South African companies warned after the Petya malware attack

By BERK GÜNDÜZ

Africa’s leading cyber security firm, LAWtrust, has warned South African businesses must act to protect themselves and customers.

The warning comes after the Petya cyber-attack earlier this week. Petya locked down machines and demanded $300 worth of bitcoin. The virus spread across Europe, the US, Israel and Ukraine and impacted a number of industries; with government, shipping firms, a petroleum company and the Chernobyl reactor all reporting hacks.

Companies that were affected by Petya are likely to have underestimated the threat level after surviving WannaCry.

Now, Dr Aleksander Valjarevic, a security expert at LAWtrust, has warned that no South African business is immune to the attack, and companies must be extra-careful.

 “These threats must be taken seriously. Businesses must act to protect themselves and their customers; these kinds of attacks can have a serious impact on the functioning of individual organisations, as well as on their bottom lines,” he says.

LAWtrust have said in order to protect themselves from an attack, businesses should keep operating systems up to date, raise awareness among staff, back up data regularly and encrypt sensitive data.

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