Risk experts are warning companies to be alive to the possibilities of a cyberattack on their system, as such attacks are becoming increasingly common.

The warning follows the recent hacking of the Transnet system. The state-owned freight and rail company’s port terminal division’s system was hacked, port operations were interrupted and equipment was damaged. Transnet resolved the issues and was 100% operational by Friday.

Associate director at Deloitte Risk Advisory, Tiaan van Schalkwyk, says companies should be vigilant about cyberattacks now more than ever.

“There has been as escalation over the last year and there has also been an increase in attacks on what we call supply chain compromise. Software and services that are used by an organisation are compromised at the source,” says van Schalkwyk.

Van Schalkwyk says criminals are also demanding higher ransom payment in exchange for companies’ data. However, appetite from companies to pay these ransom amounts has declined over the last few years.

“A part of what’s driving that has been a strong action taken by the US government and its allies against ransom and similarly in Europe and other parts of the world,” explains van Schalkwyk.

With the recent implementation of the Protection of Personal Information Act, Deloitte Africa says despite being an expensive exercise -businesses need to ensure that their technology like computer software and data are protected. They also need to make sure that their data is backed-up in the event of a cyber-attack.

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