Cyber Security Tips

20 Mar 2024


In the interest of continually providing value to our readers, we would like to address and update you about the growing problem of cyber-attacks and how it is impacting us all. This post aims to inform our readers about the risks and how they can take steps to protect themselves.

Types of Cyber Attacks

Cyber-attacks come in various forms, including ransomware, identity theft, fraud, extortion, malware, phishing, spamming, spoofing, spyware, trojans, viruses, and even theft of physical hardware such as laptops and mobile devices.

Prevalence of Ransomware 

Ransomware is a particularly harmful type of cyber-attack. It essentially locks your data and makes it inaccessible to your operating system. In some cases, hackers demand a ransom payment in exchange for the encryption key needed to restore access. However, even if payment is made, the decryption key may not be given. The consequences of ransomware attacks are extensive downtime, and data recovery is often partial and comes with very high costs. The presence of ransomware is usually not immediately noticeable, as it lurks on a network, infecting even your backups over time.

Most Likely Sources of Cyber Attacks

Email continues to be the primary source of cyber-attacks, often initiated when users open unsolicited or suspicious attachments or links. The second, most likely source, is network vulnerability, exploited by hackers to gain unauthorized access to information or deploy ransomware.

Managing Cyber Security

There are several essential items for effectively managing cybersecurity risks. These encompass security awareness and training, network security, endpoint security, access control, data protection, incident response and management, and physical security.

Everyone has a Responsibility

It's crucial for everyone within the organization to contribute to cybersecurity. Senior management should prioritize cybersecurity and designate personnel to oversee security policies and practices. All employees must safeguard information and promptly report potential security incidents. The IT department is responsible for implementing and maintaining security controls, regular software updates, and engaging with cybersecurity professionals for further intervention. Data owners are expected to classify information based on its sensitivity and review access permissions periodically.

Risk and Probability

In South Africa, companies face an estimated 35 cyber-attacks per day, making it a significant concern. Ransomware attacks are especially prominent in the country, with South Africa ranking among the top 10 countries, facing this particular threat. Furthermore, numerous security companies in South Africa have already experienced attacks. Considering these staggering statistics, SAIDSA regards the risk of cyber-attacks as relatively high.


With email vulnerability continuing to be the primary source of cyber-attacks, it is recommended that email security be the initial focus. Additionally, implementing and maintaining security controls such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and antivirus software is crucial. Regularly updating software and systems with security patches and ensuring the integrity of backups are also vital. Organizations are encouraged to engage their service providers to facilitate cloud or off-site storage of backups, with a recommended retention period of at least 30 days to resist infected backups. Furthermore, it is advisable to enlist the expertise of cybersecurity professionals to evaluate mail and network vulnerability for further mitigation. Remember, managing cyber risk is a specialist task. We strongly recommend engaging cybersecurity professionals to protect your organization effectively.

Source: SAIDSA 

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