SA commits to up cyber security

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 13 Nov 2008

Deputy communications minister Roy Padayachie has emphasised SA's commitment to ensuring it increases cyber security through the use of legal, procedural, technical measures, and by capacity-building and mobilising society.

Padayachie addressed the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), in Geneva today, where a high-level conference on cyber-security is being held.

“Clearly an effective cyber security framework is not merely a matter of government or law enforcement practices, but has to be addressed through prevention supported by society,” he noted.

Padayachie added that “technology alone cannot ensure cyber security; therefore, priority must be given to cyber security planning and management throughout society”.

Referring to SA's proactive cooperation and collaboration on cyber security with other stakeholders at the regional, national and global level, Padayachie said the country uses the principles developed by the Global Cyber Security Agenda in developing a national cyber security policy framework.

Encompassing principles

These principles encompass legal measures, technical and procedural measures, organisational structures, capacity building and international cooperation.

Padayachie said “due to the borderless nature of cyberspace, the aforesaid framework will provide more emphasis on the strengthening of collaboration and partnerships at the national level through the establishment of a government-industry collaboration forum”.

Highlighting the need for the strengthening of international collaboration and partnerships, Padayachie said “cyber threats or attacks do not recognise borders or laws; therefore, governments, business and civil society globally should work together to protect and secure their national cyber space and critical infrastructure. Governments throughout the world are not able to deal with the emerging threat on their own.”

Padayachie also said that “given the fact that we are all interconnected and that our social and economic livelihood depends on how secure our critical information infrastructure is, there is a compelling need to ensure there is no weak link in our cyber security plans”.

Suitable platform

He said he felt confident the High Level Segment ITU Council would provide a suitable platform for the exchange of ideas and experiences between stakeholders from government, private sector and civil society on these critical challenges on cyber security, with the strategic view to ensure the building of confidence and security in the use of ICT.

Padayachie added that the World Summit on Information Society's action plan provides for “building confidence and security in the use of ICT”.

“Furthermore, organisations, such as the ITU and the International Multilateral Partnership Against Cyber Attacks, among others, are working on measures to effectively deal with cyber crime and attacks.”

He also referred to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development's ministerial meeting, held in Korea, in June 2008. It broadly agreed and reiterated, among other issues, the following: reinforcing a culture of security which applies to information systems and networks, and their users; promoting a global information society based on fast, secure and ubiquitous networks, which connect billions of people, machines and objects; and ensure the protection of personal information in the online environment.

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