South African cyber security policy approved

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Cabinet has approved the National Cyber Security Policy Framework for SA.

The framework outlines policy positions that are intended to address national security threats in cyberspace; combat cyber warfare, cyber crime and other cyber ills; and develop, review and update existing substantive and procedural laws to ensure alignment.

It will also build confidence and trust in the secure use of ICT, according to government.

The Department of Communications (DOC) in January said it would present the policy framework to Cabinet this month.
“Cyber crime threats are global curses of advances in technology. This means that our electronic communications networks must be ultra-secure in order to build confidence among the users of e-commerce platforms,” said communications minister Dina Pule.

She also said the DOC will host the country’s first International ICT Indaba in June.
“This premier event will bring international guests into our country from Africa and the rest of the world. Working in partnership with the ICT industry, we will set the agenda of ICT for development while encouraging trade and investment in our country.”

The minister said, in connection with this, the department would host a national policy colloquium this month. The colloquium will introduce a process towards a comprehensive review of the ICT policy environment.

In February 2010, then communications minister, Siphiwe Nyanda, released the department’s draft policy on cyber security but the policy had not been finalised over the past two years.

It aims to provide direction for online security in the country, specifically with government backing. One of the key aspects of the policy is the plan to introduce national and sector-based computer security incident response teams.