Cyber Security in South Africa

security.pngSouth Africa has shifted from doing things traditionally to doing it the 21st century way. Companies are now doing a bigger percentage of their business online, from digital payments to saving their data on servers. This allows consumers to easily access services; however it does come with a few hiccups.

 The South African Fraud Prevention Association, highlighted that South Africans lose in excess of R1 billion annually to internet fraud and the practice of trying to trick someone into giving their secret bank information.

The 2015 Security Summit that took place in Johannesburg revealed that South Africa is one of the most attacked countries on the African continent. Even though small businesses are the biggest target, eventually this will spiral into every single company becoming a target. But what could be the reason for this? Is it the gaps found in the infrastructure? Does this vulnerability allow cybercriminals to use this weakness to their advantage?

Securing the data
The amount of work we can accomplish on a mobile device is rapidly increasing. In today's digital world, many employees expect IT to provide easy access to corporate systems and information from mobile devices.
When it comes to security, one of the biggest challenges we face is user identity verifications. There needs to be better and smarter ways to authenticate users, hard and software. Fingerprint readers have been introduced in our own country. This may be one step in the direction we want to move.

When it comes to businesses, the most critical problem for them is securing the software. One way to do this may be through better programming languages that have security protection built into the ways programs are written. And technology is needed that would be able to detect unprotected features before software is installed; rather than waiting for an attack to happen.

Every business wants to feel confident knowing they have better security for their data flowing over different routes on the internet.

Cyber Security Policy
In today's time, we as users expect and prefer services to be online. But this will have implications on us because our personal data will be at risk and there is a big chance that our information will get stolen and used for fraud. A cyber security policy needs to be in place in order for us to make use of online services without putting ourselves in jeopardy.

The National Cyber Security Policy Framework has been passed to the Cabinet three years ago and we are still waiting in anticipation. Government's State Security Agency (SSA) has promised to move with speed to finalise the national cyber security policy in the coming financial year.

State Security Minister David Mahlobo said that cyber security, an area government has long been criticised for neglecting, was top of the priority list in this year's National Plan. While government is busy working on this, private sector should take it upon themselves to develop their own policy to minimise vulnerabilities.

From a business point of view, companies should invest in skills development at all levels, from senior executives to IT to users to make them aware of the rapidly changing risk landscape, how to identify weaknesses and report incidents, and the personal and business implications of failing to apply good information security practices.

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