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Thursday, 05 November 2015 22:09

Tertiary institutions must focus on critical skills

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Government has called on academic institutions to take the lead in developing academic programmes and technical skills needed to take the country forward.


Speaking at the closing of the four-day Cybersecurity Conference in Pretoria, State Security Minister David Mahlobo said that this focus will assist South Africa in ensuring that students are channelled to courses that develop capacity for the country.

“The private sector is expected to contribute to national skills, research and development. The private sector is expected to implement information security standards and contribute to the protection of National Critical Information Infrastructure,” Minister Mahlobo told the conference.

The gathering saw the State Security Agency (SSA), state-owned entities, private sector companies and academia taking some time to look deeply into matters of policy development and collaboration among key players in cyber security.

Minister Mahlobo said there was also a need to have public cybersecurity awareness campaigns that are designed to increase the public's understanding of cyber threats.

These campaigns need to also increase awareness about the public’s safety and security online.

“Civil society is expected to take interest in the general awareness programmes and at least ensure their devices have updated malware protection,” the Minister said, adding that this has to be done after the conference.

The Minister said the advantages brought about by cyberspace also have drawbacks, which are among some of the most complex challenges the world has ever faced.

“Utility systems providing electricity, gas and water can be crippled by cyberspace disruptions. Attacks on any of these networks would potentially have disastrous consequences for individuals and for society.

“Globally, nation states are faced with a challenge of putting measures in place to protect their territorial integrity, national security and critical infrastructure and citizens against cyber-attacks, cyber terrorism and cyber warfare.”

Last modified on Thursday, 05 November 2015 22:20