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80% of companies have been victims of cyber attacks

According to a recent Mimecast survey, eight out of ten enterprises have been victims of major cyber attacks in the past two years. Most of these attacks involve ransomware and of the companies that were victims, more than one-third of them said that they paid the ransom to get their data back. 

The vulnerability of large companies to cyber attacks and the areas in which their cyber security measures need to be strengthened have come to light thanks to this survey. Businesses in Africa need to work with a reputable cyber security provider, like SEACOM Business.

SEACOM provides a range of cyber security solutions and is dedicated to ensuring that businesses are always protected. These services include hosted security and DDoS Protect – a fully automated solution for detecting, mitigating and reporting distributed denial of service attacks. 

The company also offers on-site, cloud, and hybrid hosting options for their DDoS Protect services. In order to provide a highly secure service that automatically detects and removes DDoS traffic without interfering with the operations of the rest of the company network, they have partnered with NetScout.

Mimecast’s survey provides information on cyberattacks

According to the Mimecast survey, 11% of businesses think that paying the ransom is less expensive in the long run than dealing with the fallout of a successful data breach and ransomware attack.

“Organisations primarily choose to pay the ransom because they believe they can recover the data,” says Mimecast cyber security expert, Andrew Williams. “However, only half of global companies get their data back after paying a ransom,” he adds.

Even when the ransom is paid, the cybercriminals who carry out these attacks frequently do not return the data they have stolen from businesses. Companies from Africa, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and Europe responded to this global survey. It was found that 37% of global companies think they can get their money back after paying the ransom. However, less than one-third of these companies were able to.

In most situations, paying the ransom does not result in the recovery of the money paid, nor does it ensure the restoration of business data. Paying the ransom just incentivises cybercriminals to carry out more of these attacks. Therefore, businesses need to ensure that their cyber security systems are up to date with the latest software and processes. 

Businesses must have a comprehensive security strategy

The survey found an increase in the incidence of ransomware, email phishing and full-scale cyber attacks. “Respondents experienced an average of nearly 11 days of downtime due to attacks, during which time they suffered business disruption, lost productivity, damage to their reputations and more. The cost of these attacks is growing and an organisation’s best defence is to have adequate protections and recovery capabilities in place,” says Williams.

Any kind of cyber attack has a negative impact on productivity, which costs the company money. This can financially ruin a company, especially when combined with the high ransom demands. In order to establish a successful barrier, businesses must adopt a variety of cyber security solutions.

To make sure that all systems are functioning, up-to-date, and effective for the company, the security strategy also needs to be reviewed and updated on a regular basis. Every company requires a backup network and a disaster recovery plan to make sure they can recover from an attack.

Changes need to be made by business leaders

The findings of this survey demonstrate the need for change within African businesses when it comes to cyber security awareness. Business leaders must make sure that online safety is a top priority in their operations and implement employee cyber security training programmes. “Employees are an important asset in the fight against all types of cyber attack, including ransomware,” explains Williams.

“Regular and effective cyber security awareness training for all employees, in addition to improved security controls, can help improve the overall resilience of the business and prevent or help limit the damage of these attacks and remove the need to pay ransoms, which are no guarantee of the business restoring their systems or getting their data back,” he says.

To make meaningful changes to IT networks, email servers and digital systems, executives must collaborate with a reputable cyber security provider. Cyber threats are increasing every day and there is no indication that they will slow down in the near future. Ensure that your business is fully protected against a variety of cyber threats by partnering with an expert.

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Written by Taryn Hill

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