Since the start of the Covid pandemic, the number of cyber-attacks on companies, banks, municipalities and other large institutions has increased. The most recent attack against the Transnet port authority affected container terminal operations and disrupted cargo movement. It was highlighted in the media as unprecedented since it was the first time the integrity of the country’s maritime infrastructure had ground to a halt. It is envisaged that similar attacks across Africa and the rest of the world will most likely continue to increase in both number and severity.
What is Cyber Fraud?
This type of fraud pertains to criminal activities over the internet or via email. It includes the crimes of identity theft, hacking, phishing and other scams to attempt to defraud or take advantage of victims. These victims can be individuals or companies. Cybercriminals use the information they illegally obtain for their own financial gain, and there are concerns that the money is used to fund terrorist activities.
What are the Types of Cyber Fraud?
Both individuals and companies need to understand the basic types of cyber fraud. Cybercriminals use several different strategies to commit fraud, including:
- Data breaches. This is when sensitive or confidential information is stolen from individuals or companies and moved from a secure location to an unprotected environment.
- Malware. Malicious software is used to damage or disable devices with the intent to steal personal or sensitive data.
- Ransomware. This prevents users from accessing their own critical online information and is then held ransom in return for payment to restore it. Usually, ransomware is delivered via phishing attacks.
- Phishing. This has caused many victims to be fooled into sharing their personal, financial or login details through email or other online messaging services.
- Denial of Service. This interrupts online traffic to a business service or network for purely malicious intent.
- Business Email Compromise. This is a highly sophisticated attack that compromises legitimate email accounts, causing businesses to make unauthorised payments.
- Credit Card Scams. Although there is a broad awareness of these types of scams, they continue to lure victims with “too good to be true” deals, where victims end up unwittingly divulging their personal details to criminals.
- Cybercriminals are highly inventive, and the list continues with online dating scams, lottery scams, and Nigerian Prince scams.
How can you Protect Yourself or Your Business Against Cyber Fraud?
Besides training yourself and your employees to recognise possible cyber threats, it is essential to remain vigilant and use common sense to avoid being exploited.
It is also vital to install the necessary technology at every touchpoint to prevent cyber-attacks as far as possible, and conduct regular IT security audits.
Take This Mini IT Security Audit
- Do you have an anti-virus on your server and workstations?
- Do you have threat protection on your email?
- Do you have a firewall with analyser software?
- Do you have email archiving?
- Is your critical data backed up off-site?
- Does your current IT Company control your network, or do you?
- Is your security monitored efficiently, and do you know when you are being hacked?
- Is your server locked down (do users have free reign to everything on your server) sufficiently?
- Are you secure from an internal point of view? Your biggest threat is your internal users because they have no concept of what they are doing.
If you answered “no” to even one of these questions, you need to upgrade your IT security and urgently!
Westech undertakes in-depth IT security audits and quickly implements the necessary products and services.
Contact us to limit your immediate risk, improve network security and prevent cyber-attacks.