With the deadline for the submission of comments on the proposed Cybercrimes and Cybersecurity Bill closing on Thursday, Deloitte has urged stakeholders to provide views on the proposals set to govern the cyberworld.
The new Bill had been introduced in a move aimed at establishing a coordinated approach for South Africa to fight ever-increasing cybercrime, and is particularly relevant in the wake of recent cyberattacks, such as the “wanna-cry” and “petya”, that had caught businesses across the world off guard.
“It is imperative for organisations to submit comments and request clarity [on the] provisions of the Bill, as the Bill will have a significant impact on the business’s processes and technology,” the firm said in a statement.
With the rise in the number of companies and government agencies adopting information technology solutions, such as cloud, mobile and social computing, the cyber arena is increasingly difficult to defend, with security breaches now inevitable.
Cybercrime has also significantly impacted South Africa in recent times, costing the economy some R35-billion – at an average cost of R4 000 a victim – in 2015.
Globally, some 689-million people in 21 countries fell victim to cybercrime within the last year.
“Cybercrime has become so prevalent that many people equally fear online and real world risks,” Deloitte commented, adding that the new Bill was expected to lead to the development of a list of new cybercrime and cybersecurity offences related to data, messages, computers and networks.
This included the use of personal or financial information to commit an offence, hacking and unlawful interception of data, as well as computer-related forgery and uttering, and extortion or terrorist activity.
“The Bill will further place a responsibility on organisations to report cybercrime within specific timeframes, as well as providing a mechanism to force financial service and telecommunications providers to supply specific information on offenders and their activities when using their infrastructure or services to commit cybercrimes within a period of 72 hours of becoming aware of the cyberthreat,” Deloitte explained.
However, the firm pointed out that, while the Bill’s concept was “valuable”, concerns remained over the potential negative effects that it could have on a person’s day-to-day online habits that could, in extreme cases, result in one being arrested.