09 Oct

What Businesses Need to Know about Cybersecurity


One of the most important elements of cybersecurity is constant monitoring of the nature of security risks

The approach is to focus resources on crucial system components and to protect the biggest known threats without leaving components defenceless against less dangerous risks.

Within an organisation, the people, technology, and processes must function altogether to create an effective defence against cyber-attacks. Let’s look at how this collaboration can work:

  • People: Data controllers must understand and comply with basic data security principles, for example, passwords, attachments in e-mails and storage of data.
  • Technology: Technology in the organisation should be updated and protected, for example, computers and routers, networks and the cloud, firewalls, malware protection, antivirus software, and email security solutions.
  • Processes: Data controllers must have a framework for dealing with attempted and successful cyber-attacks. This framework must include the manner in which the Company identifies cyber-attacks, protects systems, detects and responds to threats and recovers from successful attacks.
  • Staff: Staff should be aware of cyber risks and be trained on a regular basis to be diligent in identifying possible cyber breaches.

What are the elements of cybersecurity?

Ensuring cybersecurity in the current business environment requires a more proactive and adaptive approach to the coordination of efforts throughout an information system, which includes Information security, Application security, Network security, Operational security, Disaster recovery, and End-user education.

What are the types of cybersecurity threats?

The process of keeping up with new technologies, security trends and threat intelligence is a challenging task. It is essential, however, in order to protect information and other assets from cyber threats, which could take many forms:

  • Ransomware is a type of malicious software that involves an attacker locking the victim’s computer system files and demanding a payment to decrypt and unlock them.
  • Social engineering is an attack that relies on human interaction to trick users into breaking security procedures and revealing sensitive information. Examples of social engineering include clicking on a link or downloading malware etc.;
  • Malware is a type of software used to gain access or cause damage to a computer, such as computer viruses, worms, and spyware etc. ;
  • Phishing “419 scams” is the practice of sending fraudulent e-mails that resemble e-mails from reputable sources. The aim is to steal sensitive data such as login information and credit card numbers etc.

Implementing guidelines to enhance cybersecurity

Implementing guidelines to identify and assess risks in the business environment is crucial to enhance cybersecurity.

  • Always install and update good anti-malware and antivirus programs.
  • Never open an e-mail if it appears in your spam folder and never click on links that seem suspicious and unexpected.
  • Ignore unexpected warnings for security software. They may appear via e-mail or may pop up in a new browser window. This scareware is designed to infect and access your data.
  • “ Social hacking” occurs when somebody impersonates someone else in an attempt to get sensitive information or even access your computer by installing software or clicking on a malicious link.
  • Never give out personal information to strangers who call on the phone.


Identifying cybersecurity risks and monitoring these risks are the first steps to cybersecurity. Implementing guidelines and an assessment framework for cybersecurity programs seek to enable critical information security infrastructure.

SERR Synergy assists businesses in compiling and implementing an Information Security Management policy whereby the physical information and cybersecurity risks of organisations are identified and managed to maintain the confidentiality and legitimate availability of data.

About the Author: Retha van Zyl completed her BCom Hons (Economics and Risk Management) studies at the North West University. She joined our team in January 2016 and currently holds the title ‘Information Compliance Advisor’. She specialises in POPI and PAIA compliance, which includes compiling and submitting PAIA manuals to the Human Rights Commission. She also compiles and implements ISMS to identify risks associated with information security in each department within an organisation.


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