The fourth industrial revolution is a fundamental shift in the way that technology, communications, data, and analytics impact almost all aspects of society and the economy. This era presents South Africa with significant and interrelated opportunities; improved access to better services, provided more efficiently across socio-economic and geographic barriers; increasing transparency, trust and social cohesion through direct communication. But also, a host of risks to effectively manage unequal access to benefits, infrastructure access and training required. Cybersecurity is also a huge risk factor that needs to be addressed. It is estimated that there will be a shortage of about 3.5 million cybersecurity experts across the globe and the South African economy is losing between R1.5 – R2 billion due to cybercrime.
According to a report by Cisco South Africa, “Cybercrime is now the fourth most reported economic crime in South Africa, with our economy reportedly losing R1billion each year due to online criminal activities.” Globally, there were more than a million job openings in cyber security in 2016 and the demand for cyber security experts has grown three times faster than any other IT role. South Africa has a shortage of cyber security engineers, which is now threatening both the private and public sectors.
In October 2019, the City of Johannesburg experienced several cyber-attacks, which resulted in a complete shutdown of municipal services within the City. This attack was preceded by a number of cyber-attacks in July 2019 which affected network systems within City Power. These attacks originate from outside the country and they are predicted to escalate in the next coming years. It is therefore critical that Municipalities, which are at the coalface of service delivery in South Africa, are well equipped to deal with this escalating threat. Digititan South Africa is working with Cisco South Africa to empower Municipal officials in this respect. This will be done by rolling out this Certified Cyber Security Ops Certification training programme in all provinces across the country.
The Digititan Cyber-security Centre of Excellence is an initiative that aims to empower young people with Cyber-security skills so that our country can be one of the global leaders in the field. The initiatives that Digititan is implementing as part of the Cyber Centre of excellence are Cyber-security Internship, Municipal Cyber training, Cyber-security cadet program and Cyber-security learnership program.
- Cyber-security Internship
The Cyber-security internship programme is a MICT Seta funded program that is aimed at empowering unemployed Information Technology graduates with Cyber-security skills.
- Cyber-security for Municipalities
The Municipal Cyber-security program is aimed at building Cyber-security capacity within the local and district municipal sectors.
- Cyber-security Cadets
The Cyber-security cadet program is a Digititan initiative that provide cyber-security training for learners and TVET graduates.
- Cyber-security Skills programme
The Cyber-security skills program is a Seta accredited program that is offered to unemployed young people to gain qualification in the field of cybersecurity.