ISPA to launch cyber security code in South Africa
SECURITY| 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
The importance of password securityMany users assume their passwords are of no value to cyber criminals, says Kaspersky Lab. Read More
MTN Business expands partnership with Samsung to offer enterprise customers increased securitySamsung Electronics South Africa has announced that MTN Business has been appointed as a reseller of Samsung’s KNOX licenses to its customers. Read More
Ghanaian to moderate Council of Europe Conference on CybercrimeA Ghanaian cyber security expert, Albert Antwi-Boasiako, has been selected by the Council of Europe to moderate a session at its Cooperation against Cybercrime - Octopus Conference in Strasbourg, France. Read More
Be on the lookout for new cyber threats, warns KasperskyKaspersky Lab has urged Kenyan companies to put the right security and strategies in place against cybercrime to avid losses and reputational damage. Read More
Threat of cyberattacks on the rise for African companiesDeloitte says cyber criminals are getting smarter and know no boundaries, so companies in Africa need to raise their preparedness. Read More
Kaspersky Lab, ISA combine efforts to protect critical infrastructureKaspersky Lab and the International Society of Automation (ISA) have launched a joint education initiative to raise awareness of industrial automation equipment operators about cyber threats. Read More
Ransomware: don’t pay the cybercriminalsESET offers tips on how keep PCs protected and avoid supporting cybercrime activities. Read More
Data breaches to cost $2.1 trillion by 2019New research suggests that the rapid digitisation of consumers’ lives and enterprise records will increase the cost of data breaches to $2.1 trillion globally by 2019. Read More
Betting the farm on untested techWhile a plethora of new payment solutions are coming to market, businesses should be cautious about moving to new solutions just for the sake of it. Read More
Mobile student ID system to authenticate over 2 million Nigerian studentsHID Global and Botosoft have built and delivered a system to help the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) register and authenticate Nigerian students. Read More
FEATURED STORYIHS plans to inject fresh $500m to grow capacity
Mohammed Darwish, managing director of IHS Towers, says the firm will soon inject another $500million into the business after raising some $2.5billion to finance expansion drives. Darwish spoke with biztecafrica.com in Lagos.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHAs curtain falls on MDGs, what next?
Dr. Bjorn Lomborg, president of the Copenhagen Consensus Centre, speaks to Biztechafrica about setting smart targets.