• Products and Services
    • Cash Management
    • Trade Finance
    • Forex Trading
    • Investor Services
    • Channel Services
    • Trade Suite
    FX Trading
    Forex (FX) Trading with Business Online
    A real-time tool for companies dealing in foreign exchange.
    International Payments
    Transfer electronic funds reliably
    Process your cross-border payments and transfer funds between your Foreign Currency accounts.
    BOL SA App
    Convenient Banking
    Enjoy simple and convenient banking at your fingertips with the Business Online SA Mobile App
    Trade Finance
    Transact easily
    Trade Finance solution provides Documentary Trade and Open account trade finance (OATF) facilities to our Business Online clients.
    Trade Suite on Business Online is a central digital hub that gives you access to a range of trade and working capital requirements. The platform allows you to digitally apply and transact with multiple trade solutions.
  • Security Centre
  • Help and Support
  • About us


Ransomware is a type of virus or malware. The difference is that where a typical virus may go after your operating system or programs, ransomware goes after your data. By using cryptography in line with international standards or better, ransomware encrypts your data with a public key. 

What is PKI? 

Ransomware utilises public key cryptography or PKI. The victim’s data is encrypted using a globally accepted encryption algorithm and a public key. The data can only be decrypted using the same algorithm and a private key.

Victims can have folders, hard drives or entire networks encrypted. The syndicate’s business model is to hold the private keys ransom and threaten to destroy them unless the victim pays a fee to release the them.

Instructions on how to pay the syndicate concerned via cryptocurrency are often displayed on the victim’s laptop. Once the ransom is paid, the private keys are sent to the victim’s machine to decrypt their data. Ransomware syndicates have been known to extremely professional in assisting and responding to their victims.

As an industry, ransomware projected earnings are comparable to streams in the illegal drug trade. The WannaCry ransomware outbreak of May 2017, worked similarly and took advantage of a Windows zero-day vulnerability to execute itself, encrypt machines and propagate across the internet. Standard Bank system availability was unaffected.

How to protect yourself from ransomware attacks

  • Update your software regularly
  • Make sure to keep antivirus software up-to-date, so it blocks the latest emerging ransomware
  • Be wary of suspicious emails and pop-ups, and do not click on dubious links
  • Create backups of your data and store it somewhere safe, like on a physical hard drive