Advanced technologies to curb corruption

Issue 5 2022 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 in equipping the country with fraud and corruption prevention tools.

On Monday, 22 August 2022, the head of SIU, Advocate Andy Mothibi, and the CSIR CEO, Dr Thulani Dlamini, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) expressing their commitment to sharing expertise and skills to drive research, development and innovation in the fields of data science, and information and cybersecurity.

The signing of the MoU between the two government entities signals a coordinated effort to enhance the use of technology to fight the scourge of corruption and maladministration in the country. The organisations agreed to collaborate on a variety of strategic areas including enhancing data analytics and sharing, digital forensics, information and cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, distributed ledger technology/blockchain and cyber infrastructure support.

The partnership will see capability-building in the development of digital investigation tools, digital forensic investigations and analysis, cloud and high-performance computing to prevent cybercrimes before they occur.

Speaking at the signing ceremony in Pretoria, Mothibi lauded the collaboration as a step in the right direction to fight cybercrime. “Our partnership with the CSIR is in line with the SIU’s strategy of detecting fraud and corruption early, and having systems in place that prevent these crimes. We live in a digitalised world, and criminals are using technology to their advantage. We cannot be left behind. The expertise and technology that the CSIR are offering the SIU are needed to move forward to fulfil our mandate. We cannot fight crime alone, and this is why this partnership is important to the SIU.”

Dr Dlamini hailed the partnership as critical, saying that it forms part of the continuous role that the CSIR is playing to support a capable state. “The fight against corruption and cybercrimes is a major issue in South Africa. The work that we do contributes to ensuring that we support a capable state. Through this partnership, the CSIR will utilise its research competence to assist the SIU with necessary technological solutions to tackle cybercrimes. Our team of experts in data science, information security and cybersecurity, blockchain and artificial intelligence are ready to assist.”

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