Denel is taking the lead to combat cyber terrorism in South Africa with the establishment of a dedicated business unit to counter the growing global threat to the country’s security and economic interests.
The Denel Tactical Cyber Command Centre – DTC³ – was announced at AAD 2016 in Tshwane today. It will form part of Denel Integrated Systems and Maritime and work closely with local and international partners in the cyberspace domain.
Zwelakhe Ntshepe, the Acting Group CEO of Denel says cyber-attacks are on the rise and everything from government security to business data to the confidential information of individuals are being targeted.
Denel ISM was established in 2014 following the recommendations of the Defence Review that the state-owned company should diversify into the security and cyber warfare environments.
Denel is synonymous with innovative defence and security solutions and is best placed to extend its experience and technology into the cyber security domain.
“Global internet usage is estimated to exceed the world’s population by 2020,” says Ntshepe. South Africa is ranked unacceptably high in the world in terms of cyber-
attacks because of the high penetration of smart phones and the greater availability of bandwidth.
“South Africa has become a haven for cyber criminals and we need to take serious steps to improve our ability to combat cyber terrorism.” Ntshepe says cyber information warfare is also an area of concern with more than 60 countries that have already developed cyber weapons for defensive and offensive purposes. Malicious computer worms such as Stuxnet has shown the tremendous damage that can be caused to security without any real evidence of who is behind the cyber-attacks.
The decision to create DTC³ is in line with the National Cybersecurity Policy Framework. The borderless and complex challenges relating to cyber security must be addressed through collaboration between industry, government and other stakeholders.
DTC³ will be the cyber security operational centre for Denel leading to the establishment of a Sector Computer Incident Response Team (SCIRT). In this process Denel will work closely with the CSIR and the Department of Telecommunication and Postal Services. DTC³ will also provide specialist cyber security solutions and services including a defensive and offensive cyber warfare capability.
“Inadequate cyber security measures can render South Africa completely vulnerable and it is essential that the country establish and maintain a world-class capability to keep its sovereignty, ensure economic growth and protect it citizens,” says Ntshepe.
Denel ISM will progressively enhance and strengthen the new DTC³ facility in future to respond to global threats and enhance South Africa’s ability to develop its own cyber security capabilities.