Cybercrime costs SA firms billions – POPI Act makes executives liable

blog21SOURCE:              FIN24TECH

AUTHOR:             Duncan Alfreds





Cape Town – South African businesses lost an estimated R5.8bn to cybercrime as breaches continue at an alarming rate, an expert has said.

According to underwriter Candice Sutherland around 974 million company records were lost or stolen in 2014 – an estimated 31 records every second – perpetrated mainly by disgruntled employees.

She said that these stolen records amount to losses of at least R5.8bn which can also be attributed to organisational negligence, rivals and hackers.

“The Protection of Personal Information Act (Popi), gives effect to a constitutional right to privacy and the unauthorised access to information regarding the educational, medical, financial, criminal or employment history of an individual as well as their personal details such as ID numbers, contact details and physical addresses is restricted by the Act,” said Sutherland, business development consultant at SHA Specialist Underwriters.

Companies that don’t take adequate measure to protect personal information may find themselves liable for data compromised by unscrupulous individuals or organisations.

Fines, imprisonment

Sutherland said that executives who are found to be negligent with personal information may face fines of R10m or 10 years in prison.

Cybercrime is a lucrative enterprise for fraudsters.

In the US, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) most wanted cyber criminal is Evgeniy Mikhailovich Bogachev. He is wanted in connection with bank fraud; conspiracy to violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act; conspiracy to Violate the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act; aggravated Identity Theft, among other crimes.

The FBI has posted a reward of $3m for information leading to his arrest and conviction. According to the agency, Bogachev is responsible for the Zeus malware which was able to “capture bank account numbers, passwords, personal identification numbers, and other information necessary to log into online banking accounts”.

In SA, identity theft is facilitated by an entire ecosystem of underworld operators who specialise in capturing financial information with which to conduct the crimes.

Fin24 user Beulah Roman recently had to change her entire bank account details after cyber criminals had managed to fraudulently debit her account with R400 per day.

While laws such as the Financial Intelligence Centre Act (38 of 2001), known as Fica, seek to eliminate money laundering and provide a safe financial transacting environment, criminals don’t play by the rules.

For complete peace of mind GreatSoft Secure Docs (NIMBUS) offers secure Document Management from the most simple level right up to the advanced use of Microsoft Sharepoint from anywhere on any device

Our product should satisfy almost all firms Document storage, Archiving and sharing needs.

Client Check List (NIMBUS)

This module simplifies the communication with clients by providing an online e-communication tool to share and swap information with clients.

 Digital Documentation Exchange (NIMBUS)

The Nimbus DDS features make it easy for you and your clients to sign most types of documents including PDF’s. This digital signature can easily be verified as correct and accurate by any 3rd party person or company.

 Marketing and Mailing (NIMBUS)

Email marketing is becoming more difficult especially with the introduction of the POPI Act, where emails have to be “optioned in” rather than “optioned out of”

Secure Portals (NIMBUS)

To secure client information, is becoming a major priority for many firms. The GreatSoft Nimbus secure Document Exchange Portal provides firms with a powerful yet user friendly way to exchange secure documents with their clients.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *