South Africa And Russia Sign Cybersecurity Cooperation Agreement

Written by Peter Pedroncelli

South Africa and Russia have reportedly signed a cybersecurity cooperation agreement that will see the two BRICS nations working closer together in an effort to strengthen their defenses against cyber threats.

The deal was officially signed at the BRICS summit in Xiamen, with high level diplomats from both countries, Sergey Lavrov of Russia and Maite Nkoana-Mashsbane of South Africa, putting pen to paper on the agreement, according to Russian news agency TASS.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation confirmed the cybersecurity deal, calling it a cooperation agreement aimed at maintaining international information security.

“The signing of this document once again proves the high level of trust between our states. It reflects the spirit of genuine strategic partnership that is typical of Russian-South African relations,” the ministry said in a statement.

“The agreement shows the striving of Russia and South Africa to expand bilateral cooperation on one of the most important aspects of maintaining international and national security,” the statement added.

“Another key stage in the history of Russian-South African cooperation has been completed in Xiamen: both countries have formalised their identical approaches to maintaining international information security, and they have laid an international legal framework for implementing specific joint initiatives in this area.”

“Russia and the Republic of South Africa come from a common position on evaluating the threats in international information security, including the use of information-communications technologies for perpetrating acts of aggression, violating the sovereignty, security and territorial integrity of states, for interfering in their domestic affairs, damaging their economies and also for terrorist and other criminal purposes,” the ministry added.

“The agreement will allow our countries to conduct practical cooperation on a range of issues to maintain international information security at a new level,” the statement continued.

“This implies the creation of a joint system for responding to threats in this sphere, for investigating cases of the use of information-communication technologies for terrorist and other criminal purposes, for jointly drafting and advancing the relevant norms of international law, implementing joint research and development projects and training experts in this field,” the ministry said.

Cybersecurity cooperation agreement to boost SA commitment

As part of the agreement, Russia and South Africa will meet regularly through interdepartmental consultations to discuss international information security, according to ITWeb.

The cooperation between the two BRICS countries indicates a boost in South Africa’s commitment to cybersecurity.

The second edition of the Global Cybersecurity Index 2017, released by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), an agency of the United Nations, measures the commitment of countries to cybersecurity, and ranked South Africa eighth in Africa in terms of its preparedness against a cyber attack, according to ITWebAfrica.

South Africa uses inter-agency partnerships effectively in an effort to strengthen its cybersecurity provision.

The South African national cybersecurity hub serves as a central point for collaboration between industry, government and civil society on all nefarious online incidents, mandated by the National Cybersecurity Policy Framework (NCPF).