For several years since 2015, we at iAfrikan.com have been reporting on and researching various cybersecurity, data protection, and privacy-related matters around Africa. We have observed several patterns, some of the more worrying patterns are that many people seem to think that data breaches are victimless crimes.
Also, it is rare that you will hear or read about authorities in Africa taking serious action against any organization for failing to protect the data it handles. This is excluding Nigeria, whereas Olufemi Daniel from the West African country's National Information Technology Development Agency has informed us in a previous episode of the Tech Legal Matters podcast that they have issued various notices regarding data breaches in the country and successfully collected a fine in the process.
In South Africa, during 2020 alone, we have heard of 3 notable data protection incidents that we know of. The first one was in June 2020 when Life Healthcare Group reported disruption to their IT systems due to a cyberattack. On 17 August 2020 another Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed company, Momentum Metropolitan, would also downplay a cyberattack incident saying only limited data from one of its subsidiaries was accessed. The latest incident is among the more shocking, only because we have been able to learn more details about it.
On 19 August 2020, Experian South Africa was publicly reported to have experienced a data breach. This was first made public by the South African Banking Risk Information Center (SABRIC). Experian would only, reluctantly, issue their statement saying they curtailed a data incident.
In this special edition episode of the Tech Legal Matters podcast, we take you through everything you need to know about the Experian Data Breach. What their CEO, Ferdie Pieterse has shockingly said, what the banks are saying, and a social engineering incident that led to a 77-year-old woman losing over R100,000 in 30 minutes thanks to criminals using her details to convince her they were calling from a South African bank where she has a bank account.