ISPA to launch cyber security code in South Africa
SECURITYBy BiztechAfrica - May 4, 2012, 8:13 a.m.
South Africa's Internet Service Providers' Association (ISPA) has announced it will lead the development of a new voluntary code of practice to improve cyber security for end-users.
Known as the icode, and developed in conjunction with Australia's Internet Industry Association, which pioneered the approach in 2010, the code will provide a consistent approach for South African ISPs to help inform, educate and protect their customers in relation to cyber security. South Africa would become the second country in the world to implement network level protection of vulnerable end users under the icode banner.
By following the code, ISPs will contribute to reducing the number of compromised computers in South Africa and enhance the overall security of the South African and international Internet.
"The increasing threat of zombied computers - computers which have been essentially hijacked and are under the control of criminals or other third parties - presents a real risk to users. Identity theft, fraud, and increases in spam are all possible consequences of compromised computers."
"The problem we now face as an industry," said ISPA spokesperson Ant Brooks, "is the sophistication of attacks on end-user computers. Scanning at the network level by ISPs can provide an early warning to users when the user may be completely unaware there's a problem with their computer."
"An infected computer is not only bad for the end-user, it's also a problem for the integrity of networks themselves because it increases the amount of spam and other "bad traffic". This is why ISPs are telling us they will support the scheme."
Australia's Internet Industry Association chairman Bruce Linn welcomed the announcement. "The Australian experience has shown that end-users appreciate knowing that their ISP is watching for signs of infection on the network.
Most users are initially very surprised to find out that their machine may be infected by 'malware' such as viruses. But they are relieved when they are given the information and tools to restore their computer's security."
The initiative was also welcomed by the banking sector. "South Africa's banks are committed to educating consumers about online security, and constantly review security measures to offer South African Internet users as safe an online banking experience as possible," says Mrs Kalyani Pillay, CEO of the South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC).
"SABRIC welcomes the launch of the icode project, and is encouraged by the commitment of ISPs towards assisting their customers with the security of their computers and their personal information."
ISPA spokesperson Ant Brooks emphasised that the new code was designed to protect the privacy of end-users.
"The network level scanning that allows ISPs to detect signs of infected machines does not in any way involve looking at what users are themselves doing online. On the contrary, the scheme is designed to reduce the incidence of the single biggest threat to end-user privacy -- the presence of malware which can steal personal information and relay it to criminals overseas."
The code is designed to respond to this challenge by providing a consistent approach for South African ISPs to help inform, educate and protect their customers in relation to cyber security. ISPA believes a uniform national (and international) approach is warranted. The code will deliver a standard set of best practices for ISPs to follow to preserve the integrity of their networks.
The icode is expected to contain four main elements:
- A notification/management system for compromised computers
- A standardised information resource for end users
- A comprehensive resource for ISPs to access the latest threat information
- A reporting mechanism in cases of extreme threat back to national security agencies to facilitate a national high level view of attack
MORE SECURITY NEWS
Biometrics in retail expected to boomThe use of biometrics in retail is expected to increase dramatically, says Ideco. Read More
Kaspersky Lab: Koler ‘police’ mobile ransomware now targets PCs, AndroidKaspersky Lab has issued a warning of ransomware that displays customised messages to victims in over 30 countries. Read More
Small businesses take big IT security risks: Kaspersky LabA new report concludes that a lack of budget remains the biggest barrier preventing small businesses from adopting more advanced IT and IT security measures. Read More
Fake apps invade Google PlayTrend Micro has released a new report indicating that Google Play has become infested with trojanised versions of apps. Read More
Stanbic advises holiday makersAs Botswana enters two days of holidays, Stanbic has urged people not to let their guard down on financial security. Read More
13,500 new phishing wildcards every monthKaspersky Lab has released data on how many new phishing wildcards it adds to the company’s anti-phishing database every month. Read More
Is Ghana's cybercrime out of control?Barely two weeks after Ghana’s Vice-President called on young people not to get involved in illegal internet activities, police arrested a 26-year-old undergraduate student for allegedly defrauding people through a bogus online organisation. Read More
Increase in targeted attacks against businessKaspersky Lab has found that targeted attacks are on the rise year-over-year, and also identified the business sectors most likely to be targeted. Read More
IT security: what’s in it for business?IT security spend is too often seen as a grudge purchase by business management. But the fact is – effectively securing enterprise networks is a business imperative, says Networks Unlimited. Read More
Egypt’s ISPs positioned to deliver DDoS protectionISPs in Egypt are uniquely positioned to offer DDoS protection services, says Arbor Networks. Read More
FEATURED STORYWidening ICT skills gap: Cause for concern
Nigeria's FDI gains could be eroded by the widening gap in indigenous skilled ICT manpower, writes Kokumo Goodie.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHKenya rolls out e-extension to improve agriculture
In a bid to curb the overwhelmed number of agricultural extension officers in Kenya, the ministry of agriculture is embracing technology with their introduction of E-Extension services, which are aimed at reaching out to over 7 million farmers annually.