Security

Jason Jordaan: Corruption fuels SA cyber crime

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Rampant corruption in SA is fuelling cyber crime, says Jason Jordaan, head of forensic laboratory at the Special Investigating Unit.
Rampant corruption in SA is fuelling cyber crime, says Jason Jordaan, head of forensic laboratory at the Special Investigating Unit.

Rampant corruption in SA is fuelling the problem of cyber crime.

So said Jason Jordaan, head of forensic laboratory at the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) in SA, who was delivering a keynote at the ITWeb Security Summit 2014 this morning.

"We may have done well in building high walls to keep out criminals from our organisations but the human element poses the biggest problem," said Jordaan. "Corruption in South Africa is a disturbing fact and it is really, really bad."

He noted that Transparency International, a global corruption watchdog, ranks SA as one of the countries with the highest levels of corruption in the world.

Thus, he noted that corruption is being used extensively to facilitate cyber crime in SA, as the traditional organised crime syndicates are now targeting the cyber space.

He defines corruption as the agreement between the corruptor and the 'corruptee' for their benefit. "The simple truth is that everybody has a price, but not every price is corruption," said Jordaan.

"In South Africa, we do not yet have sophisticated hackings, but it is the corrupt insiders who facilitate this even if we have sophisticated firewalls."

Corruption-fuelled cyber crime has resulted in insiders giving cyber criminals access to critical information as these insiders can easily bypass the security systems that organisations would have put in place, Jordaan noted.

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He also pointed out that cyber criminals can now easily find their targets within organisations by profiling them through social networks like LinkedIn where employees usually post their professional information.

In order to mitigate the risks against corruption-fuelled cyber crime, Jordaan urged organisations to know their people.

"In South Africa, we tend to always focus on work and then forget about the people with whom we work."

He is of the view that making employees happy can assist in reducing corruption-fuelled cyber crime. "An employee who is happy is less likely to be tempted into corrupt activities."

Adhering to be company ethics can also useful in mitigating the risks, Jordaan concluded.

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