Think of the internet as an iceberg. On the surface are the websites we are all familiar with, accessible through commonly used, well-known browsers. But beneath the visible plane, lies a concealed world of hidden websites and secret browsing, usually called the Darknet.
What is artificial intelligence?
In the world of science fiction "artificial intelligence" (AI) brings to mind robots or other machines which are able to perform intellectual tasks as well as a human does, or better. Think Terminator, The Matrix and Bicentennial Man. The real world is not there yet, but AI exists today in many forms and has been around for decades.
In the recent 2017 Global Risks Report published by the World Economic Forum, Cyberattacks and Data Fraud or Theft, were listed as some of the highest risks facing corporates and individuals in today's world, both in terms of impact and likelihood. These risks even outweighed traditional risks such as economic downturns, competition and fast paced regulatory changes that have kept executive board members awake at night.
Between 2009 and 2015, identity theft had increased by 200% percent in South Africa according to the South African Fraud Prevention Association. Men aged between 30 and 40 in Gauteng and KwaZulu Natal are most likely to be targets.
When "the father of the computer", Charles Babbage, invented the first computer in the 19th century it is unlikely he anticipated that his noble invention would be used as a tool to facilitate the fraudulent and destructive purposes of various criminal minds and opportunists. Amongst others, the most prevalent and damaging crime that it is being used for is cybercrime.
The Protection of Personal Information Act (4 of 2013) (POPI) was partially enacted in November 2013. The sections enacted relate to the establishment of the information regulator, which was formed with effect from 1 December 2016. In anticipation of the remainder of POPI coming into force, employers are encouraged to consider the far reaching effects POPI may have on the use of biometric information in the workplace and ensure that their "house is in order".
While social media is a common method of communication it is also, for good reason, largely unregulated. The negative consequence, however, is that sensitive, illegal or objectionable content is also posted on these platforms, which have become unwitting vehicles to disseminate abuse and propaganda.
South Africa's Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA), which is expected to take effect this year, includes as a necessary condition for lawfully processing personal information, that businesses take adequate security measures in storing and processing personal data. These businesses must also be able to demonstrate that they have implemented appropriate and reasonable technical and organisational measures to secure information.
On Tuesday, 27 June, thousands of computer users around the world were presented with an alarming message, similar to the one below, on their screens. In less than 24 hours, the "Petya" ransomware attack had infected over 12 000 computers in over 65 countries, including major corporations such as shipping giant Maersk, the world's biggest advertiser WPP, and global law firm DLA Piper. This comes just over a month after the "WannaCry" ransomware attack infected more than 200 000 computers in 150 countries in May this year. In the absence of a backup, victims had to either pay the cyber-attacker a ransom of USD300 – USD600 or risk losing access to their files permanently. Ransomware and other cyber-attacks, such as the theft of confidential information, denial of service and the manipulation of banking and other financial systems, are some of the most significant and frightening crises that businesses face today.
On the tail of the 12th May global "WannaCry" ransomware attack, arguably the most widespread cyber-attack in history which, according to Raconteur, affected more than 250 000 victims in approximately 150 countries, big business is left to question its vulnerability and exposure to cyber-attacks.
18 candidate attorneys have been appointed: Lina Chirwa, Murray Cox, Thando Damane, Gareth Deiner, Matthew Gibson, Krinesh, Govender, Tony Lee, Sibongiseni Mfeka, Faiz Mogamat, Mmangaliso Nzimande, Kate O'Donovan, Kamantha Pillay, Rachel Ramaano, Gantse Seakamela, Stuart Thomson, Casey Vilakazi and Ian Wiese.
The ubiquitous digitisation of society has completely transformed the way we do business today. The "internet of things" has seen simple day-to-day activities transformed into complex processes connected by embedded technology enabling a network of objects to connect and interact with each other. There appears to be no limit to these technological advancements: the use of apps, artificial intelligence, robotics, the internet and the like. Today, it is common to conclude contracts electronically, manage complicated data systems online and conduct business with the touch of a single button.
When it comes to cybercrime, companies are most focused on the external threat from hackers. But, given that business is largely digitised these days, and that fraud is so frequently an inside job, cybersecurity must include a strong inward focus.