Pretoria – In A bid to curb any possible cyber threats, Tshwane has unveiled a Security Operations Centre, its line of defence against would-be criminals.
MMC for Corporate and Shared Services, Sylvester Phokoje, speaking at the unveiling of the operations centre yesterday, said the City had begun the process of creating the centre as of August 2019 to proactively and reactively restrict cyber threats to the City.
Although only completed in December 2020, the centre has to date managed to yield success by resolving more than 4 000 cyber incidents and nearly 150 phishing incidents.
Phokoje said the urgency of having the centre up and running promptly was because of the need to protect the City’s digital assets with the advent of modern technologies, and to allow residents a seamless experience in accessing the City’s eServices.
This includes services such as acquiring online statements, buying electricity and the payment of utility services. At the same time, he said it would also enable the protection of residents’ sensitive and confidential information such as identification numbers, addresses and banking information in line with the Protection of Personal Information Act.
Phokoje said the centre was designed and would be operated by the City of Tshwane’s dedicated Cyber Response Teams, in partnership with Take Note Information Technologies.
With the centre operating 365 days, the dedicated teams are to provide uninterrupted monitoring and be able to detect the first signs of cyber-attacks that could possibly impact the City’s ability to provide services to residents.
Also, more than 20 young people have already been trained in practical and soft skills in response to the cyber skills shortage in the country.
“Currently, there are about 3 to 4 million vacancies for Cyber Security globally and the City has introduced a home-grown solution that achieves two objectives – training youth and empowering them with practical skills and further creating employment in the process,” said Phokoje.
“Having a Security Operations Centre is an indicator to the City’s stakeholders, employees, residents and government that we take data security and privacy seriously.”
However, the MMC said the centre would not only be focusing on detecting incidents but also on analysis and threat conducting by cyber experts to help prevent attacks by leveraging the best software engineering.
“To date, the City has decreased the costs of breaches and operations by minimising the amount of time a cyber attacker lurks in an enterprise’s network,” he said.