Security 01-12-2018 0

The Enemy You Can’t See

Its claimed over 4 billion victims, caused trillions of dollars’ worth of damage, affected the likes of Yahoo, Facebook and even governments on a massive scale… and its only just getting started.

The greatest battles are no longer fought on land between men, but rather in cyberspace between computers. The measurement for victory, data, and the price to pay, is more severe than ever.

Ask yourself this, did you ever think you could go to jail for not adequately protecting your customers personal information in your emails, or perhaps not securely storing their documentation securely? Well …. neither did we, but today with the implementation of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and POPI (Protection of Personal Information), it is very much a reality.


What has caused all of this to come about?

Well, in a world in which data is king, the onus on the caretakers of this information is greater than ever! Increasing legislation is putting more and more pressure on the protection of this information. At the forefront of this legislation sits POPI and GDPR, no longer only applicable to your corporate giants handling terabytes upon terabytes of data. These acts place the onus on each and everyone one of us to be custodians of our customers information, irrelevant of whether you are a billion-dollar listed behemoth or a one-man band with a couple-hundred clients.

POPI, although not fully in force yet, lays out strict regulations and instructions on the requirements for dealing with personal information, and even harsher penalties for non-compliance, ranging from fines as big as R10 million to jail time! GDPR, does very much the same and in some cases is much, much worse!(Just ask Google, Facebook and Amazon!)


It will never happen to me!

Very wrong …. In 2017 it was estimated that over 1 billion people were affected by cybercrime, totaling a staggering $600 billion, that’s over R8.4 trillion! Enough moola to do 8 nuclear deals in South Africa. In 2016 Yahoo had over 3 billion users affected by a data breach, and with only 52% of the world’s population having access to the internet that means a staggering 83% of the world’s population were affected by this breach! With 43% of cyberattacks aimed at small businesses, and 1 in every 131 emails containing a malware virus, you can be sure that if it hasn’t happened to you yet, the chances are very high that’s it’s going to happen soon, so you better be prepared for it.

Well, hopefully after reading that, I’ve really got your attention …. and hopefully you are starting to question your business processes, systems and of course, security.

How do you ensure that you, your business and your customer information is adequately protected?

The bad news is that the answer isn’t quite as simple as “go buy this”, the good news is that some of the smartest minds on the planet are devoting their careers entirely to helping you protect your data, and with estimated expenditure to exceed R1.5 trillion in 2019, it’s safe to say that this is being taken very seriously, and there are some incredible solutions which you can make use of to get your business up to speed and as secure as possible.

Ok, so now that we’re on the same page, here’s what you need to do!

Ok, so this is the part of the blog where I attempt to offer some decent advice and hopefully justify your reasoning for clicking on this link to begin with, so here we go ….


  1. Get to the cloud!

Historically the idea of moving to the cloud was met with harsh reactions by security experts, but with recent advancements even the most hardcore on-premise (systems which are hosted privately on site) supporters are battling to disagree that cloud is best. Icon has chosen to partner with Microsoft to take its security to the next level, giving us the utmost confidence that our customers information is as secure as possible. Spending over $1 billion dollars a year on Cybersecurity alone, partnering with Microsoft allows us to protect our customers through;

–              Daily Backups of information

–              3 Full data copies, stored in three separate locations

–              256-bit encryption layer managed by Microsoft Azure

–              A support engineering team available 24/7 to assist when things go wrong


  1. Let the experts handle it!

Focus on what you do best, and let the experts focus on keeping your customer information safe. The tech giants are, well … tech giants for a reason! They know what they are doing, and they are good at it! So, pick a company with a solid track record and someone who is taking their security seriously!


  1. Partner up!

Execution is always difficult and knowing what combination of things to put together can be daunting. The good news is, you don’t have to do it yourself! So, partner up, get collaborative, there are a lot of companies out there with the expertise and knowledge to point you in the right direction and get you started. At Icon, we pride ourselves on constantly sitting on the technological cusp and work hard to ensure our customers are always making use of the tech that’s going to make their business tick best!


Someone once said that “the only remaining industry is the digital one” and that could never be truer than today. Whether you are a Financial Advisor in insurance or a doctor, the golden thread of technology runs through your business, and your decision to embrace or ignore will make or break your practice.

So now that you know you must get up to speed, why not pick a partner who can help you get there …

By Sean Kelly

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