• Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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Organisations advised to consider cyber-security for improved investment

‘Financial sector records spike in malware attacks’

Organizations in Africa have been advised to reconsider the importance of cybersecurity, especially if they want to optimize their investments in this area.

Zaheer Ebrahim, a maintenance engineering analyst (MEA) at Trend Micro, says Cybersecurity isn’t just about keeping data and other related resources safety as it has a clear impact on winning new business and recruiting top talent.

He added that, with this in mind, it was vital that organisations changed perceptions around cybersecurity, especially amongst corporate leaders.

“Inadequate cybersecurity measures are placing an enormous cost on businesses in South Africa; in Kenya, this stands at $36million, while figures in Nigeria and South Africa stand at $500million and $570million respectively,” Ebrahim said.

Trend Micro’s research shows that these costs affect various areas. A fifth (19 percent) of the global Business Decision Makers (BDMs) surveyed in the company’s research admitted that a lack of security measures impacted their ability to win new business.

The research added that 81 percent of the BDMs worry that it would do so in future. This comes as nearly three-quarters (71 percent) of BDMs admit they’re being asked about security posture in negotiations with prospects and suppliers while 78 percent said these requests for information were increasing in frequency.

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“This apparent contradiction in attitudes is laid bare by another finding. Despite prospects and suppliers clearly prioritizing security in negotiations, only 57 percent of BDMs perceive there to be a strong or very strong connection between cyber and client acquisition/satisfaction,” Ebrahim said.

He said that talent acquisition is another area where there were clear gaps in BDMs’ understanding of the interconnectivity between cybersecurity and the rest of the business.

According to him, nearly three-quarters (71 percent) of respondents claim that the ability to work from anywhere has become vital in the battle for talent. Yet only around two-fifths understand the strong connection between cybersecurity and employee retention which is 42 percent and talent attraction, 43 percent.

“That’s despite respondents recognizing the impact of cyber on the employee experience,” he said, adding, 83 percent said current security policies have affected remote employees’ ability to do their jobs such as network and information access issues, and slowing the pace of work.

“43 percent say current security policies place restrictions on employees’ ability to work from anywhere just as 54 percent say current policies restrict what devices/platforms employees can choose to use,” he said.

He disclosed that these findings point to BDMs’ lack of understanding of the relationship between cybersecurity and other parts of the organization, this is borne out by further statistics which shows half of respondents (51 percent) claiming cybersecurity is a necessary cost but not a revenue contributor, while a similar share (48 percent) argue that its value is limited to attack/threat prevention.

“Nearly a fifth (38 percent) even see security as a barrier rather than a business enabler,” Ebrahim said.