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Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - 02:16
Extreme risk

Cybercrime is becoming a major concern for businesses worldwide. Fraudsters are becoming increasingly sophisticated in the techniques they employ to hack into private information. In June police exposed an international cybercrime network operating out of Pretoria and made several arrests.

According to recent statistics there were at least 115 565 unique phishing attacks worldwide in the second half of 2013, compared to 72 758 identified in the first half of 2013.
Arnold van der Linde, Executive Chairman of IntegriSure urges business owners to take the threat very seriously, and to report any incidents to the police as soon as possible. Hopefully, if the business has taken out a policy to cover such risks, its losses and any recovery procedures will be financed by an insurance claim.
Most businesses at some point will fall victim to a cyber-attack, network down time and loss of important data. He says this is an issue companies need to deal with urgently, especially given the growing rate of incidents.
“In South Africa cybercrime is also increasing dramatically. In 2009, for instance, only 45 cases of internet fraud were reported to the Banking Ombudsman. In 2010 complaints connected to this type of surged to 484, and 591 cases the year after. In 2012, complaints to the Ombudsman’s office about online banking fraud increasing by a further three percent and constituted almost 20% of all cases handled by him.”
Van der Linde believes that in most cases fraudsters succeed only by the co-operation of the victim. Phishing and online banking fraud can be very difficult to recognise and business owners and their staff need to be vigilant, and guard against inadvertently providing key information to a potential fraudster.
Scams are typically carried out by e-mail or instant messaging, often directing users to enter details on fake websites that look and feel like the real thing. Any email that requests a customer to reveal personal details or account information by email or sms are always scams. “Never respond to emails, SMSs or calls from your bank that ask you to confirm your personal information such as names, ID numbers, contact details, etc.” Any message that request such details should be ignored and deleted. Note that to prevent the item from residing in your delete folder in your email account, for example, you should get rid of it by Control-Delete, not just the delete key. See the accompanying Insurance Times article on a way to escape the clutches of spam.
Passwords are another very important tool to avoid becoming a victim of online banking fraud. “No matter how cryptic one’s password is – if it is not protected then it is essentially useless. Do not save your company’s Internet Banking password on your desktop, or use software that remembers passwords for you on your computer. It is too easy for someone else to gain access to the information and decode it with sophisticated software,” he warns.
He explains that there are specialist insurance products, such as cyber risks policies, that can cover organisations against the risk of operating a computer network, liability, loss of data and business interruption as a result of computer network downtime. Furthermore, he explains, some specialist companies offer risk management services like ‘Cyber Penetration Testing’ which, amongst others, tests and reports on the vulnerabilities of the network of the organisation.

Copyright © Insurance Times and Investments® Vol:27.8 1st August, 2014
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