Cybercrime is a 'national crisis' in South Africa

Government officials and computer security leaders in South Africa are elevating cybercrime to a threat on a national scale in the effort to highlight the many negative consequences it can have for consumers and businesses. The challenges faced by South Africans, who are much more likely to utilize mobile devices over PCs and laptops for business use, also illustrate the difficulties of preventing mobile malware from disrupting privacy. At a recent cybersecurity meeting, South African Center for Information Security CEO Beza Belayneh stated that South Africa experienced the third highest rate of phishing attacks in the world, and that cybercrime was comparable in scale to the nation's HIV/Aids epidemic, Creamer Media reported.

"Cybercrime is no longer a criminality, it is a national crisis," said Belayneh at the meeting, according to the news source. "Governments are hacked, police websites are hacked, banks are losing millions - the statistics are that South Africa loses R1 billion a year, and now it threatens human life."

Hackers have targeted South African government entities, financial enterprises, banks and industry leaders with malware and other cyberthreats, reported Creamer Media. State security minister Siyabonga Cwele called the nation "vulnerable" and said that a lack of collaboration between different private sectors and the government contributed to a lack of uniform standards. Government officials are working on developing more comprehensive, clear cybersecurity policies that encourage awareness and incident reporting.

Hackers use phishing tactics to exploit mobile users
Cybercriminals are using the demographics of South African user connectivity to their advantage with mobile phishing tactics. According to Naked Security, most information sharing over the internet in South Africa is performed on mobile devices, since desktops and laptops with internet access are much less common than smartphones.  Financial transactions are often performed via SMS. Hackers have exploited this mainstream usage with spam that specifically targets theses SMS-based transferrals.

South African law enforcement recently busted a ring of phishers, who used official-looking documents with doctored corporate letterheads to set up legitimate-looking correspondence with business users and then utilized SMS transactions to bilk them out of their money and information.

The security problems plaguing South African business users illustrate the importance of practicing strong mobile security measures. SSL 123 certificates, for example, provide a high level of encryption to website-based financial transactions, and are optimal for mobile device usage.

Protect data in transit with an SSL certificate today.

corporate office

The Gateway
Century Lane
Century City, 7441
Cape Town
South Africa

Postal Address:
P O Box 15986
Panorama 7500
Cape Town
South Africa

Call: +353 1 793 9141
Fax: +27 21 819 2950

Buy now! Try now!