The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) plans to hold public hearings to determine its role and responsibilities in relation to cybersecurity in the country.
The public hearings will be held from 17 to 18 January 2019 at ICASA Block C Auditorium, 350 Witch-Hazel Avenue, Eco Point Office Park, Eco Park, Centurion.
Last year, the country’s communications watchdog published a Government Gazette containing a discussion document to solicit written submissions in respect of its role and responsibilities in the regulation of cybersecurity.
The closing date for submissions on the Discussion Document was 30 November 2018.
The regulator has received thirteen submissions from interested stakeholders, six of which indicated their willingness to make oral representations.
The publication of the Discussion Document was perpetuated by the proliferation of Internet interconnections and increased data services that have led to a significant growth of cyber-attack incidents often with disastrous consequences.
The Discussion Document further examines the role of various ICT regulators in the governance of cybersecurity in their respective countries.
The aim is to benchmark and/or compare the role these regulators are playing in the cybersecurity space and determine whether it is necessary for ICASA to adopt similar approaches taking into account its mandate.
The benchmark has revealed that cyber concerns are present in all countries, however, each country combats the presence of cyber threats differently, and generally, cybersecurity is not regulated by a single government institution but often government institutions work together and assign work amongst themselves as follows:
- the technical aspect of cybersecurity is often handled by regulators
- the aspect of public awareness about risks associated with online life,
- loss of privacy, exposure of children to child abuse material, is left to
regulators to conduct.
The discussion document states that cybercrime is regulated by the security clusters or government departments responsible for public safety in those jurisdictions.
It is recommended that, like many countries listed in this research, ICASA should consider adopting the following roles and responsibilities:
- Private sector cooperation and industry regulation;
- Capacity building;
- Research and development; and
- Regulation of Cybersecurity standards.