Preventing cyberattacks on critical infrastructure

Issue 4 2022 Industrial (Industry), Cyber Security


Carlo Bolzonello.

The notion of cyberattacks seems distant from our daily lives as we go about our work, social and family lives. Cyberattacks feel like they happen to big businesses which can quickly bounce back from them after the issue is identified and fixed, just as quickly as we would bounce back from being sick, once the illness was diagnosed and treated.

Cyberattacks have the potential to disrupt our lives completely, and in instances where critical national infrastructure is attacked, they could disrupt the country’s entire economy, leading to loss of life and livelihoods.

In the last few years, we’ve already seen successfully targeted advanced cyberattacks on some of our nation’s most critical economic functions, with devastating consequences. It’s not difficult to imagine what would happen if an attack was to be directed at one of South Africa’s state-owned enterprises or other essential parts of the country’s infrastructure: the country would be crippled and the economy severely damaged.

With nearly every element of South African society – from our banks and businesses to state-owned entities and government departments among others – all making use of the speed, efficiency and convenience of digital solutions, the country’s digital infrastructure needs a holistic, integrated security ecosystem and a cloud-first approach that makes it possible for all security products to work together.

This would be possible via an extended detection and response (XDR) approach to security, that uses machine learning and automation to complement human skills to protect private and public sector environments, helping them adapt and stay agile, and able to respond to active threats through dynamic prevention policies.

By harnessing the power of machine learning and automation to unlock insights and streamline workflows, organisations can stay one step ahead of adversaries, adapt to new threats, and accelerate detection and correction through the entire defence lifecycle.

This ‘living security’ approach makes public sector and private organisations more resilient through the interconnection of a wide variety of threat sensors and capabilities, so they know their operations are protected. It is native and open, and leverages an optimal blend of expert advice, assistance, and automation so security teams are more effective and efficient when incidents happen.

While South Africa does have the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act and the Cybercrimes Act in place, the former legislates the protection of infrastructure, while the latter deals specifically with cybercrime, making it easier for investigating agencies to gather evidence of cybercrime, and to seek support from their counterparts in other countries.

The true effectiveness of this legislation is yet to be determined, however, but the time to address cybercrime is before it happens, crippling the country’s infrastructure and resources, and before it’s too late to prevent catastrophic physical and reputational damage to the structures that keep our nation alive.




Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page



Further reading:

The challenge of data safety and availability
Technews Publishing Editor's Choice Cyber Security
Veeam offers backup and recovery software that presents the user with one interface to manage backups to and from almost any platform.

Read more...
Adopting a cyber-secure mindset
Security Services & Risk Management Cyber Security
Adopting a cybersecure mindset is the key to mitigating the risk of falling victim to the growing cybercrime pandemic.

Read more...
Advanced technologies to curb corruption
News Cyber Security IT infrastructure
The use of advanced technology to curb fraud, corruption and cyber-related crimes received a massive boost as the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Special Investigation Unit (SIU) agreed to work together.

Read more...
The current and future state of smart OT security
Technews Publishing Industrial (Industry) Cyber Security IT infrastructure
Nearly 60% of survey respondents also revealed that their organisation suffered at least one OT breach during the past 12 months, with 10% experiencing four or more.

Read more...
Kaspersky updates partner programme
News Cyber Security
Kaspersky United partner programme now offers a revised rebate system, extended training courses and more rewards for managed service providers.

Read more...
Be aware of privacy and cybercrimes issues
Security Services & Risk Management Cyber Security Retail (Industry)
Artificial intelligence (AI) is being deployed to help shoppers make better choices, but retailers must be aware of their obligations under personal privacy and cybercrimes laws.

Read more...
Cybereason expands presence across sub-Saharan Africa
News Cyber Security
Cybereason has appointed Chantél Hamman as its new channel director focused on growing the company’s presence across sub-Saharan Africa.

Read more...
Cyber resilience is more than security
Industrial (Industry) Cyber Security IT infrastructure
Kate Mollett, regional director at Commvault Africa advises companies to guard against cyberattacks in the shipping and logistics sector using an effective recovery strategy.

Read more...
Optimised people, processes and technology
Industrial (Industry) Integrated Solutions
When embarking on an industrial digitisation project, it’s important to consider how people, processes and technology will work together and complement the other.

Read more...
Powder coating provides durable finish
Turnstar Systems Access Control & Identity Management Industrial (Industry)
Turnstar’s powder coating line provides corrosion resistance, high-quality surface finishing and a long-term environment-friendly impact for all access control components the company manufactures.

Read more...