Cyber crime describes the illegal activities using computer systems, networks, electronic communications or information systems and involves the use of a device and or the Internet.

If a business is subjected to cyber crime, its reputation may be severely damaged as well as there being serious financial harm.

Businesses are becoming increasingly dependent on technology to run their operations and experience in this field of law has shown us that the demand for cyber insurance is increasing as vulnerability to online cyber security threats increases. This is backed up by the fact that South Africa has, reportedly, the third highest number of cyber crime victims worldwide with losses of around R2.2billion yearly.

In addition, the Protection of Personal Information Act 2013 (“POPI”) will require companies to establish or upgrade their cyber safeguards or be faced with heavy fines. There is also a Cybercrimes and Cybersecurity Bill which has been tabled to try to deal with some of the issues being faced in this arena.

Although we are attorneys and not insurance brokers, we do know that traditional insurance policies do not necessarily cover cyber loss and that cyber insurance goes beyond covering merely direct financial loss but also covers consequent expenses such as systems and data loss or breaches, data ransom and malicious and negligent breaches by employees as well as external people working with the business.

As lawyers, we can assist you in mitigating your risks and taking proactive steps to comply with cyber laws and data protection. We are also well positioned to assist you when you have a breach or if you are facing a fine or civil action.

Being long time experts in the ICT legal area, it was natural for us to grow into the cyber crime and insurance legal space and we have direct knowledge of the following:

  • anonymous or known internet defamation;
  • funds transfer fraud;
  • human errors causing the illegal sharing of personnel data;
  • data breaches or losses;
  • online hacking leading to Distributed Denial of Services and loss of business;
  • ransomware attacks; and
  • unauthorised access to account information.