• Rosanna Hayes

The Impact of Cybercrime on SMEs in South Africa


We are pleased to announce our upcoming event, where we will be discussing cybercrime in South Africa to raise awareness over growing concerns and build a much-needed narrative on the topic. On May 20th, we will be welcoming guests from all industry sectors to attend the free interactive panel, where we aim to offer help and guidance to SMEs in the event of an incident, and in the prevention of becoming a victim of cybercrime. With 43% of cyberattacks targeting small businesses, particularly financial, health care, retail, insurance, and legal sectors, cybercrime is not just a large business issue; it is time to examine the situation.


The event’s panel of experts include Brigadier Pieterse (Law Enforcement, Cyber), Mr. Nemasisi (Information Regulator), Mr. Pillay (Director of the Law Society), and our very own Cyber Jedi, Neil Hare-Brown, who will address the following talking points:

  • Are SA businesses at more risk of cyberattacks than other countries?

  • What is driving the pandemic in cybercrime?

  • Which business sectors are most likely to suffer a cyber incident?

  • What do SA businesses do when they have a cyber incident and where can they find the right help?

Prior to the event, we surveyed leading business groups representing approximately 10,000 businesses in South Africa. They each answered a range of questions that we hoped might offer an insight into the general perception of the state of cyber in South Africa. The survey, ‘Cybercrime research: understanding the impact on small and medium-sized businesses in South Africa’ was well received and the results enabled us to gain a clear perspective. Highlighting perhaps the more illuminating responses, we’d like to share with you some of the results.


When asked: ‘Do you consider cybercrime to be a problem to SMEs in South Africa?’, 28 of the 33 respondents answered with, ‘a significant problem’, ‘definitely a problem’, and ‘extremely serious problem’.


In response to ‘rate the cybercrime risk level that your members are exposed to’, 11 of the business groups surveyed expressed this level to be ‘serious risk’; 2 went as far as to say, ‘catastrophic risk’.


We asked, ‘as a percentage, how many of your members have suffered a cybercrime in the last 12 months?’ 14 of the 33 respondents were unable to answer, whilst a third claimed the figure to be above 10% of their members. Some went so far as to claim that as many as 50%, 65%, and 90% of their members had suffered a cyberattack in the last 12 months.


On 20th May, we will explore what a cyberattack is, and the effect it can have on a business with a particular focus on SMEs. We will address the challenges for global and South African law enforcement in the prosecution of cybercrime (and why) and look at the reasons why SA appears to be of particular interest to these criminals.


In efforts to address the clear need for change, the panellists will walk through what it is that hackers are looking for in their next target. With an understanding from ‘an attacker's eye view’, businesses can better prepare, putting measures in place to prevent an attack. They will then discuss incident response, and what businesses should do if they fall victim to a cyberattack.


The event coincides with the launch of the STORM Guidance service, CyberCare in South Africa. CyberCare has been successfully providing UK SMEs with access to the industry's best cybercrime incident responders and has now launched its service in South Africa to help tackle the growing concerns over cybercrime in the region. Businesses in SA suffer 577 attacks every hour costing over R2.2 billion every year and with the third-highest number of cybercrime victims of any country, the launch of the CyberCare service aims to tackle the cyber pandemic head-on.


Join the panel on May 20th at 13:00. You can register for the event at: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_8Gl2BowLQtyaIGMM87sbwA