South African businesses, prepare for attacks
South African organisations are most certainly on the radar of local and international cyber criminals.
The cost of a data breach is seldom reported by the victim organisation, but there are accounting formulas and methods to calculate the average cost of a single lost record. Input costs such as direct expenses (forensic experts, hotlines, etc.) and indirect expenses (in-house investigations, the value of customer loss, reduced new business, etc.) incurred by the victim organisation are calculated as part of the formula.
In South Africa the average time to identify and contain a data breach is 177 days to identify the breach and 51 days to contain it.
Businesses need to apply world-class cybersecurity protocols
Leon Towsen, Chief of Operations at XTND, says “it is of critical importance to have a 360 degree approach to implementing cybersecurity systems across the entire breadth and depth of a business, organisations need to invest in sustainable and secure corporate networks, and cyber security should be on the meeting agenda at all levels. The standard, however, should start at the top with the board inviting a cybercrime specialist to advise on the state of the cybercrime landscape in their relevant industry and drive the message that the eCrime ecosystem is an active, wide, and well-connected economy of financially motivated groups that engage in many criminal activities, with the purpose of generating revenue.”
Cybercrime is here to stay
The true cost of a data breach can be much more than what it costs the victim organisation to investigate, isolate and eliminate the cybercriminals who compromised its systems. There are business continuity costs on top of the loss of sensitive information, brand value and overall reputation of an organisation as a result of a breach. It’s not just a question of money; it’s also one of credibility. Too often these two considerations are overlooked in favour of short-term financial metrics. Cyber security starts at the top and must permeate through all levels of an organisation’s hierarchical structure – boardroom executives through to operators who maintain corporate networks.