Cyber-crime (or computer crime) is defined as crime that targets computers directly or is facilitated by computer networks or devices. Because it isn’t a very visible form of crime, it often goes unnoticed, which leads to a false sense of security. For example, most South Africans probably don’t realise that that South Africa is listed as third highest for the number of cybercrimes per country – just behind Russia and China.
The scale of these crimes is difficult to ascertain but it can be very large. For example, in just one event last year, 54 individuals appeared in the Nigel Magistrates Court for having allegedly defrauded thousands of individuals of almost 15 million Rand, apparently as part of an inter-continental syndicate.
The best way to protect ourselves from becoming one of the thousands losing money to scammers is to be informed and aware of how such individuals operate and a website recently launched by Wolfpack International Risk and sponsored by The British High Commission is trying to raise awareness of cyber threats in South Africa. The website provides in-depth information on various types of cyber attacks such as Personal Security Scams, threats targeted at Business and Common Fraud issues.
There are breakdowns of what constitutes each type of cyber-attack, including information on how fraudsters use these methods to take advantage of unsuspecting individuals or businesses. The website also explains what steps you can take to prevent falling victim to these attacks. Contact details as to where to report various cybercrimes and what steps to take if you have already become a victim are listed on the site.
Alert Africa’s mission is “To raise awareness & improve collaboration on critical cybercrime topics using the latest web, animation, gaming & social media tools at our disposal.” You can learn more about how they hope to achieve this by visiting their website at www.alertafrica.com
Press Release issue by Global Research Partners
Johannesburg, South Africa, 30 Sep 2013
One of the key benefits of cloud computing is that it allows an organisation to mitigate risks such as theft, fire and flood, which can result in downtime as well as data loss, effectively crippling an organisation. However, many decision-makers tend to shrug off the risk of such disaster until it is too late.
In the case of MUA, the decision to move to the cloud came just in time, as a burst water tank recently flooded its local server room, leaving it ‘inches deep’ under water. Fortunately, this came just months after MUA had migrated the majority of its IT environment into a tailor-made hybrid cloud, designed and hosted by CyberLogic, which also manages the rest of the MUA network environment. All that remained outside of this hosted environment was a local server at MUA’s head office that handled some non-critical and internal data access.
“Much of our business is associated with risk management and it made sense to us to apply this thinking to our IT set-up as well,” commented Christelle Fourie, Managing Director of MUA. “In this regard and in conjunction with CyberLogic who had proposed to us of the benefits of such a move, some 12 months ago, we started the process of changing to a managed outsourced situation, and specifically the move to a hosted cloud environment.”
“We were convinced that this move would reduce our risk as well as eliminate a non-core function, ie, our dedicated IT unit,” explained Fourie, “although, at the time, we didn’t foresee a disaster occurring so soon after taking this decision and completing the transition. Fortunately, we narrowly avoided a massive calamity as the flood didn’t impact our users or their experience of working with us; being hosted was a ‘real winner’. If this had happened to us just a few months earlier, our business would have been severely crippled.
“There is no doubt that this experience confirmed that we were correct in making a move to the cloud environment that also offers us a fully redundant scenario as well as a business continuity set-up,” continued Fourie. “At all times the CyberLogic guys have supported us well and immediately came on-site at the time of the disaster.”
“In addition, it provides a platform for innovation, as MUA has demonstrated by developing their own mobile insurance app, a first for the South African executive short-term insurance market,” concluded Bisset. “The MUA mobile app, which hooks in to their cloud systems, has allowed them to differentiate themselves in a highly competitive market. As a result, MUA has gained a strategic advantage. It’s a great example of how a company can innovate through the effective use of cloud computing, while reducing risk at the same time.”
Press Release issue by Global Research Partners
Johannesburg, South Africa, 26 Aug 2013
Cloud computing is changing the way businesses and individuals access technology. As broadband availability increases and data costs come down, the expansion and adoption of the cloud as an integral part of information services delivery will continue to be one of the most important developments in the evolution of the ICT market. Much has already been said, and much more will continue to be aired, over the coming weeks and months regarding this topic, and undoubtedly, it will bring many benefits; however, many organisations move to the cloud without being aware of all the options available to them, and as a result, miss out on even greater opportunities.
“Many companies that move to the cloud are not making the most of the potential benefits that the cloud can offer,” commented Edge Bisset, CEO of CyberLogic, “because simply moving existing systems onto the cloud only has operational benefits and is not in itself a game changer. Generic off-the-shelf cloud offerings can therefore only offer limited value.
“However, a customised cloud implementation can go beyond those operational benefits and can have real strategic advantages,” continued Bisset. “A customised cloud solution allows the company to mine existing data, to present it to clients and partners in new ways – in the any format – and with appropriate security in place. It also creates new touch points and communication channels with clients and partners that enable the company to tighten the relationships with its customers and suppliers. In this way, a tailored cloud solution can enable the company to:
* generate new revenue streams;
* add extra value to clients by giving them easy access to data they had to manually request before;
* automate manual functions;
* allow clients to ‘self-service’, thereby reducing the internal workload;
* extend the available service hours to a 24/7 basis, thus allowing clients to access their data or transact at any time; and,
* differentiate itself in the market.
These are the real and strategic benefits, which add value far beyond just duplicating the existing systems in the cloud.
“Not surprisingly, this requires a tailored approach, ie one that is customised to the client’s requirements; it’s not about buying a cloud ‘product’, but about understanding ways in which cloud technology can be applied to extract hidden value within the company,” concluded Bisset. “Very often, clients don’t realise the value of the data they have at their disposal. A solid understanding of cloud technology, along with an insight into the company’s business model and data sources, is the key to unlocking this hidden value. To achieve that, it’s important to have a specialist partner with experience in the design, implementation and management of private and hybrid cloud models. It is also important that the cloud strategy is driven by business, along with IT; ie it is not an ‘IT’ project, but a business project with IT as a key enabler. The cloud partner needs to clearly understand that, and be able to participate in that process accordingly. That is what CyberLogic is all about.”
For further information, please contact CyberLogic at tel. (021) 425 4200 or via www.cyberlogic.co.za