Speech by the Deputy Minister of Communications Stella Tembisa Ndabeni, MP at the 7th ITWEB Security Summit, Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg
16 May 2012
Ladies and Gentlemen
This summit takes place on the eve of the World Telecommunications and Information Society Day under the theme “Women and Girls in Information and Communications Technology (ICT). 17 May marks the anniversary of the signature of the first International Telegraph Convention in 1865 which led to the creation of the International Telecommunication Union. Please join us from tomorrow until the 20th May as mark the birth of the International Telecommunication Union in Kuruman, Northern Cape.
Colleagues it is our responsibility as leaders to change the face of this sector. It cannot be correct that we are doing little towards the emancipation of women in this sector. We have the capacity and capability to create and afford women opportunities not cosmetically but through skills and academic development to enable them to assume leadership and managerial position in corporations.
Last week we delivered our budget speech and committed as the department and Government that we will accelerate participation of women in the sector, this will happen through the pact we have signed with the industry, which amongst other commit all to create million jobs by 2020. These jobs must cut – across the information communication technologies discipline include information technology and cyber security.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is common knowledge that the advent of the internet has brought about numerous benefits, such as social networking, e-commerce, e-governance, e-health, and other numerous services that have made life much easier than it was decades ago. Equally there is a down side to this vital technology – vulnerabilities and threats.
The modern world relies on the internet and related technologies in advancing their socio – economic affairs. The internet has also attracted illicit activities commonly referred to as cyber-crimes, which is some cases cannot only be detrimental to individuals but also capable of causing massive disruption on economies of nations.
Therefore, there is need for nations and institutions to collaborate on developing initiatives and strategies to ensure safety on the cyberspace. There is need, ladies and gentlemen not only for cooperation between governments and its citizenry but also regional cooperation, such as this event of the 7th annual ITWEB Security Summit 2012.
As I understand, the 7th annual ITWEB Security 2012 is the event of choice for the information security community in Southern Africa, an important symbol of regional collaboration in the fight against cyber-crime.
We acknowledge also efforts of the international community spearheaded by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), which has launched several initiatives within its Global cyber security Agenda Framework. One such example is the November 2008, Child Online Protection initiative within its Global cyber security Agenda Framework in order to create a safer cyber world for the children.
Under this initiative, the International Telecommunications Unions recognised that challenges posed by issues of cyber-crime, threats and vulnerabilities can only be addressed through a coherent strategy taking into account the role of different stakeholders and existing initiatives within the framework of local and international collaboration.
International Telecommunications Unions also recognises the importance of collaborative efforts between the public sector, private sector, governments, and other interest groups to prevent vulnerabilities, threats and combat cyber-crimes against children.
Programme Director I am pleased to report to this summit that the Government has adopted the National cyber security Policy Framework, which amongst other provides for measures to build confidence and trust in the secure use of ICT’s, and review and update existing substantive and procedural laws to ensure alignment.
As you know the Department initiated the framework and its application and will be the responsibility of the security agencies within criminal procedures act.
Ladies and Gentlemen here are some of the solutions to the challenges that are faced by the security industry:
- Need to develop national best practices and guidelines.
- Development of national partnership programmes with all stakeholders.
- Establishment of trusted forums for information sharing.
- The development of cyber security curriculum.
- Cyber security awareness.
- With regards to the ICT security industry, how do will stimulate ICT industry to increase R&D, develop South African ICT security products etc.
In addition, in September 2011 the South African Accreditation Authority (SAAA) granted accreditation of electronic signature products and services to Law Trust Third Party Limited (“Law Trust”), a private information security company in Pretoria. Law Trust is the first company in South Africa to be granted accreditation in accordance with the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act of 2002, and it’s Regulations.
Accreditation of authentication products and services allows the electronic signatures of such products and services to qualify as advanced electronic signatures. Advanced electronic signatures ensure that information and transactions on line are confidential, authentic, credible, secure, reliable and unalterable. The use of advanced electronic signatures promotes confidence and trust in the secure use of ICT’s, the ultimate goal of Government for all electronic information systems in public domain.
We are working towards strengthening our capabilities in the Research and Development of ICT to ensure that we do not rely on foreign interventions but our local ones that talk directly to me and you. We are therefore calling upon yourselves to ensure that you deploy all the relevant skills that are at your disposal to make sure that we overcome the challenges faced by cyber security.
Our Government is committed to ensuring that everyone in South Africa feels and is safe including when in cyber space.
I thank you.
Issued by: Department of Communications
16 May 2012
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