South Africa’s Department of Justice is set to resume payments from the Guardian Fund. The fund was created to
South Africa’s Department of Justice is set to resume payments from the Guardian Fund.
The fund was created to receive and manage money on behalf of individuals who are legally unable to do so, including minors. In April, cyber attackers targeted the fund and stole R18-million, approximately $900,000 USD. Following the cyber attack, payments from the fund were suspended.
A recent Interpol report stated that South Africa leads the African continent in cybercrime, with 230 million threat detections in 2022. Despite over 600 million total internet users in Africa, implementation of cybersecurity safeguards is lacking with over 90% of African businesses operating without adequate protocols. Digital insecurity has some significant consequences for African economies, costing South Africa $570m a year, Nigeria $500m and Kenya $36m.
Due to gaps in data security, existing businesses as well as startups are unwilling to adopt and use the internet for e-commerce, digital transactions and the transfer of information via the internet. While laws are in place at country, regional and continental levels the cybersecurity landscape remains fragmented. In order to maximize the potential for Africa’s digital economy, governments will need to invest in effective regulatory frameworks while tech companies formulate solutions that address the needs of African businesses.