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Lessons learnt from South Africa’s most recent cyber attacks: Lesson 1

Lesson 1: Attacks are increasingly more advanced

Traditionally attacks were focused on the device itself - attempting to implant malware on the device, to continually harvest information for nefarious purposes. But with more and more online and business activity becoming cloud based, cyber attacks are now focusing their attention on the identity of the victim, rather than their device.

Even just one compromised internal account can greatly increase the success rate of a phishing campaign. Attackers can use a compromised Cloud email account to gain access to multiple other accounts within hours.

From the recent Forrester Report on The Emergence of Offensive AI, the following key findings emerge.

  • Digitalisation expands firms’ surface area to more advanced attacks, causing concern for cybersecurity decision makers: 86% are concerned with threat actors leveraging AI to supercharge attacks.
  • Firms are slow to respond to offensive AI attacks. Reliance on humans keeps them from quickly detecting and responding to the scale and speed of attacks, compromising business continuity, IP, and reputation.
  • Over 80% of respondents value tools that increase autonomous decision making and automate response actions to offset the shortcomings of human-based detection, interpretation, and response.


  1. Insight into the cyber threat landscape in South Africa
  2. Forrester Report on The Emergence of Offensive AI
  3. Phishing from the inside: Microsoft 365 account hijack
  4. Darktrace Antigena: The Future of AI-Powered Autonomous Response
  5. The State of Email Security 2020

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