The state of cyber security: Sealing the vault on African cyber crime at AfriSecure

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Over the past year, cyber security has become a hot topic around the boardroom table, in the news, as well as in casual conversation.  With a number of cyber attacks having already affected organisations across the globe, companies, as well as individuals, are becoming more aware of how easy it is for hackers to access their personal information and the devastating ramifications of the misuse of their stolen data.

Earlier this year the WannaCry ransomware attack deceived over 200 000 unsuspecting employees who were mislead by an email attachment and forced to pay to recover their data encrypted by the attack. This was followed by a number of other attacks and breaches across the globe where cyber criminals managed to permeate large organisations yielding disastrous results.

The most recent breach, exposing the private information of over 30 million South Africans, was uncovered on Tuesday 18 October by an Australian security developer.  This became one of the main topics of discussion at The AfriSecure Cyber Security Summit, held on the 18th and 19th of October at the Maslow Hotel in Sandton, Johannesburg.  One of the panel discussions included Danny Myburgh, Managing Director of Cyanre who is involved in the investigation of the data breach. Myburgh alluded to the fact that South Africa is particularly susceptible to cyber attacks and that organisations at large need to sufficiently prepare themselves for potential breaches. Myburgh was joined by Duncan McLeod, Editor of TechCentral; Marc Silver, Cybersecurity HOD at Investec; and Thagraj Moodley, Group Chief  Information Security Officer at Discovery

The summit hosted over 350 delegates as well as a plethora of high level experts and leading solution providers including Lead Sponsor, Mimecast, who hosted their ‘Anatomy of an Email-Borne Attack’ at the event. This session was driven by the lively host of Technobyte on Radio 702, Aki Anastasiou, who introduced the session outlining the paramount importance of cyber awareness amongst the population.

Kenyan Dr Bright Gameli Mawudor, Cyber Security Specialist at Internet Solutions, exhibited how easy it is for hackers to infiltrate critical private information by using social media during a live hack which outlined the risk of sharing personal information on various platforms. Dr Mawudor expressed how users should be careful about what information they share on social media and that the public should act with caution especially when shopping online. “A hacker will use info about the person to entice them into clicking or downloading something which will allow the hacker to access the network”, stated Dr Mawudor.  “When you hack one machine, you hack an entire network”, which outlines organisational vulnerability through the human element.

This year’s edition of AfriSecure, produced and conceptualised by Kinetic, took a significant step in terms of a shift of focus to groundbreaking cyber security trends as well as growth in delegate attendance and industry infiltration. The various presentations, workshops, discussions, and insights were indicative of the key focus of the largest organisations in Africa on impending cyber attacks and data breaches.

“Executing cyber security solutions has a fundamental reliance on information and organisation and the summit uses these frameworks to educate. Breaches in online security are increasing exponentially not only in frequency but in scope and depth of penetration. It doesn’t matter how large or small an organisation is, cyber criminals will not discriminate.  The internet of things is expanding rapidly and more personal data is being held by companies, which increases both a physical and intellectual risk. Everything is linked, and thus everything is at risk. Dwight Eisenhower summed it perfectly when he said ‘we will bankrupt ourselves in the vain search for absolute security’, and while he is right, we also have an obligation to be as prepared as possible, and that really is what AfriSecure is about”, says Terence Southam, Joint Managing Director of Kinetic.

Kinetic is an international conference and exhibition company established as a key strategic information provider to the IT and Telecoms sector whose mission is to equip senior management executives with knowledge, market intelligence and viable commercial opportunities.

For more information about sponsoring, speaking, or attending the 2018 edition of the Afrisecure Cyber Security Summit, please contact: marcia@kineticevents.net +27 (0) 21 180 4700

2nd Floor, Dean Street Arcade Dean Street, Newlands, Cape Town

Follow @AfriSecure on Twitter and join the conversation using the #AfriSecure.

The AfriSecure Cyber Security Summit is the meeting place for the top industry leaders and solution providers in Africa facilitating growth and investigation of cyber security trends and innovation. Attend to expand your knowledge about securing your critical organisational information and to engage with experienced thought leaders.

The AfriSecure Cyber Security Summit, hosted in October in Johannesburg, is the premier cyber security event in Africa.

Look out for the 9th Annual IT Leaders Africa Summit on the 23rd & 24th of May 2018 at the CTICC East Wing in Cape Town.

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