Even though there are quite a few laws governing cyberspace in South Africa, many believe that an additional one would be excessive, writes LUCIEN PIERCE, Partner, Phukubje Pierce Masithela Attorneys.
South African law already has at least four pieces of legislation and one policy that can be used to combat cybercriminals. It is for this reason that a few information security industry players have argued that the addition of one more cybersecurity law, such as the Cybercrimes and Cybersecurity Bill, would be excessive.
In the Information Security industry, there is an argument that laws such as the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act 2002, the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-Related Information Act 2002, as well as the Protection of Personal Information Act and the National Cybersecurity Policy Framework, are sufficient to combat the growing scourge of cybercrime.
However, the reality remains that whilst each of these pieces of legislation have elements that address cybercrime, they are just not adequate enough to deal with the highly complex and multijurisdictional methods that cybercriminals now utilise in this day and age. It would require a seasoned lawyer to extract the relevant provisions of each of the above pieces of legislation and to craft a satisfactory charge sheet or summons for some of today’s complex cybercrimes.
Consider a hacker who breaches a company’s security systems, steals its intellectual property then sells its clients’ personal information and makes its computers slaves in a botnet, and incapacitates its computer network by using ransomware. The lawyer would have to be an expert on each of the pieces of legislation and rely on portions of each of the above laws to address each of the different types of crimes committed in this context.
It is for this reason that firstly, our laws need to be modernised, and secondly, the requisite of having one comprehensive law that is able to account for any of the circumstances as mentioned.
The recent R300-million Standard Bank credit card “hack” is a prime example of the multijurisdictional nature of cybercrimes. The bank could have possibly had its South African systems hacked by cybercriminals to steal the credit card information. Small time criminals based in Japan may have withdrawn the cash whilst hackers based anywhere in the world from Turkey, to Russia, and Brazil or the United States may well have masterminded the heist.
Therefore, without a single comprehensive cybercrime and cybersecurity law, that is able to prescribe the complex issues that arise out of cybercrime, organisations that are victims of cybercrime and the organs of state tasked with investigating them, are going to have a much more difficult job on their hands. For this reason we need the Cybercrimes and Cybersecurity Bill— a piece of legislation that will be on par with other similar international statutes such as the Council of Europe’s Budapest Convention on Cybercrime. Through the Cybercrimes and Cybersecurity Bill, one comprehensive piece of legislation is formulated which can address the realities of present day cybercrime by creating offences and prescribing penalties related to cybercrime, regulating jurisdiction, as well as the powers to investigate, search and gain access to or seize items in relation to cybercrime. The Cybercrimes and Cybersecurity Bill also facilitates the regulating aspects of international cooperation in respect to cybercrime investigations, it promotes best practice which requires that points of contact exist in various countries to provide speedy assistance and investigation of cybercrime. It also makes provision for the formation of a number of public and private sector structures in South Africa, that are intended to collaborate and assist with addressing cybersecurity and cybercrime.
South African organisations would do well to embrace, and acquaint themselves with the Cybercrimes and Cybersecurity Bills. It is fundamental that our police force be equipped with the capabilities and authority to investigate the consequences of cybercrime as well as the ability to quickly request and receive the assistance of police elsewhere to investigate crimes that happen outside of our country.
The Cybercrimes and Cybersecurity Bill is a necessary piece of legislation that will go a long way to enhancing South African organisations in their ability to fight cybercrime, wherever the criminals may be.
Now download a bank account
Absa has introduced an end-to-end account opening for new customers, through the Absa Banking App, which can be downloaded from the Android and Apple app stores. This follows the launch of the world first ChatBanking on WhatsApp service.
This “download your account” feature enables new customers to Absa, to open a Cheque account, order their card and start transacting on the Absa Banking App, all within minutes, from anywhere and at any time, by downloading it from the App stores.
“Overall, this new capability is not only expected to enhance the customer’s digital experience, but we expect to leverage this in our branches, bringing digital experiences to the branch environment and making it easier for our customers to join and bank with us regardless of where they may be,” says Aupa Monyatsi, Managing Executive for Virtual Channels at Absa Retail & Business Banking.
“With this innovation comes the need to ensure that the security of our customers is at the heart of our digital experience, this is why the digital onboarding experience for this feature includes a high-quality facial matching check with the Department of Home Affairs to verify the customer’s identity, ensuring that we have the most up to date information of our clients. Security is supremely important for us.”
The new version of the Absa Banking App is now available in the Apple and Android App stores, and anyone with a South African ID can become an Absa customer, by following these simple steps:
- Download the Absa App
- Choose the account you would like to open
- Tell us who you are
- To keep you safe, we will verify your cell phone number
- Take a selfie, and we will do facial matching with the Department of Home Affairs to confirm you are who you say you are
- Tell us where you live
- Let us know what you do for a living and your income
- Click Apply.
How we use phones to avoid human contact
A recent study by Kaspersky Lab has found that 75% of people pick up their connected device to avoid conversing with another human being.
Connected devices are becoming essential to keeping people in contact with each other, but for many they are also a much-needed comfort blanket in a variety of social situations when they do not want to interact with others. A recent survey from Kaspersky Lab has confirmed this trend in behaviour after three-quarters of people (75%) admitted they use a device to pretend to be busy when they don’t want to talk to someone else, showing the importance of keeping connected devices protected under all circumstances.
Imagine you’ve arrived at a bar and you’re waiting for your date. The bar is busy, and people are chatting all around you. What do you do now? Strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know? Grab your phone from your pocket or handbag until your date arrives to keep yourself busy? Why talk to humans or even make eye-contact with someone else when you can stare at your connected device instead?
The truth is, our use of devices is making it much easier to avoid small talk or even be polite to those around us, and new Kaspersky Lab research has found that 72% of people use one when they do not know what to do in a social situation. They are also the ‘go-to’ distraction for people even when they aren’t trying to look busy or avoid someone’s eye. 46% of people admit to using a device just to kill time every day and 44% use it as a daily distraction.
In addition to just being a distraction, devices are also a lifeline to those who would rather not talk directly to another person in day-to-day situations, to complete essential tasks. In fact, nearly a third (31%) of people would prefer to carry out tasks such as ordering a taxi or finding directions to where they need to go via a website and an app, because they find it an easier experience than speaking with another person.
Whether they are helping us avoid direct contact or filling a void in our daily lives, our constant reliance on devices has become a cause for panic when they become unusable. A third (34%) of people worry that they will not be able to entertain themselves if they cannot access a connected device. 12% are even concerned that they won’t be able to pretend to be busy if their device is out of action.
Dmitry Aleshin, VP for Product Marketing, Kaspersky Lab said, “The reliance on connected devices is impacting us in more ways than we could have ever expected. There is no doubt that being connected gives us the freedom to make modern life easier, but devices are also vital to help people get through different and difficult social situations. No matter what your ‘connection crutch’ is, it is essential to make sure your device is online and available when you need it most.”
To ensure your device lifeline is always there and in top health – no matter what the reason or situation – Kaspersky Security Cloud keeps your connection safe and secure:
· I want to use my device while waiting for a friend – is it secure to access the bar’s Wi-Fi?
With Kaspersky Security Cloud, devices are protected against network threats, even if the user needs to use insecure public Wi-Fi hotspots. This is done through transferring data via an encrypted channel to ensure personal data safety, so users’ devices are protected on any connection.
· Oh no! I’m bored but my phone’s battery is getting low – what am I going to do?
Users can track their battery level thanks to a countdown of how many minutes are left until their device shuts down in the Kaspersky Security Cloud interface. There is also a wide-range of portable power supplies available to keep device batteries charged while on-the-go.
· I’ve lost my phone! How will I keep myself entertained now?
Should the unthinkable happen and you lose or have your phone stolen, Kaspersky Security Cloud can track and protect your device from data breaches, for complete peace of mind. Remote lock and locate features ensure your device remains secure until you are reunited.