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UJ prof joins WEF's cyber security council

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Professor Basie von Solms, director of the Centre for Cyber Security at the University of Johannesburg (UJ)
Professor Basie von Solms, director of the Centre for Cyber Security at the University of Johannesburg (UJ)

Professor Basie von Solms, director of the Centre for Cyber Security at the University of Johannesburg (UJ), has been invited by the World Economic Forum (WEF) to join its Global Future Council on Cybersecurity.

The Global Future Council on Cybersecurity is an invitation-only community consisting of 19 leading international cyber security experts. It is the newest of the WEF's Global Future Councils which cover 38 topic areas and are committed to reshaping global systems for the benefit of humanity and the planet, and acting as a brain trust for the WEF and the world at large.

Global and borderless

According to Von Solms, the environment in which cyber crime takes place is both global and borderless and, as such, no country on its own can effectively reduce it. 'International co-operation, guidance, legal agreements and best practices are core to fighting these crimes from an international perspective."

The WEF could be a major player in creating an international platform for co-operation in the fight against this scourge, Von Solms says.

He adds that he sees his appointment as a privilege for himself, SA and UJ. "From my side I will try to make use of all possible opportunities to address cyber crime directed towards entities such as small companies, private citizens, school learners and other parties below the radar screen of government and big business in SA and Africa.

"As far as I am concerned, the SA Government has not made any effort to protect any of those mentioned, and they are suffering as a consequence," he says.

The big picture

According to the WEF, the council aims to draw a comprehensive picture of the implications and impacts of cyber risk amid the fourth industrial revolution. It will also detail how cybersecurity can serve as a key element of executive decision-making, and will provide expert input to the World Economic Forum's Centre for Cybersecurity.

Prof von Solms will attend the annual meeting of Global Future Council on Cybersecurity taking place in Dubai in November, where preparations will start for the cyber security agenda of the WEF's 2019 meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

He will also visit the WEF's own Centre for Cybersecurity in Geneva.

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