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How to train staff for cybercrime safety

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Following the recent data breach in South Africa, HEINO GEVERS, Customer Experience Director at Mimecast, has outlined three tips for creating an effective cybercrime training initiative essential for companies.

Recent statistics released by Vanson Bourne and Mimecast show that less than half of South African companies are completely confident with the staff training they currently have in place to counter email cyber-attacks. As many as 46% only have some confidence and 6% have very little confidence. This is alarming, given that email phishing or spear fishing is responsible for more than 90% of all breaches.

While it’s essential for companies to invest in security technology to mitigate incursions and limit the damage of successful attacks, it only takes a single compromised email for a cybercriminal to breach an organisation’s perimeter. To ensure that money invested in email-security isn’t going to waste, companies will have to implement an effective awareness and training programme for staff.

Here are a few tips to consider when implementing this programme:

  1. Recognise the importance of leadership

Select leaders across the entire organisation to champion the importance of cybersecurity. The champion should have the trust and the ear of the executive team and must be able to secure the necessary financial and human resources.

A project leader or manager handles the strategic and tactical work of a team charged with developing and executing cybersecurity communications and training. Build out the team with employees from different departments and at different organisational levels to ensure a diversity of insights during the planning process. This also shows employees that this is truly an all-organisation endeavour.

It’s especially important to have someone from training and learning/human resources and public relations on the team since they are your internal experts on teaching and communicating.

Year-round communication is vital, so the message doesn’t lose its effectiveness. According to the Vanson Bourne and Mimecast research, only 21% of responding organisations in South Africa offer cybersecurity training monthly or more regularly, and more than a third only train employees annually or less frequently than that. It’s up to the champion to keep cybersecurity top of mind, with continuous training, throughout the year.

  1. Assess your capabilities and understand your risk

A complete audit of your cybersecurity is the best way to understand the kinds of threats your organisation faces and will give you a clear sense of vulnerability. Your IT team may be able to perform these tasks, but it’s crucial that you work with an outside vendor that specialises in email cybersecurity, or cybercrime prevention in general.

It’s important for all staff to be familiar with different forms of cybercrime and to understand how they work. This includes techniques such as ransomware like the infamous WannaCry, whaling and email wire transfer fraud. You need to know what to look for and how to prevent such targeted attacks.

  1. Focus on the priorities first

It’s important that you develop awareness and training programmes that address known and/or anticipated threats first. That way you can successfully protect your organisation’s network, without putting a large drain on resources. At the same time, you don’t want to create an environment of fear and anxiety, where users think cybersecurity is too big to handle and are scared away from best practices.

A successful cybersecurity campaign can do wonders for your organisation, potentially saving you from disaster. Smart security technology is still your number one priority, but ultimately, your organisation is as vulnerable as your most unassuming end user.

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AppDate: Shedding light in our times of darkness

SEAN BACHER’S app roundup highlights two load-shedding apps, along with South AfriCAM, NBA 2K Mobile, Virgin Mobile’s Spot 3.0 and SwiftKey.

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Load Shedding Notifier

With all the uncertainty about when South Africans will next be plunged into darkness by Eskom, the Load Shedding Notifier tries its best to keep up with Eskom’s schedule. The app is very simple to use. Download it, type an area in and click the save button. The app automatically tells you what load shedding stage Eskom is on, the times you can expect to start lighting candles and for how long to burn them.

Multiple areas can be added and one can switch between the different stages to see how each one will affect a certain area.

A grid status is also displayed, showing how strained the country’s electrical network is.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device

EskomSePush Load Shedding App

EskomSePush does much the same as the Load Shedding Notifier, but allows multiple cities to be tracked. However, they may just want to rethink the name of the app if they want wider respectability.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device

South AfriCAM

South AfriCAM enables users to add branded stickers and frames from popular lifestyle magazine titles to their posts, including Huisgenoot, YOU, Drum, Move!, TRUE LOVE, Women’s Health and Men’s Health. 

In the process, they can earn JETPoints for their social influence: through the app’s built-in JET8 social currency, users are rewarded for their engagement. For every in-app like, comment, and share, users earn JETPoints, which can be used to redeem products online or over the counter across more than 2 500 retail stores in South Africa. Users are additionally awarded JETPoints for cross-posting onto external social media networks.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device

Click here to read about console quality graphics on a mobile phone, Virgin Money payments made easier, and an app that redesigns the keyboard.

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Drones to drive
Western Cape agritech

Aerobotics is set to change how farmers treat their crops by using drones and machine learning, writes BRYAN TURNER.

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The Western Cape is poised to be a hotbed of innovation in the agritech sector, with drone piloting set to playing a major role in in the tech start-up scene.

This is the view of Tim Willis, chief operating officer of pioneering drone company Aerobotics, a Cape Town drone company recognised as a world leader in agritech.

“Drone piloting is a key skill that feeds into the value chain of the budding 4th Industrial Revolution,” said Willis. “Cape Town and the Western Cape is uniquely positioned to be the melting pot for innovation in the agritech sector, as a leading agricultural exporter and a hub for creative tech start-ups.”

He was speaking at AeroCon, a drone expo organised by Aerobotics and held in Johannesburg this week aimed at providing opportunities for drone pilots to apply their skills in South Africa, and to show how drones are being used to collect data on crops. 

The event was supported by the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA), Wesgro, PROMMAC, MicaSense, and Rectron, among other

“We’re starting to sign up farmers across the country,” said Willis. “It’s exciting because farmers are starting to use drone technology on their farms. When a farmer wants a drone flown, they want it flown [now] so it’s important for us to capture that data as quickly as possible to show that drones are fast and effective.”

According to aerobotics, drone technology can help farmers reduce pesticide use on their crops by up to 30%. The result is environmentally friendly farming, reducing stressed crops and a healthier harvest. 

“We use aerial imagery from drones to recreate a 3D model of every single tree on a farmer’s orchard,” said Willis. “We’ve done this for millions of trees and it starts to give the farmers metrics of what they’re doing. We provide them with the health of the trees, the height, the volume, the canopy area, which enable the farms to make decisions on what to do next.”

Click here to read more about AeroCon and what it offers to those wanting to get into the drone industry.

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