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The recent cyberattack on Transnet’s computer systems, which affected the container handling its operations and resulted in ships diverting from South African ports, is still fresh in our memories.
Cybercriminals do not only target large multinationals. It does not matter if you are an individual, large, or small company, or even a government entity. As long as you have a virtual identity, your information is a potential target of a cyber attacker.
ITLaw defines cybercrime as follows:
“Cybercrime refers to criminal activities that specifically target a computer or network for damage or infiltration and refers to the use of computers as tools to conduct criminal activities.”
The Cybercrimes Act no 19 of 2020, was promulgated and gazetted on the 1st of June 2021. This Act aims to criminalise offences relating to cybercrime and introduces a framework aimed at the detection, prevention, mitigation, and investigation of cybercrimes.
In summary, the Cybercrimes Act refers to cybercrime as:
- The unlawful access to computer systems or computer data storage devices;
- The unlawful interception of and interference with data;
- Unlawful acts in respect of software or hardware tools;
- The unlawful acquisition, possession, provision, receipt, or use of a password; and
- Online fraud, forgery, and extortion.
Our virtual identity is an essential element of our everyday life and criminals use different tactics to obtain personal individual information, information regarding clients, and information regarding suppliers.
Cybercriminals’ tactics to obtain information
- Email and internet fraud
- Phishing scams
- Theft and use of your personal information
- Theft of your card payment information
- Ransomware attacks
The impact of a cyber-attack on a company can be detrimental and results in business interruption, reputational damage, and financial loss. The consequences of a cyberattack could also expose the victim to potential claims in terms of the POPI Act, Act no 4 of 2013, effective from 1 July 2021, due to unauthorised disclosure of client personal information.
In the Transnet debacle, their computer systems were down for more than a week which resulted not only in huge financial loss to the state-owned entity, but also had a profound impact on the South African economy.
Cyber-attacks have increased and are projected to occur every 11 seconds this year.
On an individual level, cybercriminals can obtain access to your personal information and gain access to your financial information and money.
Ways you can protect yourself against cybercrime
- Using strong passwords
- Change your passwords regularly
- Ensure that you have updated security software
- Do not open suspicious emails
- Do not share your password
Insurance companies have identified the need and have developed various insurance products to cover individuals and commercial entities against a multitude of risks associated with cybercrime.
Should you consider protecting yourself against cybercrime, please contact our team at MyWealth Investments, at email@example.com.
Stay cyber-safe and remember: “Passwords are like underwear: Don’t let people see it, change it very often and you shouldn’t share it with strangers!” – Chris Pirillo