The Tarsus Technology Group is stepping up their own internal email security policies to deal with the increased activity of cybercriminals seeking to exploit the COVID-19 pandemic for their own gain.
Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic and South Africa’s subsequent lockdown, cybercrime has increased dramatically. Cybercriminals have been working feverishly to exploit the interest, concerns, and fears of South Africans around the pandemic.
They have also made the most of the fact that so many people are working from home now, and the unsecure IT environments that have resulted. So much so, that we even wrote a story about it back in May.
Things haven’t started getting better yet, either. In late May, Business Day reported that cyberattackers have identified South Africa as a particularly lucrative spot to ply their trade, as they perceive the country’s overall cyber-resilience to be on the low side.
And some surprising statistics seem to bear that out.
SA seeing major malware detection increases
The Business Day article cites a Mimecast report that states “In SA there has been a 385% increase in malware detections, as opposed to the global average of 35.16%”. Other attack vectors have also seen an increase in activity – spam (46%), impersonations (75%) and unsafe URL clicks (97%).
Mimecast’s Brian Pinnock is quoted in the report as saying he believes SA’s numbers in those detection categories “…far exceed the global average during the same period.”
So yes, everyone in South Africa is at major risk of succumbing to a cyberattack, now more than ever.
Proactive Measures Activated
Which is exactly why the Tarsus Technology Group has tightened its own internal IT security measures, particularly around email, in a proactive bid to stay steps ahead of any would-be attackers.
The move has led to some unfamiliar emails hitting employee inboxes, indicating that certain messages have been quarantined or blocked. The additional security and the tightening of email rules is being provided by a Mimecast email security appliance on the TTG network.
Over time the system will become more accurate at identifying suspicious emails, but for now a strict policy is necessary to fight the rising tide of illegitimate emails seeking to exploit employee concerns around COVID and the lockdown.
Stepping up security is good business
Stepping up security around email may seem like a small gesture, but email remains the most popular attack vector used by cybercriminals to ply their trade.
In the first 100 days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mimecast says it saw a 30% increase in global email-based phishing and impersonation attacks alone.
This move by TTG is therefore a very smart one.
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