Companies must develop digital risk strategy to counter cyber-crime
AN INFORMATION technology (IT) specialist has urged companies to adopt a holistic digital risk strategy to counter the threats posed by malicious actors set on stealing their intellectual property and personal data.
Tatenda Mujati said companies must remodel their operations, this becoming imperative after estimations that the annual global cost of cyber-crime will double to $6 trillion in 2021, up from $3 trillion in 2015.
“This strategy should span cyber security and data privacy risk across the enterprise and must incorporate more than just the defending against cyber-attacks,” Mujati, the IT manager at Grant Thornton said.
Grant Thornton is a leading international audit, tax, advisory, investigation and forensics firm with branches in Bulawayo and Harare, Zimbabwe.
“Ever stricter data protection regulation, not to mention the public’s growing awareness of privacy, means technology companies must regularly re-examine privacy controls and implement data asset categorisation,” Mujati said.
Her sentiments are similar to those of James Arthur, partner and head of cyber consulting at Grant Thornton UK, in an article published last
July, when he noted that technology companies were particularly more impacted by cyber crime.
Arthur urged these companies to develop a digital risk strategy based on their most strategically important data assets.
“After all, they hold more data than non-tech companies and often lead the way in adapting new technologies which can create cyber vulnerabilities,” he said.
A new study from IT services firm Serianu shows the pervasive nature of cyber-crime across the continent, affecting businesses, individuals, families, financial institutions, and government agencies cost Africa an estimated $3.5 billion in 2017.
The Internet Society’s Online Trust Alliance estimates that there were more than 2 million cyber incidents in 2018. It is likely this number significantly underestimates the actual problem.
Mujati said tech companies should work on building trust.
“To start building trust, technology companies must offer value-added cyber security solutions such as malware and ransomware screening that plugs vulnerabilities as part of their core offering,” she added.