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One no longer gets shocked when they hear of a data breach or a prominent organization being hacked. I'm not sure if I am desensitized to cyber attacks or if it is a case of accepting that they are now a part of life.

One thing has become certain, as more and more people use the internet, as more and more online services become available, the increase in data breaches will continue.

I say this because barely 2 months after South Africa's Life Healthcare Group announced that it was a victim of a cyber attack, another Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed (JSE) company, Momentum Metropolitan, has issued a statement saying that it suffered a cyber attack.

Visualization of some of the world's biggest data breaches and hacks. Source: Information is Beautiful

Like what we have become used to when organizations across Africa experience such incidents, they go on a PR offensive and do their utmost to downplay the severity of the incident. In Momentum Metropolitan's case, they are saying that the cyber attack was only on one of its subsidiary companies and that "only a portion" of data was accessed.

I don't know about you but I am not going to take the word of a company's internal investigation telling me that as a customer, I faced no risk from a recent cyber attack incident they experienced. The incentives are too much tilted in their not to tell me that my data was accessed during such an incident.

This is why we need independent investigations into data breaches. We, as customers, deserve to know the extent to which our data was accessed. We can't rely on an organization's internal investigation and press release.

That's why it is encouraging to know that in Nigeria this is already happening. So much so that the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), in enforcing the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation, has already issued some fines for data breaches, and one of them, to a government organization, has already been paid.

What we now need is for this to start happening across the continent, and especially in South Africa where we already have the Protection Of Personal Information Act (POPIA).

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South Africa's Momentum Metropolitan has been hacked

We've reached the point in life where data breaches are now a part of life. The latest victim is Momentum Metropolitan, a South African based financial services group listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) in South Africa and on the Namibian Stock Exchange in Namibia. The company has issued a statement stating that it suffered a cyber attack in which only a portion of data from one of their subsidiaries was allegedly accessed. One of the things that this latest data breach highlights is the need for independent investigations by the Information Regulator of South Africa because we can't be relying on companies to police themselves. [Article]

What you need to know about the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation

Olufemi Daniel, the Lead of Regulations Monitoring and Compliance at the NITDA, joins us on this episode of the Tech Legal Matters podcast to explain what we need to know about the NDPR. Olufemi also shares some details on the upcoming revised NDPR draft bill. [Podcast]

Bridging the digital divide with the Universal Service Fund in Kenya

One of the positive developments in Kenya is the existence of the Universal Service Fund which has great potential to improve the welfare of people with limited access to digital equipment and services. The regions that are a key focus for the fund are the rural, remote, and urban poor areas, with Internet connectivity being the priority. If done right, the fund will have a great impact on creating a more equal society. [Article]

Oresti Patricios on the state of the media industry

Oresti Patricios, CEO of Ornico Group, is a guest on this episode of The Tefo Mohapi Show to talk about the state of the media industry and the effects of fake news, programmatic advertising, and more. [Podcast]

Cameroon has launched a nationwide campaign to curb cybercrime

Cameroon's electoral body, ELCAM, had its official Facebook page hacked in June with the intruders posting untrue and misleading information about the body’s operations. As such, the government has launched an anti-cyber crime campaign. Last month, the anti-graft agency, CONAC, warned that more and more incidents of online crimes perpetrated using platforms such as Facebook and WhatsApp were on a disturbing rise. The body said then that students writing official certificate examinations were the prime target. [Article]

Quote of the day

We need independent investigations into data breaches that organizations suffer so we, as customers, know the extent to which our data was accessed. We can't rely on an organization's internal investigation and press release.(Tweet this)

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