With cyber crime now the fourth most reported economic crime in South Africa, it is critical that every business leader ensures robust and market-leading protections are in place.
To this end, connectivity provider Turrito Networks, together with Dial a Nerd, oversees more than 270 active and fully managed firewalls throughout the small business market in South Africa. Testament to Turrito’s commitment to IT security, the company has been recognised as the top performing SonicWall partner in the SME sector for 2018.
SonicWall is one of the oldest and most established firewall brands in the market, and one of the best in the world (illustrated by the NSS Labs 2018 NGFW Group Test). Both Turrito Networks and Dial a Nerd are certified SonicWall Gold Partners.
“With cyber security now a pressing issue for every business owner, we look to provide world-leading security solutions to the small business market in South Africa in an affordable and intelligent way,” says Brian Timperley, managing director and co-founder of Turrito Networks. “Our approach allows business owners to focus on the day-to-day running of their businesses, rather than worry about escalating IT costs and the threats to both their clients’ data and their own.”
Arguably, the cyber threat for both businesses and consumers has never been this high. According to PwC’s Global Economic Crime Survey 2016, there has been a 23% increase in cyber crime over the past four years, with over 30% of organisations affected in 2016. Locally, it has been reported that South Africa lost approximately R50 billion in 2014 to cyber incidents, and that over half a billion online personal records were lost or accessed illegally in South Africa during 2015 (SABC News, 2017).
“Today, it is not a question of if your business will be targeted, it is a question of when,” warns Timperley. “We see businesses of every size and across every sector being targeted… no one is safe, and ransomware is proving to be one of the greatest threats to the modern enterprise.”
Ransomware is a type of malicious software that threatens to publish the victim’s data, or perpetually block access to it, unless a ransom is paid. Malwarebytes, an American Internet security company, tracked a 90% increase in the number of detected ransomware attacks in 2017, with Cybersecurity Ventures predicting there will be a ransomware attack on businesses every 14 seconds by the end of 2019. Overall, damages related to cyber crime are projected to hit $6 trillion annually by 2021.
“The figures are just staggering, and it is now imperative that businesses not only focus on perimeter protection such as firewalls and anti-virus software, but that they look at measures such as cyber insurance, staff training and regular staff testing,” adds Timperley.
As the threat level continues to rise, business leaders must also take into account increasingly stringent data protection laws. Local businesses must prepare for the enactment of the Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013 (POPI), which essentially seeks to ensure all South African institutions conduct themselves in a responsible manner when collecting, processing, storing and sharing another entity’s personal information. It also seeks to bring the country more in line with international standards. Importantly, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect in May 2018, and imposes even more stringent controls around the protection of personal information than SA’s POPI legislation. GDPR impacts companies that trade with EU businesses, and imposes hefty fines for non-compliance.
“The stringency of new data protection laws and the potentially high costs of non-compliance make it even more imperative that business owners take the necessary steps to proactively protect their data,” says Timperley. “Today, you simply cannot afford to cut corners on IT security.”