South Africa hosts the third-highest number of cybercrime victims in the world, behind only Russia and China.
Hedley Hurwitz, Managing Director of Magix Security, said: “These statistics are astounding, but to put it in a local perspective, The South African Cyber Threat Barometer 2012/13 puts the total direct losses to cybercrime in South Africa between January 2011 and August 2012 at R2.65 billion (US$312 million). Of this, an estimated R662,5 million was not recovered,”
Norton also reports and estimates the global price tag of consumer cybercrime to be at approximately US$110 billion.
Businesses in South Africa often find themselves “on their own” when it comes to tackling cybercrime given its rapid rise and little help from government to deal with it.
Hurwitz further revealed four primary reasons why cybercrime is set to increase in South Africa:
Increase in unemployment
Hurwitz said: “More people without work quite simply means more soft targets for syndicates.”
Mobile Internet growth
“The reality is that syndicates are at an advantage because they work full time focused only on finding ways to find and exploit vulnerabilities,” adds Hurwitz.
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“If you’re under financial pressure and someone offers you R10,000 for a copy of your company’s client database, many people will comply,” noted Hurwitz. “It’s not like you’re taking the database, just a copy; nobody gets hurt and you get an unofficial bonus.”
Business Insider threat awareness lacking in SA
“In a perfect world, we can simply trust our employees,” said Hurwitz. “In the real world, however, trust must be earned.”
Hurwitz added that although companies may bulk at the cost of mitigating against cybercrime, they should think of the millions of rand they are set to save by avoiding becoming a victim.