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Govt to finalise cyber security policy

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Cyber crime must be fought on personal, social, and political fronts, says state security minister David Mahlobo.
Cyber crime must be fought on personal, social, and political fronts, says state security minister David Mahlobo.

Government's State Security Agency (SSA) has promised to "move with speed" to finalise the national cyber security policy in the coming financial year.

Delivering the ministry's 2015/2016 budget vote speech today, state security minister David Mahlobo said cyber security - an area government has long been criticised for neglecting - was top of the priority list.

Outlining government's plans in this regard, he said the SSA would move with speed to:

* Enhance institutional cyber security capacity;

* Finalise the national cyber security policy;

* Present the Cyber Security Bill before Cabinet;

* Promote partnership and further the SSA's cyber security awareness campaign;

* Strengthen the SSA's cooperation in this space with SA's SADC, African Union and BRICS partners.

"We are also on course to build a strong organisation that is geared towards the challenges of the 21st Century. Last year we conducted an organisational culture survey and developed a remedial action plan to address issues raised," added Mahlobo.

Late action

Government has been criticised for a lack of decisive policy and control over the growing problem of cyber crime. Just over a year ago, data revealed cyber crime had cost the country over R3.4 billion in one year alone.

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SA still awaits either the release of the National Cyber Security Policy Framework - passed by Cabinet three years ago - or another document that will give strategic direction to SA's stance on cyber security.

In January, ITWeb reported that revisions were being made to South African legislation in a bid to combat the burgeoning phenomenon of cyber crime.

At the time Ministry of State Security communications head Brian Dube said work was ongoing, with various government departments having completed the development of their own sector policies.

Dube said the policies were in various stages of approval. "Government is working on improving the institutional capacity required to deal with this complex global phenomenon. Various structures have also been established to conduct further work, in partnership with the private sector."

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