The good and the bad

2010-05-06 00:00

<p>FIRST, THE GOOD NEWS: international security specialist Symantec says Internet fraud related to financial institutions in South Africa has dropped. The bad news is that SA is growing in prominence internationally as more online crime takes place here. Last year SA was at number 50 on the list of countries where most attacks took place but has jumped seven places up to number 43 to date this year. Those were two of the findings in the Symantec Internet Security Threat Report for 2010. </p>
<p>Gordon Love, regional director for Africa at Symantec, says of all the goods and services advertised in the underground economy, credit card information has dropped from 32% to 19% of what's on offer. That's part of an overall trend in which financial fraud is decreasing online while other targets, such as the retail sector, are getting worse. </p>
<p>Love says improvements in SA's financial market could be attributed to maturity and the approaches of banks. "A lot of organisations - such as banks - are moving away from point solutions for IT security and are increasingly making use of fully integrated solutions that offer better protection. </p>
<p>"There's also better general protection of information and more attention paid to data loss prevention. That means controlling what information can and can't be copied and who has access to what, when and where." Love added that the development and enforcement of IT policies at banks - and the automation thereof - was also making inroads, along with good management of IT systems and corporate awareness programmes aimed at educating staff and clients. "A more educated market is absolutely having a positive effect." </p>
<p>He added 60% of attacks came from within companies, whether from disgruntled employees or those who simply were the victims of social engineering. Love puts the growth of overall cyber crime in SA down to a combination of two things. "The Soccer World Cup heading for SA and also the increase in usage of broadband in the country. We also see that in other markets: when broadband is increasingly available and utilised cybercrime follows." </p>
<p>Love says Symantec has installed new systems in Egypt, Brazil, India, SA and other developing markets where increased activity is being detected and it will monitor those markets more closely in the future. </p>