Tough year ahead
THE YEAR 2007 is when South African consumers and companies will finally realise they have to take the security of their personal information as seriously as they take personal security.
This is the view of Guy Whitcroft, chief operating officer for new businesses at MB Technology, which has just fleshed out its distribution business with the launch of a securityfocused distributor, NetDefense.
He says that while the developed world has experienced high-profile identity theft, SA has yet to see the lengths to which criminals will go to obtain personal information, including digging in rubbish to find credit card receipts and other household bills.
Whitcroft says that internationally, many criminal organisations have realised identity theft can be more lucrative and comparatively easier to commit than traditional stealing, which has led to the dramatic rise in phishing attacks (attempts to get confidential information through fake, official-looking, emails).
“US research indicates that it’s on average 500 days before a person becomes aware of identity theft, because it takes the form of fake bank accounts or credit cards in the name of the victim,” he says.