EDITORIAL | Cybercrimes Bill is the right response to a real and present danger

With SA being one of the countries most susceptible to cybercrime, this bill is a step in the right direction

03 June 2021 - 20:17 By sunday times daily

Twice in the past year we have reported on major cyber security breaches in SA. In October, cyber criminals launched a phishing attack on nearly 4,000 BetterSure home insurance clients. In August the personal details of 24 million South Africans were leaked through a breach at credit company Experian. The cyber threat is real and our reaction to these onslaughts was minimal.

In both instances, the breaches were not reported timeously to the Information Regulator, creating a risk for the consumer. However, a game changer has arrived in the form of the new Cybercrimes Bill, recently signed into law by president Cyril Ramaphosa. It’s good news. It aims to bring SA’s cybersecurity laws in line with the rest of the world. While in the past companies could try to get away with keeping mum about a cybercrime breach, the Cybercrimes Bill compels electronic communications service providers and financial institutions to report cyber offences within 72 hours of becoming aware of them. Failing to do so may lead to a fine of not more than R50,000...

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