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South African food supply is vulnerable to cyber criminals

South Africa’s agri sector is facing increasing exposure to cyber-attacks. One cyber-attack on Transnet brought ports to a standstill, halting exports, while an attack on Onderstepoort Biological Services several years ago prevented vaccine production.

As the modern supply chain is very long and complex, this makes it difficult to prevent cyber-attacks. He also pointed to research that showed that attacks on the agriculture sector were increasing. Recent research seems to indicate that South Africa does not have a good track record in guarding against cyber-attacks.

Lwando Cwane, cyber insurance lead at Hollard, noted that the global cost of cyber-attacks was around US$10,5 trillion (about R192 trillion) annually.

“South Africa is ranked 8th worst in the world for falling prey to ransomware. We rank 5th on the list for the worst cyber security globally. Agriculture in general has been shown to have a low level of cyber security in place, since attacks are not perceived as being as prevalent as in the banking sector, for example.”

“South Africa has the highest probability of a repeat breach, with more than 83% of businesses experiencing more than one breach in the last 12 months.”


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