The focus in Pretoria this week is on safeguarding IT infrastructure as experts in the field meet for the Cybersecurity Conference.
The four-day gathering of the State Security Agency (SSA), state-owned entities, private sector companies and academia will look into matters of policy development and collaboration among key players in cybersecurity.
“This conference will assess progress made as regards development of policy in terms of various aspects of cybersecurity, including, but not limited to, cybercrime, cyber terrorism, cyber espionage, cyber legislation, research and development,” State Security Deputy Minister Ellen Molekane said at the opening of the conference.
The Deputy Minister said the conference will also address areas of collaboration and partnerships with the private sector and academia in training and capacity building, civic education and awareness, research and development of systems and curbing cybercrime.
“We must also reflect on how we can protect and secure critical infrastructure in the wake of increasing security breaches worldwide. We must underscore the element of research development, given that the world is experiencing a challenge of skills and expertise to deal with this growing phenomenon,” she said.
Government has already identified network monitoring, cyber forensics, software development, cryptographic skills, cyber investigations and analysis as well as ICT network design and development as critical skills areas for improving the quality of protection provided to citizens.
Molekane said they will also discuss measures that must be implemented to ensure civil society takes interest in the general awareness programmes, including protecting their devices from malware.
“We have the responsibility to ensure the positive spin-offs that accrue as a result of the cyberspace are enjoyed by all our people. We must be in a position to prevent those with nefarious tendencies from threatening the safety of our people.”
The SSA is tasked with, in terms of the Cabinet approved Cybersecurity Policy Framework, co-ordinating government’s response to matters of cybersecurity. However, the policy is in the process of being finalised.