All organisations should use Computer Security Day on the 30th November 2017 as an opportunity to improve their ability to recover from disaster, says Padma Naidoo, Head: Advisory Services, ContinuitySA.

“Computer Security Day was inaugurated in 1988 when computers were recognised as an important business tool—and thus vulnerable to disruption or criminal intent. This vulnerability has grown as technology has become the platform for business,” she says. “However, the growth of criminal syndicates targeting IT means that total security is not possible. The current focus on prevention must be complemented by effective disaster recovery and business continuity strategies.”

Ms Naidoo says that that the Business Continuity Institute’s 2017 Horizon Scan shows that the top three threats to business continuity relate to IT, in part due to the development of a well-resourced cyber-criminal network. Statistics vary, but all agree that cyber-crime of various forms is constantly increasing. In 2015, it was estimated that the global cost of cybercrime would be $500 billion by 2019, now the prediction is $2 trillion, a fourfold increase. IDG detected an increase of 36 percent in incidents of cybercrime between 2015 and 2016.[1]

Alongside the threat posed by organised crime, organisations must also secure themselves against opportunistic crime resulting from poor security practices as well as fraud committed by employees.

“There is a direct correlation between technology and business success. It therefore makes excellent business sense to see computer security within the context of a broader drive to build business resilience, enhancing organisational capacity to identify and mitigate all risks and, crucially, to build the resilience to recover when a risk materialises, concludes Ms Naidoo. “Because the likelihood of a cyber breach is very high, organisations that know how to rapidly respond to and recover from an IT disaster will be the winners in the long run.”

[1] Bill Laberis, “20 Eye-opening cybercrime statistics”, Security Intelligence, 14 November 2016, available at