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How to stay safe online at a time of cyber hurricanes

Grove’s partnership with top international cybersecurity experts offers an essential safety net to help clients weather the storms of cyber threats.

Predicting the evolution of information technology is even more difficult than predicting the weather. Non-stop innovation and new developments are coming at us at the speed of light. But just as global weather patterns are getting more intense, risk experts agree that the biggest storms that will happen in technology over the next few years will centre on cybersecurity.

At Grove, we’ve been studying new threats such as “cyber hurricanes”, increasing reputational risk and tougher data rules that directly impact on online safety.

Every year hacks are becoming bigger, more frequent and sophisticated. According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Risk Report, cyber attacks have been ranked as the third greatest global risk of 2018 second only to natural disasters and extreme weather events. On top of this cybercrime is estimated to cost the world $8 trillion by 2022.

Just like a natural disaster, a single cyber attack can potentially impact thousands of companies, leading to severe business interruption and loss of customers and reputation. According to the Allianz Risk Barometer 2018 - cyber crime is now a top underestimated risk for businesses in 11 countries, including South Africa and the UK. The most targeted industry sectors are entertainment and media, financial services, professional services, healthcare, technology and telecommunications.

Threats can come from all sides and involve all aspects of a company’s digital presence. Personal data or intellectual property can be compromised. Businesses can incur network liability if a corrupted file is transferred to another company and cyber interconnectivity continues to bring unexpected threats. But cyber incidents aren’t always caused by hackers. It can also be the result of a technical failure or malicious or innocent employee actions.

Companies are facing new perils such as cyber extortion and business interruptions. For instance, the recent emergence of two major security flaws in computer chips – Meltdown and Spectre – raised fears that hackers could steal data from computers and devices around the world.

Just as worrying, security researchers at Proofpoint recently discovered that globally over 500 000 Windows machines are infected with Cryptomining malware called Smoninru. Up to date, the Smonoinru botnet creators have mined around 8,900 Monero, estimated at up to $3.6 million, at the rate of roughly 24 Monero per day by stealing computing resources of millions from Windows machines.

According to Mimecast email-borne ransomware attacks are on the rise with an average of 4,000+ ransomware incidents having occurred daily since the start of 2016.

A fresh approach is needed to stay afloat

Cyber threats can have the same economic impact as environmental disasters, confirms Dan Sloshberg, director of Product Marketing at Mimecast. “Just like hurricane, floods, fires and other extreme events, successful attacks can trigger interruptions in the systems that keep our societies from functioning.” Dan explains. “With the WEF Global Risk Report highlighting the severity of ransomware and phishing emails as a primary cybercrime tactic, organisations and communities need more focus, support and training on cybersecurity than ever before.”

Confronting a whole different set of risks, today’s technology landscape is dramatically different from what it was 10 years ago, warns Emy Donavan, Global Head of Cyber at AGCS. “Every company has been, or will be impacted by cyber risk. Too many businesses are using out-of-date approaches to cybersecurity.”

As the cyber threat landscape evolves in unpredictable ways, it is simply no longer sufficient to stop all known threats at the network border, says Nick Trim, Managing Director EMEA, Darktrace. Companies entrusted with personal data need to recognize that cybersecurity is no longer an internal IT risk, but rather a strategic business risk of the highest order.

Cultivating a culture of cyber resilience

The solution to such diverse threats is for everyone, from governments and businesses to local communities, to adopt a new culture of security by analysing infrastructure for weaknesses to prevent escalation to the level of crisis, advises Dan Sloshberg. “It is vital to invest in a cyber resilience strategy that involves strong methods of protection, combined with a reliable archive and recovery strategy for data that will ensure uninterrupted access and use of vital systems like email in the event of breach.”

The idea that we can't defend against cyber threats, is a myth that must be busted, particularly with top management, says Jessica Robinson, CEO of PurePoint International, a New York security firm. “We can defend against them – people must be trained on what to do.”

Within your company cybersecurity should not only be the responsibility of your IT department. Every employee that accesses the cloud and interacts with the Internet of things or opens an email should be seen as an important member of your organisation’s cybersecurity resilience team.

The key is to have a plan and a strategic technology partner such as Grove to set up unique technology solutions before the attack happens, because the bad guys won’t give you much time to react.

Through leveraging technology, intelligence and expertise your company can strategise how to protect its customer and employee data, manage risk, and maintain compliance.

Mark O’Hare of Mimecast says employees need to understand that they are the “human firewall” sitting behind security technology. “It’s no longer just about how to protect the organisation – make cybersecurity education about the user. Show them how to educate their friends and family on cybersecurity.”

According to research and advisory firm Gartner, across the globe companies are investing in cybersecurity as a top priority. Worldwide information security spending will grow by 7 percent to reach $86.4 billion in 2017 and climb to $93 billion in 2018, Gartner predicts.

Leveraging expert help is the best defense

Grove’s partnerships with the top cybersecurity companies in the world mean we are perfectly positioned to help protect your company against any kind of online threat. We can help you identify vulnerabilities and set up systems to adopt cutting-edge cyber defense for operational technology (OT).

The cybersecurity experts we collaborate with have won numerous accolades and awards and are recognised as the best possible insurance against disaster.

Mimecast and Proofpoint offer mould-breaking, next generation, advanced cybersecurity solutions while Darktrace uses AI to not just fix computer viruses, but to stop them before they start.

  • Mimecast Unified Email Management is an always-on, Cloud-based service that offers organisations the unique benefits of fully integrated email security, business and operations-critical cyber continuity; and archiving solutions. Mimecast has been recognised as a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Information Archiving for three years in a row.

  • Proofpoint solutions enable organisations to protect their users from advanced attacks delivered via email, social media and mobile apps, protect the information their users create from advanced attacks and compliance risks, and respond quickly when incidents occur. Proofpoint has been a Gartner MQ leader in enterprise information archiving for six years running.

  • Darktrace is the world’s leading machine learning company for cybersecurity. Created by mathematicians and machine learning specialists from Cambridge University along with intelligence experts from MI5 and GCHQ, their Enterprise Immune System uses AI algorithms to automatically detect and take action against cyber threats within all types of networks, including physical, cloud and virtualised networks, as well as IoT and industrial control systems.

Grove’s advice to our clients has always been to never set sail into the stormy waters of cybersecurity on your own. Rather get experts to help steer you away and protect you from the worst online threats. “At Grove we believe in providing state-of-the-art cybersecurity to protect all aspects of our clients' businesses, covering their email and their network. We do this with best-of-breed offerings unlocking the full benefits of cloud and AI technology,” says James Vintin CEO of Grove.

About Grove

At Grove, we unlock business success through technology. We help you and your business fulfill your potential through the power of leading-edge Cloud Computing, Custom Software Development, Cybersecurity and Analytics. We are passionate about what we do and enjoy working with the 2,500 happy customers we have accumulated over 12 years.

Our trusted team of business analysts, cloud architects, migration and deployment specialists, data scientists and software engineers will help you to deploy and access the full benefits of best-of-breed technology. Grove is a Google Cloud and Education Partner, a Premier Mimecast Reseller, a Proofpoint Distributor and soon to be working very closely with Darktrace - a new partnership we’re extremely proud of. We’ve been recognised by Deloitte on three occasions as one of the fastest growing technology companies in the UK and EMEA. Our offices in London, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Nairobi and Dubai, support customers across 45 countries.

Stay ahead of cybercriminals. Find out how Grove's best-of-breed technology solutions can protect your business from cyber threats. Contact us today.
Call us on +27 21 040 3140 or send an email to

Tags: Cybersecurity, Darktrace, Mimecast, Proofpoint

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