Presented by Hetzner

Cyber security awareness in South Africa

Cyber security is like a toothache – a nagging concern that just gets worse if you ignore it. And it’s easy to ignore. “Cyber security awareness is about creating and fostering a security culture in cyber space,” explains Prof. Elmarie Biermann from the Cyber Security Institute in Centurion.

Part of the problem is that many people don’t understand cyber security or the need for it. “Internet users shy away from the issues surrounding cyber security as they perceive it to be complex,” says Biermann, “But security is not an add-on or something to be managed and implemented in a silo. It needs to be integrated into every level of business.”

The need for an easy-to-understand, simple-to-implement cyber security solution is what led local hosting company Hetzner to partner with cloud-based web security provider Cloudbric, and bring them to South Africa for the first time.

Centralised website security

There are two levels to cyber security: the network level and the web application (website) level. Hetzner provides a well-maintained, secure hosting platform with network level security, but individual website security has always been the customer’s responsibility. The trouble is that most web attacks target the web application level, and customers aren’t sure where to look for a solution.

Hetzner believes Cloudbric is that solution. It guards against suspicious website traffic, specifically looking for attempts to exploit security flaws in the website’s code. Cloudbric prevents exploits like SQL injections, XSS (Cross Site Scripting), website DDoS, file inclusion, cookie poisoning and security misconfigurations, and it blocks or filters out the malicious traffic. How? By using a Web Application Firewall (WAF), website-level DDoS protection and by giving each website owner the ability to block IP addresses, ranges and even entire countries from which attacks are emanating.

Hetzner is the only data centre in Africa to host Cloudbric, and because it’s locally hosted, there’s no noticeable latency: the highly sophisticated security happens in the background without customers noticing any delays. Hetzner is so confident of this new partnership that they’re offering the first 3 months free to any customer. So who should be interested?

Cyber security for all

When it comes to cyber attacks, Biermann asserts that individuals, SMEs and larger companies should all be aware of the risks. “Small to medium size companies are at risk from various attacks,” she explains. “Security awareness training is vital, both for the sake of compliance and to create and foster a cyber security culture.”

The first step is recognising that cyber security is something we should all be aware of. The second step is ensuring adequate security and peace of mind for our websites.

Find out more

As a special launch offer, Hetzner is offering customers the first three months of Cloudbric free – thereafter it costs R149 a month per domain. Find out more at

This article was published in partnership with Hetzner.

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Cyber security awareness in South Africa