/ africa

Africa She Is Beautiful: Let's Secure Her Digital Footprint

It is often called the Dark Content, not because of the prevalence of Load Shedding but due to its digital emancipation and penetration. Are a continent play "catch-up"? Perhaps so. So many problems but one thing for sure: We never lack the leisure to innovation.

There is beauty in Africa and the future of it. Some of the world's greatest Innovation's have come from Africa. Here is an extract from the former President Mbeki in Cape Town on 8 May 1996, on the occasion of the passing of the new Constitution of South Africa.

The dramatic shapes of the Drakensberg, the soil-coloured waters of the Lekoa, iGqili noThukela, and the sands of the Kgalagadi, have all been panels of the set on the natural stage on which we act out the foolish deeds of the theatre of the day.

At times, and in fear, I have wondered whether I should concede equal citizenship of our country to the leopard and the lion, the elephant and the springbok, the hyena, the black mamba and the pestilential mosquito.

A human presence among all of these, a feature on the face of our native land thus defined, I know that none dare challenge me when I say - I am an African!

Africa she is beautiful and as she leaps into the next phase of the Smart Growing Digital World, she is fragile. She will judge us on our capability and proactiveness in protecting its digital future.

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Rich in resources that gives us food, energy, entertainment, well-being, knowledge, comfort and most importantly, life. The advent of the 4th Industrial Revolution lies in speed and connectivity of things. It is the Era of Connected Things, dude!

Next World War About Data And The Control Of It

They say Data is the new oil. The effect of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe and the Protection of Personal Information(PoPI) Act in South Africa shed light onto why each country and each individual have to prepare for the next world of Information and Regulation. Data Governance and Regulation Policies thereof, need decisive forecasting, thinking, implementation

As early as 2019, the connected population in Africa had grown by 20% and this means more clicks. Each and every click matters. Each click contains a load of Data.

"The weakest link in your Infrastructure is Layer 8, AKA the user" - Keitumetsi Tsotetsi.

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We have to ask ourselves, are we ready for this shift? Is our house secure? Is our thinking in the right place? Do we have a capable cyber army?

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The Ground Efforts in Information Security

It's important that we equip the local techies and makers with skills that will help build the capability handling in one's Security Operation Center. Here are some of the ground efforts that Geekulcha is championing:

1. Security Summit Hackathon

In collaboration with ITWeb, Snode and the Northern Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism, we will be hosting the 3rd annual annual Security Summit Hackathon (#SS19Hack) on the sidelines of the summit.

Themed "Protecting the Digital Citizen", this year's Hackathon will take place in Sandton and Kimberley.

2. Security for Teenagers

Since 2017, Geekulcha has integrated Information Security as part of the micro-level working experience programme for school learners - the Geekulcha Vacation Work (gkVacWork) programme.

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3. Consumers and Developers

Information Security Kimberley was created to bring Application Developers and Users together and equip safe development and usage of these applications.

4. Seasonal Dev Days

Having started with SummerDevDays and having local techies build security focused skills and solutions, WinterDevDays is stricly dedicated to Securing the African Digital Footprint.

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5. SafeHack Against Digital Zombies

Young local techies must develop/build with security in mind. #SecureByDesign is the message that SafeHack champions and is open to even first year students who have low-level programming skills.

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10 Commandments of Online Rules of Engagement

  1. Thou shalt not use public WiFi without a VPN. (You can try our Freedome VPN for free.)
  2. Thou shalt not click “Enable Macros.”
  3. Thou shalt not open attachments which were unexpected or from a stranger.
  4. Thou shalt not share personal, identifiable information on social media platforms.
  5. Thou shalt use a unique, uncrackable password for all important accounts and — ideally — store them in a password manager.
  6. Honor your privacy settings by checking them regularly.
  7. Thou shalt not keep the default password on anything, especially routers.
  8. Thou shalt not do online banking without security software that includes anti-phishing and banking protection features.
  9. Remember two-step verification and use it whenever possible.
  10. Thou shalt not leave your devices unlocked.

Source: https://blog.f-secure.com/10-things-we-can-all-do-to-make-a-safer-internet/

There is a lot of work to do, play a part and let's protect our digital shores in African and main human dignity.

Tiyani Nghonyama

Tiyani Nghonyama

COO of Geekulcha in SA. A software and hardware developer, Tiyani drives social development initiatives such as RHOK Pretoria, Arduino Day South Africa, and the Geekulcha VacWork, among others.

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