Cyber-policing vs IT Security Awareness

In December the Postbank lost R42 million to hackers. Afterwards experts called for a new cyber policing strategy. After 20 years on the Internet I did not know we had a cyber policing strategy in place. During 1997-2003 I worked for major Internet Service Providers and three banks running their IT Security. If South Africa has a national cybercrime strategy, it’s time we know more about it.

Professor Basie von Solms, from University of Johannesburg, warned parliament against internet fraud like the Postbank loss over the 2011 festive season. While I was direct of Computer Society South Africa, I was engaged with Prof von Solms and found him honest and direct. He said, while SA Police Service had highly skilled cyber specialists, there were not enough of them. There was no overarching policy to protect the security of SA’s interconnected computer networks.

Von Solms said a draft cyber security strategy was circulated in 2010 by the government but nothing further had been heard of it. Without a cyber policing unit with compliance inspectors, cyber crime and cyber terrorism would just increase. Most countries had a computer security incident response team that tracked global trends in cyber crime and virus attacks to spread awareness and propose measures to address them.

“We are allowing citizens to use the internet more and more but are not protecting them.” This reads like something from 1984 or Brave New World professor. Citizens needs education on safe use on the Internet. No amount of laws will stop stupidity.

He believed Parliament had an obligation to conduct oversight of the cyber security of government departments and other state entities. The failure to exercise this oversight was partly to blame, he said, for the debacle at the Postbank as no check had been made of its computer security system.

According to the annual Norton Cybercrime report, South Africa ranked #3 in the world. They estimate consumers lost close to $20.7 billion after falling prey to cybercrime including attacks, malware and phishing. The highest numbers of cybercrime victims were found in Russia (92 percent), China (84 percent) and South Africa (80 percent).

To reduce your risk we recommend the following:

  1. Study Internet Security Awareness Basics from Gideon Rasmussen
  2. Ensure your HR department talks to your IT department once a month about IT Security issues
  3. Ensure you make your staff, teachers and students (in school or university) sign an Internet usage policy.

For information on our new Internet Security Awareness workshop, contact our national office.


IKM Conference 2008 – Shaping the Future

University of Johannesburg, South AfricaEvery year business leaders, industry and faculty experts come to the IKM Conference to share their knowledge, learn and network. True to the theme of this year’s conference, “Shaping the Future”, presenters will offer cutting-edge knowledge based on relevant, innovative and rigorous research.

Come and listen to reflections, estimations and predictions on the coming transformation of strategy, competition, business models, and management and gain insight to what others consider their business challenges, such as:

  • Mr Mike Schussler (T-Sec) on the Future of the Knowledge Economy
  • Ms Luisa Mazinter (The Marketing Site) on the Future of Web 2.0 and Knowledge Sharing
  • Ms Wendy Sealy (Caribbean Development Bank) on Social Capital and Knowledge for Development
  • Mr Max Smeiman (MD, Max Smeiman Associates) on the Future of Virtual Businesses
  • Mr Ramon Thomas (NETucation) on the Future of Social Networking
  • Dr Antonie Botha (Consultant) on the Future of Knowledge Management
  • Dr Piet Steyn (Eskom) on Just-in-time Knowledge Management: A reality or just an aspiration?
  • Ms Marmara Schutte (UP) and Dr Peter Tobin (GIBS) on Knowledge Management and the Food Service Industry.

Be sure not to miss the 8th Annual Information and Knowledge Management Conference on Friday, 4 November 2008, at the FNB Convention and Training Centre in Sandton, hosted by the University of Johannesburg Department of Information and Knowledge Management and chaired by Prof Adeline du Toit. Should you require further information, please contact Ms Andrea Ferreira on +27 (0)11 559-2183 or send an email to


World Wide Web Applications 2007 Conference

Today is the first day of the annual World Wide Web applications conference hosted this year by the University of Johannesburg, where I’m currently registered for a Masters in Information Science in the Department of Information and Knowledge Management. The opening address was by Prof Derek vd Merwe, Pro Vice-Chancellor.

World Wide Web Applications


The Impact of Social Networking on the Value of Information

Last week I was invited to present a lecture at the University of Johannesburg by the Department of Information & Knowledge Management where I am an alumni as well as currently registered for my Masters degree in Information Science. Contact Andrea Ferreira if you would to be added to their list for similar seminars held every couple of months.

The key points were as follows:

  • Information pollution is devaluing faster then ever before – So learn how to avoid or stop information pollution and information overload.
  • The numbers: Worldwide Internet users over 1.1 billion, worldwide cellphone users: over 2.5 billion, IM users approximately 580 million users, Social networking users approximately over 300 million
  • MySpace and Facebook are both huge social networks for teenagers and increasingly people over 35. MySpace is particularly strong in the entertainment industry and Facebook has loyal support from the university/college campuses while experiencing explosive growth in South Africa.
  • LinkedIn is the most useful social networking tool for professionals with over 12 million registered users worldwide and over 25,000 in South Africa. It’s changing the way recruitment is done as well as background checks on new employees. You may be interested in the excellent ebook: How to double your income in six months using LinkedIn.
  • The concept of Six Degrees of Separation and the Small World theory is the basis for the success of online social networks.
  • Google has been a key driver in the emergence of the long tail in marketing and onlie retail. Rupert Murdoch bought MySpace for $580 million in 2005 and people thought he was crazy and not long afterwards signed an exclusive deal with Google guaranteeing at least $900 million over 3 years. Facebook users generate about $6 in advertising revenue while MySpace users only generate about $2. And based on Youtube‘s value it’s 124 million unique monthly visitors are worth about $13.
  • According to Rich Shefren, the information age is dead and we now live in the attention age. People with elements of ADD have an advantage because they can focus for short periods and maintain productivity levels while switching between tasks. Ordinary people’s potential efficiency is reduced each time they change tasks by 20% to 40% depending on the complexity of the tasks at hand. The abundance of choice impacts decision making because most people are NOT trained how to evaluate source of information. And therefore there exists a Paradox of Choice.

Some recommended resources of where you can start research and narrow your focus on more valuable information are: Squidoo, ChangeThis, Google Answers and to a lesser extent Yahoo! Answers. And if you still have not make some time to read the entire Cluetrain Manifesto, published in full on the website. As a side note if you are interested in the rise of Blogging read the quarterly report by Technorati: The State of the Live Web.

You can view the presentation or download it from here:


Day 1 – Futurex Conference 2007 – Jaco Viljoen on What makes Business Analysts tick?

Jaco Viljoen from Software Futures gave one of the most unusual presentations I’ve ever seen in the last 10 years. He spoke about what makes and business analyst tick? He proceeded to explore how our brain functions and also delve very deeply into personality and psychometrics.

When you try to understand what makes a car drive, you have to look underneath the bonnet of the a car – at the workhorse of a car – the engine. When trying to understand a human being and you look underneath the bonnet of an analyst you will find his brain. The key is actually to focus on one aspect, the temperament and forget about the personality. It’s the age old comparison of nature vs nurture to some extent.

With assistance from Professor Smith at University of Johannesburg Jaco has been using Smith’s Temperament Typology (STT): Temperament vs Personality, to analyse business analysts. What makes one better than the other. In terms of the whole brain person only 4% of the population has this level of balance.

Using this temperament typology other opportunities and application in recruitment, training and further development (mentoring) arise. Success as an Analyst implies more than good process and technology tools. STT is useful for understanding people, especially analysts.

Here’s my video podcast interview with Jaco Viljoen:

For more information on