Cyber threats change as technology evolves

Online since 5.09.2017 • Filed under Advertorial • From Issue 6 - September 2017 - February 2018 page(s) 28-29
Cyber threats change as technology evolves

Today, cyber criminals still use technology platforms to gain access, manipulate and destroy sensitive information that resides on all digital platforms. Bowline Security considers cyber security awareness programmes within organisations effective towards reducing cyber risks.

Is your personal/business information safe anymore? Are the username and password/pin still sufficient in securing your online presence? Are your security measures making it difficult for hackers to get in, but simple enough to do business with you?

Online transactions are constantly under attack and can lead to legal costs, fines and increased pressure on IT departments, as well as seriously damaging your business’s reputation and, most importantly, losing your customers’ trust. By simply adding a multi factor authentication process and encrypting your devices, you will drastically decrease the chance of a data breach.

History of Bowline Security

Bowline Security can trace its roots to the early years of the Millennium, when a great deal of financial fraud was taking place. The Internal Audit Unit within the Treasury Department of KwaZulu-Natal mobilised an international task team lead by Mr Sbusiso Xulu. The project was called Unembeza. It was also Mr Xulu who planted the security seed within Carl Uys, Bowline Security’s CEO, to investigate the modus operandi relating to fraud and to conduct technology analytics within the government environment.

The success of project Unembeza resulted in its findings being handed over to SITA to implement. In 2011, Bowline Security was formed by three former Unembeza team members – a Canadian, an American, and a South African. Besides its general interest in technology and cyber security, Bowline Security is motivated by the desire to make the world a safer place. Its personnel spend much of their time urging businesses and public sector organisations to improve their security maturity levels when it comes to cyberspace. Bowline assists organisations to evaluate their risk from a technology perspective and provides security technology that assists in minimising these risks.

Bowline works predominantly in seven key sectors in three countries. However, we have established a benchmark in the energy sector, in petrochemicals and within the hospitality sector. We have also undertaken a lot of research in the maritime and defence sectors. We are on a journey of really transforming the South African petrochemical industry, getting it from an immature stage of cyber security to the internationally preferred industry level.

In addition to providing intelligence advisory services and international technology security solutions, Bowline is pursuing an exciting new line of work as it develops its own products. It owns a stake in Payprint, which has developed a biometric authentication system. We’ve developed a unique technology biometric authentication solution that uses your fingerprint to make payments. We have made security the foundation of the solution – you don’t need your card or your phone, all you need is your fingerprint to make a payment. This solution safeguards you from card cloning and people obtaining your credit/debit card details. Although Bowline isn’t able to divulge much detail about the other in-house service in the pipeline, it is involved in developing a child protection service geared for parents’ use. The company is also keeping abreast of developments in artificial intelligence.

The cost of recovery

Business and government leaders shouldn’t underestimate the role people play in matters of security – it is definitely not just about technology. The processes that people follow can directly impact security. Bowline is surprised that so many companies still mandate IT departments to look after cyber and information  security yet they understand that security is a different skill set. It’s like trusting your physical security guard to ensure that your IT systems function.

‘Don’t wait to become a victim,’ Bowline Security urges. ‘The cost of recovery is often greater than the cost of accurately assessing your systems for vulnerabilities and addressing these.’

Career opportunities

Bowline is keen to attract more young people to the field of cyber security. With an estimated shortfall of six million cyber-security professionals worldwide, Bowline feels there are ample career opportunities for young people with the right attitude. We’ve begun partnering with the likes of the Cyber Security Institute, with the Pearson Institute of Higher Education, and technology giant, Cisco, to map out a holistic programme where we can get students from high school into a higher institution of learning and, from there, posting them into companies such as Bowline where they’ll be taught the importance of cyber security.

In conclusion, Bowline says that relationships with God, family, friends and business partners inspire our team to practise continuous improvement.’


T +27 031 535 7236



Issue 6 - September 2017 - February 2018

Issue 6 - September 2017 - February 2018

This article was featured on page 28-29 of SABI Magazine Issue 6 - September 2017 - February 2018 .

Share this

10th Annual Business Process Management take of 21 Sept 18
Power Week Africa Conference 2018 take off 15 Sept 18

Subscribe to our Digital Magazine (free)