Gauteng government raises awareness on cyber security during Covid-19
Johannesburg - The Covid-19 pandemic has not only posed a threat to our health but has also given a rise in cyber-attacks causing a detrimental effect to the global economy.
This was revealed by Gauteng MEC for Finance and e-Government, Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko during a Cyber Security webinar to raise awareness on the importance of cyber security on Wednesday.
The webinar was hosted in partnership with Microsoft South Africa and Dynamic DNA – an accredited ICT Training Academy.
Nkomo-Ralehoko said cyber criminals infiltrate security defences, especially in this era as people are mostly working from home with heavy reliance on computers and digital services such as cloud services.
She added that as a result, the Department of e-Government has adopted the National Cyber security Policy Framework which sets out measures and mechanisms for cyber security across the provincial government.
“As more and more organizations undergo digital transformation, the response to cyber security challenges and threats needs to be dealt with effectively and decisively. To achieve this, we have engaged and collaborated with the National Cyber security Hub which will be the central point of collaboration for cyber security incidents,” said Nkomo- Ralehoko.
Nkomo- Ralehoko said the Covid-19 pandemic has not only posed a threat to our health but has also given a rise in cyber-attacks, where many government institutions, private businesses and individuals have fallen victim to cybercrimes, causing a detrimental effect to the global economy.
It is therefore about time that citizens are taught about the importance of being cyber secured.
She explained that the Cyber security Hub serves the South African cyber community through the following actions:
- By providing information and assistance in implementing proactive measures to reduce the risks of computer security incidents as well as responding to such incidents.
- By responding to computer security incidents when they occur and therefore to build confidence in the South African ICT environment.
Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, Stella Ndabeni – Abrahams speaking at the same event said the government and other industry players must make it a point to build client confidence regarding the safety of their personal information on digital platforms by investing more in cyber security programmes.
“Sadly, but on the other side of things the pandemic has managed to leapfrog us to the digital society that we always say we strive to build to ensure that our people benefit meaningfully and effectively in the fourth industrial revolution,” said Ndabeni – Abrahams
Ndabeni – Abrahams also added that government and organizations in the ICT sector have the responsibility to bring everybody onboard in the digital platform but with the need to take into consideration the importance of assuring citizens that their critical information will be safe and protected.
To further emphasize on the importance of cyber security, Dr Happy Sithole from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) shared insights on the Five Pillars of Cyber-Security which he said are extremely critical in achieving cyber security. The five pillars include Confidentiality, Integrity, Availability, Non-repudiation and Authentication.
Sithole indicated that during the Covid-19 pandemic the organization had to play a critical role in supporting government departments such as the National Department of Health with important information to the country.
“At this point in time, we had to use internal cloud services that we built to provide information. These systems became very critical as we dealt with lots of information and sensitive information, so security became very key,” Sithole explained.
Other speakers included Carmen Noarbe from Microsoft who spoke about the importance of cyber security preparedness and the importance of digital inclusion for People with Disabilities even as we talk about gender equality in cyberspace. Sikhumbuzo Ngcobo also from Microsoft expanded on cyber security strategies and gearing for Post-Covid-19.
The webinar was also about upskilling individuals on how to protect themselves in their personal capacity.