RIA submission on Inquiry into Role and responsibilities of ICASA in Cybersecurity

Research ICT Africa welcomes the opportunity to submit written comments on the Inquiry into the role and responsibilities of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa, published in the Government Gazette on the 28 September 2018.

To that end, ICASA has published a discussion document soliciting the views of stakeholders on what should be its role and responsibilities in cybersecurity, with specific reference to:

  • Private sector cooperation and industry regulation;
  • Capacity building;
  • Research and development; and
  • Regulation of cybersecurity standards.

As access to the Internet improves in South Africa, the country and its citizens’ exposure to cyber threats also increases. Yet technology and cyberspace are changing faster than countries can legislate internally to keep them safe and secure. Part of the problem with defining and evaluating the roles and responsibilities of a regulator is that the South African Government has adopted a predominantly security-based approach to mitigating cyber-risks, which is expected to become unsustainable and costly. Furthermore, existing capability to deter cybercrime and monitor or pursue cybersecurity are insufficient and ineffective.

Due to the increasing social, political, and financial impact of cyber incidents, it is imperative that South Africa’s institutional design and legislative environment dealing with cybersecurity are working efficiently. To this end, we recommend ICASA to facilitate a cyber maturity assessment of the country, in order to identify specific points of policy interventions that will inform an overall National Cybersecurity Strategy. The implementation of the National Cybersecurity Strategy should be underpinned by a comprehensive cyber capacity building programme, to develop competencies, resilience, and trust in the Internet.

Find a summary of the submission in this presentation delivered to ICASA and download the full submission below.