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Cyber attack leaves CFO sector panicking

cyber crime techJOHANNESBURG– SUCH is the extent of the problem that a loss R300 million (20, 376 million) by a leading local bank through a scam, cybercrime has moved up the agenda of the upcoming World Global Financial Officers (CFO) Congress scheduled for Cape Town.

The congress is set for November.

The reported loss by Standard Bank, rated the continent’s biggest bank by assets, has sent shockwaves throughout the industry, coinciding with preparations for the meeting.

An expert, Nathan Desfontaines, said while cybercriminals had increased their attacks on South African companies, company strategies had lagged behind in terms of preparing for emerging threats.

The rate of change with regards to cyber-related risk is accelerating rapidly, increasing the security gaps organisations must contend with, and leaving them more exposed than ever before,” said Desfontaines.

Desfontaines, the Cyber Security Manager at KPMG, the global audit firm, said in terms of financial governance and financial security for business, CFOs need to pro-actively keep cyber security top of mind amongst the executive team.

“The matter of securing systems and databases is a technical issue, but CFOs should still be knowledgeable of where potential attacks can come from,” he said.
“Cyber attacks could cost a company hundreds of thousands and even millions of Rands, directly impacting the bottom-line,” he explained.

Desfontaines will be among the speakers at the upcoming World CFO Congress in the coastal city in South Africa.

The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC) estimates South Africans lose in excess of R2,2 billion annually to internet fraud and phishing attacks.

A study conducted by IBM and the Ponemon Institute released in July this year indicates the total  average organisational cost of a data breach for the 19 companies represented in the research is R28,6 million.

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