Johannesburg, 26 Oct 2023
Dynamic Technologies group company Inspired Testing has once again achieved its Cyber Essentials certification, a vital component of avoiding the legal and ethical risks posed by cyber security threats. As cyber attacks are a growing concern globally, and with South Africa touted as being on the brink of becoming the cyber crime capital of Africa (News24/City Press), effective cyber security is non-negotiable.
In the UK, cyber crime is also a growing problem. The National Crime Agency warns: “Cyber crime continues to rise in scale and complexity, affecting essential services, businesses and private individuals alike. Cyber crime costs the UK billions of pounds, causes untold damage and threatens national security.” Independent Advisor suggests that for medium and large businesses, the cost of a cyber attack averages £19 400, or R453 600. It is for exactly this reason that the Cyber Essentials certification is a requirement for businesses such as Inspired Testing that operate in the UK. That commitment to cyber security is an added benefit to all its clients, no matter where they are situated.
According to the article: “South Africa is rapidly emerging as the cyber crime capital of Africa, as the country is poised to surpass Nigeria.” The source of this information is recent data from TCG Forensics. Meanwhile the South African Fraud Prevention Services reported a surge in cyber crime between April 2022 and April 2023, including impersonation fraud. One of South Africa’s vulnerabilities is the lack of trained and dedicated police personnel who are able to deal with this type of crime, as well as the wealth of personal and financial data used in financial transactions every day. South Africa is seen as a soft target, making the need for cyber security more urgent than ever.
“The increasing reliance on technology and the internet for almost all aspects of modern life, including communication, banking, healthcare and commerce, is what makes cyber security so important,” says Inspired Testing Legal and Compliance Officer Robyn de Jager. Protecting these systems and the data they store and transmit is crucial for individual privacy, economic stability and national security.
She explains: “Cyber attacks can lead to financial loss, business interruption, reputational damage, loss of customer trust and regulatory fines for non-compliance with data protection laws. In worst-case scenarios, they can compromise national security or critical infrastructure.”
The Cyber Essentials certification is a scheme developed by the UK government to help organisations protect themselves against common cyber threats. It provides a clear framework for basic cyber security hygiene, covering areas such as firewalls, secure configuration, user access control, malware protection and patch management. Patch management involves applying updates or fixes to software, drivers and firmware wherever vulnerabilities or other issues are detected. Achieving Cyber Essentials certification means that a business has implemented a baseline level of cyber security defences, reducing the risk of cyber threats.
Cyber Essentials certification is a requirement under the UK’s Data Protection Act of 2018 and the Computer Misuse Act, as well as the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Information Systems Directive (NISD). Not only does the certification prove compliance, but it is also an essential requirement when doing business with many clients.
Inspired Testing’s recertification is indicative of its ongoing commitment to preventing information security breaches, and its dedication to protecting its clients’ data and managing their privacy risk. Additionally, the company holds an ISO27001 certification, verifying that its information security management system complies with global best practices.
It’s about more than just ticking compliance boxes, however. “This certification offers several benefits to clients,” says De Jager. “It assures clients that the certified company is committed to protecting their sensitive data from cyber threats, thereby instilling trust and confidence. It signals a proactive approach to cyber security, potentially reducing downtime or data breaches that could disrupt service to clients.” She adds: “In many industries, having a Cyber Essentials certification is increasingly seen as a requirement, especially when dealing with sensitive data or when bidding for government contracts. This ensures that clients are engaging with businesses that prioritise cyber security, thereby securing their own data. The certification also demonstrates a company's compliance with cyber security best practices, which is crucial for clients in regulated industries.”