The Public Sector Cybersecurity Summit 2023, which offers a rallying platform for stakeholders invested in safeguarding public sector interests against the escalating tide of cyber threats, opens October 3 in Johannesburg, South Africa, according to organisers.
The upcoming Public Sector Cybersecurity Summit 2023 lets attendees gain exposure to the latest insights, best practices, and case studies that collectively form the bedrock of effective cybersecurity measures, and offers an invaluable networking opportunity, where attendees can connect with peers and solution providers to exchange perspectives, challenges, and innovative strategies, Abe Wakama, IT News Africa Publisher, organisers of the event says in a statement made available to Technology Times.
“In a digital landscape fraught with cyber threats,” Wakama says, “the imperative for updated cybersecurity strategies in public institutions has never been more pressing. Recent high-profile cyber incidents, such as the ransomware attacks targeting key South African entities including the City of Johannesburg, Transnet, and the Department of Justice, have underscored the vulnerability of public sector organizations and State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) to the relentless pursuits of hackers and cyber criminals.”
According to him, “Interpol’s African Cyberthreat Assessment Report for 2021 cast a stark light on the situation, revealing that cyber attacks exact a staggering R2.2 billion toll on South Africa annually. Further compounding this statistic, an insightful report by Accenture on digital safety divulged that South Africa contends with an average of approximately 577 malware attacks per hour.”
The significance of the cyber threat is neither localised nor restricted, he says noting that the African Union encountered a crippling cyber onslaught earlier this year, resulting in the paralysis of its systems and rendering employees bereft of access to both work emails and the broader internet. Meanwhile, efforts to disrupt the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and the country’s major financial institutions were thwarted by Ethiopian authorities in 2022.
Shumete Gizaw, the director-general of the Ethiopian Information Network Security Agency (INSA), underscored the gravity of the situation, revealing that a staggering 37,000 interlinked computers used by financial institutions had been targeted in the failed cyber attacks.
“In the wake of this alarming surge of cyber incursions on public sector domains,” Wakama says, “the clarion call for proactive cybersecurity strategies has become resonant. Government departments, agencies, and State Owned Enterprises must now recalibrate their cybersecurity outlooks and undertake substantial investments in infrastructure, skills development, and cutting-edge technology. These proactive measures will be pivotal in not only mitigating existing vulnerabilities but also in erecting robust barriers against potential future attacks.”