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SAIA says preventing cybercrime has become a major consideration for small businesses in today's digital economy

31 October 2022 The South African Insurance Association (SAIA)

The South African Insurance Association (SAIA) encourages businesses, including Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) consider taking extra care in protecting their online security and identity.

Cybersecurity is a national imperative that demands a coordinated and holistic approach because the internet touches almost all aspects of everyone’s daily life, whether we realise it or not.

According to General Manager of insurance Risks at SAIA, Ms. Pamela Ramagaga, organisations of all sizes from every industry have been hit by cyberattacks, from financial institutions, ride-sharing organisations and our beloved social media platforms.

“The continuous development of technology has left all of us exposed to cyber-attacks. The cybercrime rate is rising year over year, and it is never going to stop. Therefore, without cybersecurity, hackers can steal our information, money, and reputation. There are many ways in which you can protect your business from cyber-attacks, all you need to do is to understand the importance of cyber security and act,” she says.

Without a plan to defend against attacks or a strategy for recovery, many small and medium-sized enterprises, aren’t able to survive even one breach of security. While larger organisations often have resources and security investments in place, SMEs are just as likely to be targeted but have fewer security measures and limited resources to recover from a potential attack, highlighting the importance of cyber security for all businesses.

Cyber insurance, also known as cyber risk insurance and cyber liability insurance, protects businesses from the impact of cybercrime. Eighty-four percent of organisations have some form of cyber insurance, according to an independent survey of 5 000 IT decision-makers in mid-sized organisations commissioned by Sophos.

Good cyber security can help with cyber insurance in multiple ways: from facilitating access to a policy approved through underwriting, to lowering premiums and reducing the likelihood of making a claim.

“This kind of insurance will cover aspects such as legal costs, data recovery costs, third-party liability claims, cover for business interruption and by extension, the cost of cyber-extortion. Speak to your insurer to discuss your SME’s needs as well as your budgetary restrictions in order to apply for an adequate degree of cover,” says Ramagaga.

SAIA has compiled a list of the top cybersecurity tips and best practices for you to implement and share with others.

• Keep software up to date: Always update to the latest version of your software to protect yourself from new or existing security vulnerabilities.
• Avoid opening suspicious emails: If an email looks suspicious, don’t open it because it might be a phishing scam.
• Keep hardware up to date: Old hardware makes it slower to respond to cyber-attacks if they happen. Make sure to use computer hardware that’s more up-to-date.
• Use a secure file-sharing solution to encrypt data: If you regularly share confidential information, you absolutely need to start using a secure file-sharing solution.
• Use anti-virus and anti-malware: You can significantly reduce your vulnerability by ensuring you have an anti-virus and at least one anti-malware installed on your computers.
• Use a VPN to privatize your connections: For a more secure and privatized network, use a virtual private network (VPN). It’ll encrypt your connection and protect your private information, even from your internet service provider.
• Check links before you click: Links can easily be disguised as something they’re not so it’s best to double-check before you click on a hyperlink. On most browsers, you can see the target URL by hovering over the link. Do this to check links before you click on them.
• Don't be lazy with your passwords: Put more effort into creating your passwords.

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