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Cybersecurity Skills Gap Under the Microscope

March 27, 2019

Department of Communications

27 March 2019

The deputy minister of communications, Pinky Kekana, has called for a concerted and coordinated approach between the private sector, government and academia to address the cybersecurity skills gap.

The deputy minister was speaking at the CEO Forum for Cybersecurity held in Johannesburg.

Reference was made to the Cybercrimes Bill currently before parliament.

The national council of provinces (NCOP) recently called for comment on the bill.

The national assembly passed the bill and sent it to the NCOP for concurrence in November 2018.

The Cybercrimes Bill aims to:

• create offences which have a bearing on cybercrime;
• criminalise the distribution of data messages which are harmful and to provide for interim protection orders;
• further regulate jurisdiction in respect of cybercrimes;
• further regulate the powers to investigate cybercrimes;
• further regulate aspects relating to mutual assistance in respect of the investigation of cybercrime;
• provide for the establishment of a designated Point of Contact;
• further provide for the proof of certain facts by affidavit;
• impose obligations to report cybercrimes;
• provide for capacity building;
• provide that the Executive may enter into agreements with foreign States to promote measures aimed at the detection, prevention, mitigation and investigation of cybercrimes;
• delete and amend provisions of certain laws; and
• provide for matters connected therewith.

The bill was originally tabled as the Cybercrimes and Cybersecurity Bill in 2017.

During its deliberations, the portfolio committee on justice and correctional services decided to only focus on cybercrimes issues, hence the change of the bill’s name to the Cybercrimes Bill.

According to the deputy minister, the bill solves three problems, namely, by criminalising cybercrime conduct, addressing the silo-based approach to cybercrime law and aligning South African cybercrime laws with the international community.

To address cybersecurity skills shortages, the communications department will work closely with the Reserve Namk, the MICT and SaS SETA to develop Roles and Responsibilities for the cybersecurity sector through the identification of Organisational Framework for Occupations (OFO) Codes.

“This OFO will set the base for linking various occupations to specific skills and will assist in identifying further training needs.”