Costs are staggering – will your business survive when cyber-criminals strike?


The internet has given businesses new ways to grow and reach customers. Computers and digital innovations have also opened new doors for criminals to target businesses. Don’t become a statistic of the rising cybercrime tide.

At current rates, cybercrime is expected to replace many traditional forms of financial crimes. Due to its nature, it doesn’t depend on time and gives culprits increased anonymity. No business is exempt from the many risks of cybercrimes, including financial loss, disruption in operations and damage to the business reputation. Usually tied to some sort of failure in processes or the information technology (IT) system of a business, cyber-attacks can take the form of:

  • Online or phone scams
  • Fake invoicing and payment requests
  • Data theft, by hacking in to computers, devices or networks
  • Distributing malicious software and viruses that stop business systems.
Cybercrime is the top risk for SA businesses

As little as four years ago, South Africa ranked as the third worst country for cyber-attacks and had the most cyber-attacks on the continent (2015 Security Summit). Three years on and the 2018 Allianz Risk Barometer, put cybercrime in the top spot of threats to South African businesses. While companies are becoming more aware of the risks of cyber-attacks, it appears cyber criminals are winning the race against cyber security – releasing up to five new viruses every second and a 75% increase in incidents across online and mobile banking apps (SABRIC crime stats 2018).

Crime statistics on all cyber fronts are rising

In 2018, there were more than 21 000 data breaches reported. While it’s only the high-profile cases that make the news, any company can fall victim. An estimated 32% of all South African companies have been affected by breaches of some sort. With varying costs, it is estimated that data breaches cost companies on average R36.5 million a year in South Africa. Digital businesses and the Internet of Things are also on the rise and indications are that by 2020, 60% of businesses can suffer major service failures due to the inability to manage digital risks.

Over half of small business don’t survive cyber attacks

Losses from cyberattacks also hit smaller companies hard – anything upward from R1 million – accompanied by reputational damage, customer turnover and increased operational costs to recover. It is estimated that up to 60% of small businesses that experience a significant cyber-attack or breach go out of business within six months of the event.

What makes it more alarming, is that it can take an average of 150 days to even identify a data breach, which adds further to the costs.

Keep your business safe

In South Africa, 45% of data breaches come from criminal attacks, 30% from human error and 25% from technical glitches. Yet, knowing the high probability that data breaches can occur, only 35% of companies have an adequate cybersecurity plan in place.

It’s more important than ever to understand the exposure to cybercrimes and to have a good cyber security plan. This is more than an antivirus programme and an internet firewall. Employ experts in cybersecurity or call in the services of cybersecurity experts. Along with training employees, reviews of access to critical data and information and a response plan, you can take out protection that helps your business withstand the effects of cybercrime. Discovery Business Insurance, in partnership with AVeS Cyber Security, offers access to security specialists who will do risk assessments, ensure minimal disruption to operations and help with recovery of information following a breach.

Take inventory of your cyber risks, implement your response plan and look at available protection today, to defend your business against digital crimes.

Get innovative business cover, including cover for the risks of today

Discovery Business Insurance, in partnership with specialist companies, give you cover and services to manage the evolving and modern risks your business faces, including cyber risks, reputational risks and legal risks. Our cyber insurance cover provides a holistic approach in helping you to both understand and mitigate the cyber-risks of your business. As part of our partnership with AVeS Cyber Security, you get access to protection packages at discounted rates to know and address the risks and to protect your business from the effects of a cyber-attack. Get more information here.

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