fraud‚ and data theft by ex-employees‚ says Kafouris.

Both the government and business in SA should be raising awareness among consumers of the need for data privacy‚ she says.

Kaspersky said the share of internet users attacked in SA during the third quarter of 2012 was 21.1%. This means that every fifth user in SA faced malware while surfing the internet.

"In (the third quarter of 2012)‚ every fifth user in SA and Nigeria and every forth in Kenya faced a form of malware while surfing the internet. This proves the reality of cybercriminal activity here and makes us work harder on raising awareness of the necessity of protection measures and offering a robust line of consumer and corporate solutions in the region‚" says Vasily Dyagilev‚ the MD of Kaspersky Lab emerging markets.

Kaspersky is aiming to boost its presence and intensify its business activity within the African market - a region that is a key focus for the brand.

Africa particularly vulnerable

The African continent is particularly vulnerable to cyber security threats. With cheaper and faster internet‚ more Africans will be "always-on" or continually connected‚ increasing the number of "new" internet users that are not security-savvy‚ the Wolfpack Risk and Information Security Group of Africa stated in a recent report.

Llewellyn Hartnick‚ cyber security specialist at Thales SA‚ says despite the recognition that cyber security is a growing issue of national importance there seems to be little understanding that technological developments have a global life span of‚ at most‚ six months. "This means that effective security requires more than identification of the risks or sanctioning of the guilty criminals; it requires preventative mechanisms that are not only customised to specific sectors and operations but‚ that are‚ more importantly‚ continuously upgraded in a way that consistently prevents the growing number of sophisticated attacks on one's systems‚" he says.

"The reality is that the smarter technologies and modus operandi of cybercriminals - both locally and abroad - are not being effectively matched by preventative technologies that pass their 'sell-by date' after six months of being developed‚" says Hartnick.


I-Net Bridge
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