BEWARE: Breaches by hacktivist groups often entail humiliating or vandalising a company, invariably for political aims because of its perceived moral or ethical transgressions.  Picture: THINKSTOCK
Picture: THINKSTOCK

A NEW cybersecurity hub was unveiled in Pretoria on Friday, with Telecommunications and Postal Services Minister Siyabonga Cwele saying SA — currently among the world’s major cybercrime hotspots — can beat cyberattacks and disruptions.

The virtual hub has been established to serve as a central point for collaboration between industry, the government and civil society on all cybersecurity-related incidents in SA.

Information gathered through the hub will be used to monitor cyberattacks and provide warnings to stakeholders of immerging threats. It will serve as an information centre for solutions on how to deal with threats and enable stakeholders to get updates on preemptive measures to strengthen their systems against cyberattacks.

"We need to mobilise our resources to train and equip our cybersoldiers with high-end skills and technology to defend our nation," he said.

The launch of the hub comes as financial experts warn that a lack of knowledge of new financial technologies, coupled with the absence of global regulation, are putting consumers at higher risk of falling victim to cybercrime.

The future will increasingly feature more online and mobile technologies with sophisticated apps and services, while customers on the other hand, would not necessarily be more sophisticated or literate financially. This could place them at more risk of cybercrime.

Results from a study by marketing research company Columinate revealed that SA is the third highest cybercrime hotspot in the world, with 50% of credit card fraud happening online.

KPMG’s Global CEO Outlook 2015 report shows that although cybersecurity is one of the five top risks that executives are most concerned about, only 50% of bosses are prepared for a cyberattack. Estimates are that SA loses about R6bn annually because of cybercrime.

Last week the African Institute of Financial Markets and Risk Management at the University of Cape Town hosted a seminar in which local and international financial experts discussed the issue of cybercrime and regulatory changes in SA.