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Business News of Monday, 28 February 2022


Conduct vulnerability checks to avert cyberattacks – Expert

Vulnerability assessments provide an organisation with the necessary knowledge Vulnerability assessments provide an organisation with the necessary knowledge

An expert in Cyber Security, Analytics and Artificial Intelligence at the University of Essex (UK) Online Computing & Business Schools, Prof. Godfred Williams, has advised organisations to continuously undertake vulnerability checks of their systems to avoid possible cyberattacks, which could take them by surprise.

Vulnerability assessments provide an organisation with the necessary knowledge, awareness and risk backgrounds to understand and react to threats in its environment. This is intended to identify threats and the risks they pose through the use of automated testing tools, such as network security scanners.

Prof. Williams, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Intellas and an IBM Business Partner in the United Kingdom, in an interview with B&FT following the maiden Intellas cybersecurity workshop in Accra dubbed ‘The Cybersecurity Boardroom Series’, said that: “Organisations must continue to do vulnerability assessments, always looking at how to break into your own systems; and also get a third party to do that on your behalf. If not, you may leave your organisation open to any form of cyberattack.”

Prof. Williams further stated that the workshop is the first in a series to be organised in Ghana and Africa, especially in these times when cybersecurity has become a topical issue in most boardrooms.

He indicated: “Cybersecurity is a board-level responsibility that requires the leadership and oversight of Senior Executives in any organisation”

He added it is for this reason that “Intellas is providing our participating executives with board-level tools critical to mitigating cybersecurity threats, risks, and attacks.

“Organisations of any size, or even individuals who face an increased risk of cyber-attacks, can benefit from some form of vulnerability assessment; but large enterprises and other types of organisations that are subject to ongoing attacks will benefit most from vulnerability analysis,” he said.

He further stated that since security vulnerabilities can enable hackers to access IT systems and applications, it is essential for enterprises to identify and remediate weaknesses before they can be exploited. A comprehensive vulnerability assessment, along with a management programme, can help companies improve the security of their systems.

It is estimated that global cybercrime costs will grow by 15 percent per year over the next five years, reaching US$10.5trillion annually by 2025 – up from US$3trillion in 2015.

For instance, Ransomware – a malware that infects computers (and mobile devices) and restricts their access to files, often threatening permanent data destruction unless a ransom is paid – has reached epidemic proportions globally, and is the ‘go-to method of attack’ for cybercriminals.