BDO South Africa and BDO IT Consulting held a seminar on Wednesday, May 24 on the strategy of cyber security for companies. The South African and Mauritian experts addressed Chief Risk Officers, Chief Information Security Officers, IT specialists and internal auditors during the one-day workshop. They focused on the issues and challenges facing the private and public sector in terms of cyber security, potential threats and essential preventive measures in all areas of activity.
Cyber attacks have increased dramatically and are becoming more sophisticated and complex. Sensitive data is unknowingly exposed by vulnerable individuals and companies. No one seems to know how to assess the consequences, which are usually significant (including reputational impact, costs associated with legal claims and/or regulatory sanctions). The various stakeholders agree that the financial sector is currently the most affected by cyber attacks, since the main motivation of hackers is the lure of profit.
Cyber security: companies’ main line of defence
From their extensive experience in this area, the speakers noted that although cybercrime is common in the financial world, cyber security is not a priority for many companies.
According to Krishna Radhakeesoon, manager of IT Governance and Consulting at BDO IT Consulting, “This reluctance is linked to the fact that for these companies, cyber security is an expensive protection in terms of money and time. Unfortunately, they don’t realize the real cost of an attack. Without protection, these companies are vulnerable, and this can impact their own image, depending on the severity of the cyber attack.
Krishna Radhakeesoon believes that more education is needed for both private and public sector actors as the threats of cyber attacks are growing and becoming more complex. Today, thanks to new techniques, hackers are able to bypass security settings, and worse, to disguise their frauds.
“That’s why cyber security is a crucial element for businesses. It is an asset that enables them to thwart these attacks. At BDO, our professional team is working hard to develop and implement modern, effective security tools and devices that make the task more difficult,” says Krishna Radhakeesoon.
How a company can ensure its cyber security
Training employees to recognize the early signs of potential attacks, encouraging them to warn their superiors of potential dangers, monitoring computer systems to detect threats, and having a well-developed plan to react as quickly as possible when a cyber attack occurs are some of the key elements for companies to consider in order to limit the damage.
Cyber security plays a critical role as the first line of defense for any organization against internal and external threats and vulnerabilities. It is therefore essential that companies take these threats into consideration to be better prepared in case of attacks.