Denel has established a dedicated business unit to counter the growing global threat to the country’s security and economic interests.
The Denel Tactical Cyber Command Centre (DTC³) was announced by the company at the Africa Aerospace and Defence exhibition running between 14 and 18 September It will form part of Denel Integrated Systems and Maritime and work closely with local and international partners in the cyberspace domain.
Zwelakhe Ntshepe, the Acting Group CEO of Denel, said cyber-attacks are on the rise and everything from government security to business data to the confidential information of individuals are being targeted.
Denel ISM was established in 2014 following the recommendations of the Defence Review that the state-owned company should diversify into the security and cyber warfare environments. Denel wants to be the lead systems integrator for all strategic capabilities for the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), with Denel Integrated Systems and Maritime playing the lead role in this area. This division was established in November 2014 to break into the new market areas of systems integration, national and civil security, electronic warfare, command and control, and the maritime domain.
Africa is ranked unacceptably high in the world in terms of cyber-attacks because of the high penetration of smart phones and the greater availability of bandwidth, Denel said.
“South Africa has become a haven for cyber criminals and we need to take serious steps to improve our ability to combat cyber terrorism,” Ntshepe said, adding that cyber information warfare is also an area of concern with more than 60 countries having already developed cyber weapons for defensive and offensive purposes. Malicious computer worms such as Stuxnet has shown the tremendous damage that can be caused to security without any real evidence of who is behind the cyber-attacks, Denel said.
“The decision to create DTC³ is in line with the National Cybersecurity Policy Framework. The borderless and complex challenges relating to cyber security must be addressed through collaboration between industry, government and other stakeholders.
“DTC³ will be the cyber security operational centre for Denel leading to the establishment of a Sector Computer Incident Response Team (SCIRT). In this process Denel will work closely with the CSIR and “the Department of Telecommunication and Postal Services. DTC³ will also provide specialist cyber security solutions and services including a defensive and offensive cyber warfare capability,” Denel said in a statement.
“Inadequate cyber security measures can render South Africa completely vulnerable and it is essential that the country establish and maintain a world-class capability to keep its sovereignty, ensure economic growth and protect it citizens,” said Ntshepe.