SABRIC (The SA Banking Risk Information Centre) issued its report on card fraud this month. Bank fraud, particularly the use of malware on mobile phones, has increased dramatically. It also noted that on the whole fraud had increased significantly in the 4 categories it measures (Credit cards, Debit cards, Foreign issued cards and Fleet cards) in the last months of 2018 and the first of 2019. The most noticeable increase was for online purchases. EFA will meet with SABRIC and PASA on 10 July. One proposal on the table is a guide for e-merchants to assist them recognise and avoid online fraud.
Continuing the Newsletter’s stress on the need to be cyber-savvy about cyber-security, I note that according to cyber analytics firm Kaspersky Lab, there are 13,842 cyber-attacks daily in South Africa. That equates to more than 570 attacks every hour. The newest threat is the use of malware on mobile phones. These malware turn computer networks and mobile phones into listening devices. Cyber-attacks open up opportunities to meddle in elections, steal data or seek ransom payments from targets that include governments, utility providers, the military, manufacturing and commercial players. Recently the UN has pointed out that African leaders cannot bury their heads in the sand and call this a developed country problem – Cyber awareness must become part of every aspect of life from doing business to alleviating poverty and providing security. That being said, the developing world has the resources to fight the menace: African countries have far fewer resources and far greater problems to solve!