Its About Training, Stupid.

In South Africa, the private and public sectors need to move with the times and start training employees, the new weak point in an organisation’s information technology (IT) defences, in how to deal with cyber threats, experts say.

There has been "a seismic shift in how we work", with mobile devices allowing remote work to increasingly become the norm, says David Emm, a UK-based principal security researcher at cyber security firm Kaspersky Lab. That means the old model of building security "moats" around company networks no longer works, and many businesses have not moved on from that strategy.

Emm says the shift to working on mobile devices, phones, tablets and laptops, means hackers have more entry points into a company’s network.

Riaan Graham, Ruckus Networks sales director for sub-Saharan Africa, agrees. "With mobile devices becoming effectively a computer in your pocket and where a lot of your communication happens on a daily basis, I think the one thing all corporates are guilty of at some level is the lack of training given to employees regarding cyber security," says Graham.
Since all employees have access to a company’s network, if a cyber-criminal hacks into a staff member’s device, "their work’s already half done".

"So I think the first thing that’s needed is continued training with regard to security risks for employees, from the base all the way up to C-level employees. All of them need to understand the threats out there today," Graham tells the Financial Mail.
Employees should be trained in how to deal with possible malware, spyware or "rogue security software", for instance.

"The software might tell you to update or remove certain functions, and if the employee is not aware of the company’s policies regarding change control, they might click and say ‘yes let’s update’, and then open up the whole network to a virus or a Trojan horse," Graham says.

Some hackers are even penetrating networks by leaving corrupted memory sticks in a company’s parking lot in the hope someone will pick them up and insert them into their computers, according to Paul Williams, Fortinet’s manager for Southern Africa.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, considering the hype around bitcoin and other digital currencies, Williams says hackers are also hijacking companies’ computers to mine crypto-currencies. He says "crypto-jacking", or the unauthorised use of someone else’s computing resources to mine crypto-currencies, has become a major threat to both consumers and enterprises.
It is an attractive ploy for cyber criminals as it does not require strong technical skills and, unlike ransomware, offers a potential 100% payout ratio, Williams says.

Meanwhile, besides their employees, companies’ supply chains are also being identified as a weak link by cyber criminals, according to a recent Dimension Data report. Mark Thomas, Dimension Data’s group cybersecurity strategist, says there are many moving parts to supply chains and outsourcing companies, and these often run on disparate and outdated networks, "making them easy prey" for the cyber-criminals.

"Service providers and outsourcers are also a prime target due to their trade secrets and intellectual property," Thomas says, adding that businesses "need to wise up".

New data protection rules in SA and Europe could prompt businesses to do just that, according to Roy Wright, head of risk solutions at financial advisory group GTC.

Wright believes companies should be taking out insurance against cyber-attacks because they need to safeguard themselves against lost income from systems outages, costs associated with identifying and rectifying a breach, litigation costs, and possible extortion from ransomware attacks.

He says cyber-insurance will probably be taken more seriously following the introduction of laws to ensure the protection of personal data including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe and the Protection of Personal Information (PoPI) Act in South Africa.

The PoPI act will oblige companies to report and publish any data breaches as and when they occur. Organisations will also have to publish their strategies to rectify a breach and their plans to mitigate against such risks in the future.

"Companies that fail to comply with these requirements will be issued with fines, which will significantly impact small to medium businesses," says the risk expert.

Meanwhile, as organisations move their workloads into public cloud infrastructure, they will gain the added benefit of having better security.

This is because cloud vendors have to spend substantially more money on their security than most companies would ever choose to, says Richard Levine, co-founder and MD of Executive Solutions. Cloud computing providers such as Microsoft and Amazon also fork out a lot more than most companies can for the skills to manage and support these security technologies, Levine says.

"Companies moving to the cloud therefore benefit from economies of scale via their cloud vendor on all fronts, including IT security."

BusinesLive:        Image: Nick Youngson

You Might Also Read:

In S.Africa The Cybersecurity Skills Gap Is A Chasm:

Employees Are Key To Cybersecurity:

 


 

« The Pentagon's AI Program To Find Hidden Nuclear Missiles
AI Is Re-Inventing IT »

CyberSecurity Jobsite
Perimeter 81

Directory of Suppliers

The PC Support Group

The PC Support Group

A partnership with The PC Support Group delivers improved productivity, reduced costs and protects your business through exceptional IT, telecoms and cybersecurity services.

IT Governance

IT Governance

IT Governance is a leading global provider of information security solutions. Download our free guide and find out how ISO 27001 can help protect your organisation's information.

CSI Consulting Services

CSI Consulting Services

Get Advice From The Experts: * Training * Penetration Testing * Data Governance * GDPR Compliance. Connecting you to the best in the business.

Clayden Law

Clayden Law

Clayden Law advise global businesses that buy and sell technology products and services. We are experts in information technology, data privacy and cybersecurity law.

BackupVault

BackupVault

BackupVault is a leading provider of automatic cloud backup and critical data protection against ransomware, insider attacks and hackers for businesses and organisations worldwide.

Bishop Fox

Bishop Fox

Bishop Fox is a leading authority in offensive security, providing solutions ranging from continuous penetration testing and attack surface management to product and application security assessments.

Atea

Atea

Atea is the market leader in IT infrastructure for businesses and public-sector organizations in Europe’s Nordic and Baltic regions.

LightEdge Solutions

LightEdge Solutions

LightEdge’s highly-trained compliance and security experts take the guesswork out of keeping your business protected.

CyberCareers.gov

CyberCareers.gov

CyberCareers.gov is a platform for Cybersecurity Job Seekers, Federal Hiring Managers and Supervisors, Current Federal Cybersecurity Employees, Students and Universities.

GlobalPlatform

GlobalPlatform

GlobalPlatform’s specifications are highly regarded as the international standard for enabling digital services and devices to be trusted and securely managed throughout their lifecycle.

Wolf Hill Group

Wolf Hill Group

Wolf Hill Group, a Slone Partners company, is a national recruitment firm focused on Cybersecurity.

BrandProtections.Online

BrandProtections.Online

BrandProtections.online offer end-to-end customer support solutions to help protect against threats which may affect your brand online.

CyVolve

CyVolve

Cyvolve is the next great leap forward in data security, ensuring constant encryption and pervasive control over all your data.

Silicon Cloud International

Silicon Cloud International

Silicon Cloud is a high performance and secure cloud computing platform for engineering and scientific applications.

Dhound

Dhound

Dhound is a cybersecurity company providing web application penetration testing.

VinCSS

VinCSS

VinCSS Internet Security Services JSC is a leading organization working in the field of researching, developing, producing products as well as providing cyber security services.

Acora

Acora

Acora provide a range of best-in-class managed services, Microsoft-centric business software, and cloud solutions designed to help mid-market organisations succeed in the digital economy.

Labaton Sucharow

Labaton Sucharow

Standing on the horizon of law and technology, our Cybersecurity and Data Privacy Practice helps to protect consumers who have been harmed by businesses’ failures to safeguard their customers' data.

Unit 42

Unit 42

Unit 42 brings together world-renowned threat researchers, incident responders and security consultants to create an intelligence-driven, response-ready organization.

Theta

Theta

Theta is a New Zealand owned technology consultancy. Our team of over 330 experienced professionals help organisations transform with technology.

NoviFlow

NoviFlow

NoviFlow is a leading provider of terabit networking software solutions for Communication Service Providers (CSPs).