The Western Cape spends R24 million on its IT security from its entire budget of R71.6billion to protect from itself cyberattacks. Picture: Courtney Africa/African News Agency (ANA)
The Western Cape spends R24 million on its IT security from its entire budget of R71.6billion to protect from itself cyberattacks. Picture: Courtney Africa/African News Agency (ANA)

Western Cape government spends R24m on cybersecurity

By Mwangi Githathu Time of article published Aug 18, 2020

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Cape Town - The Western Cape spends R24 million on its IT security from its entire budget of R71.6billion to protect more than 900 servers, 4000 network devices and 24500 workstations from cyberattacks, according to an official in the premier’s office.

Augi de Freitas, chief director of government information technology management services in the department of the premier, was briefing the provincial public accounts committee on Friday.

De Freitas told the committee about the mechanisms in place to protect the ICT information of the departments of the Western Cape government should they ever come under external threat.

The briefing was as a result of a request made at the end of last year when, during the annual reports for the Agriculture department’s rural development agency, Casidra, it emerged that there had been a ransomware attack which affected Casidra’s audit outcomes to the auditor general.

De Freitas said: “Internal Investigations covering the past 20 years have found that most incidents or breaches were caused by people or technology.”

De Freitas listed some of the causes as: “Finger trouble, errors, mistakes, sharing passwords, ignoring IT policies, unchanged email proxies and the deliberate passing on of information.”

Chief information officer in the department, Hilton Arendse, said: “The Ransomware attack was either an exploit (via email) or brute forced access All machines were recovered and no data was compromised as it had been encrypted.”

Cape Argus

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