Johannesburg – As businesses modernise, they increasingly rely on digital technology to run their daily operations. This makes organisations more efficient but also opens up the business to the risks that come with cyber technology. What businesses need is adequate cover to protect against a cyber breach or related incident.
“Cybercrime is a major risk for big and small businesses, across all industries,” says Sujeeth Bishoon, Executive Head at Acuideas. “Many business owners think it will never happen to their company, but the risk of cyberattack is very real and the cost of a breach can run into millions of rands.”
According to PwC’s report Global Economic Crime Survey 2016, 32% of South African organisations have experienced cybercrime, and it is the fourth most reported type of economic crime in the country, and second internationally.
To protect against cyberattacks, the South African government promulgated the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI), which could come into effect in 2018. The act safeguards personal information by placing the responsibility on the company that is managing and storing employee or client data. In effect, POPI will force businesses to better prepare for cyberattacks.
“There are instances where companies have been issued fines for not protecting client information and complying with POPI; this is why it’s becoming more important to protect your IP,” says Bishoon. “Take medical practitioners as an example, they are especially vulnerable to cyberattack because of the valuable information they have on their clients. They need to ensure this data is safeguarded.”
Any organisation can fall victim to cyberattack and risks include loss of data, loss of revenue, loss of competitive advantage, and fines or penalties. Insurance companies need to adapt to this changing environment and provide additional insurance cover that will manage the increasing risk of cyberattack.
“Brokers need to understand the inherent risks associated with cybercrime, so they can offer the appropriate cover to their clients. Any broker who is looking to source cyber cover for their clients should speak to the experts at Acuideas,” says Bishoon.