As the country prepares for a nationwide lockdown, concerns are mounting over the possibility that cyber crime will increase.
Statistics from cybersecurity and anti-virus provider Kaspersky revealed that there had been an increase in network attacks during the week of 15-21 March, which coincides with when many South Africans began working from home. Within this time period, the number of affected devices surged from 20 000 – 30 000 to about 310 000.
The spike suggests that cyber criminals are aiming to take advantage of the country’s vulnerable state.
Kaspersky’s data reveals that a third of the attacks involved attempts to penetrate networks with the brute-forcing of passwords.
According to Maher Yamout, senior security researcher for the Global Research and Analysis Team (GReAT) at Kaspersky, “The region is seeing an increase in attempts to break into the organisations systems to establish control over them, sabotage their work, or access sensitive information. Remote working provides cyber criminals a prime opportunity to target devices, especially those that don’t necessarily have adequate IT security measures in place.”
Kaspersky suggest that there is a need to institute critical security measures for remote working strategies to ensure effective protection.
To protect your network, Kaspersky suggests people make use of a VPN, multi-factor authentication, install adequate security software on all corporate devices and make sure to only use corporate-approved teleconferencing software.
While cyber crime might be on the rise, Police Minister Bheki Cele is optimistic that there will be a decrease in physical crimes during the lockdown period as law enforcement will be making it more difficult for criminals to roam the streets.