Event report

Back To | Battling the Shadows of Cyber Criminality 

The French South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FSACCI) along with partner chambers, the Belgian Chamber of Commerce for Southern Africa (BCCSA), the Nordic-South African Business Association (NSBA), and the Business Ireland South Africa Chamber, recently joined forces to tackle a critical issue: Cyber Criminality. 

On Tuesday, May 7th, the chambers hosted the "Battling the Shadows of Cyber Criminality" event featuring Warrant Officer Benoit Magne, a Cybercrime Investigator, International Technical Expert, and Regional Cybercrime Consultant at the French Embassy in South Africa. 

Warrant Officer Magne shed light on the rise of cybercrime in South Africa, highlighting that it costs the nation over R2.2 billion annually, with the figure growing rapidly. 

The event focused on equipping attendees with the knowledge to combat cyber threats. Key takeaways included preventative measures such as: 

  • Avoiding unknown USB sticks – they may be loaded with malware. 

  • Exercising caution with emails – don't click on suspicious links or attachments. 

  • Protecting credit cards with sleeves or wallets and keeping card details secure. 

  • Utilizing strong, unique passwords and changing them regularly. 

  • Avoiding sensitive activities like online banking on unsecured Wi-Fi networks (use a VPN for added protection). 

  • Being mindful of personal information shared on social media to prevent impersonation. 

  • Regularly backing up websites and changing passwords when employees leave. 

Responding to a Cyber Attack 

The session also addressed how to react in the event of a cyber-attack. Here are some crucial steps: 

  • Isolate the affected device – unplug the network cable or disconnect Wi-Fi (don't power off the device). 

  • Inform everyone and provide details when filing a complaint. 

  • Never pay a ransom – it encourages further attacks. 

  • Notify customers if their personal information is compromised. 

While there is no foolproof solution, prioritizing good security practices and user education can significantly reduce the risk of cyber-attacks. Cybercriminals exploit vulnerabilities, so staying informed and vigilant is crucial. 

For a more comprehensive understanding of cyber threats and preventative measures, the full presentation by Warrant Officer Magne is available below:  

 

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