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Telcos team up to tackle crime facing sector

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by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG – SOUTH Africa’s leading telecommunications operators have teamed up to better protect their network investments and advance the country’s participation in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Cell C, Liquid Intelligent Technologies, MTN SA, Telkom SA and Vodacom have joined forces to form the non-profit Communication Risk Information Centre (COMRiC).

The centre will focus on the sector’s collective identification, mitigation and prevention of the common risk issues within the industry with a key focus for 2022 centred on critical infrastructure network vandalism, commercial crimes and cyber security.

Vernall Muller, COMRiC’s Chief Executive Officer, said the formation of COMRiC enabled formal discussion and solution finding between operators to handle the risks they faced.

“It has also created a platform through which we will engage society on issues of related crime and support government in the overall fight against crime in South Africa,” Muller added.

The official noted over the last two years especially, telecommunications operators have suffered amid the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, load-shedding and related power cuts.

“Telecommunications infrastructure which is the backbone of the information age is particularly vulnerable to attack and this escalating crime has translated into loss of service and network integrity,” Muller added.

Collaboration between the network operators, to fight theft and network infrastructure vandalism, has resulted in the establishment of the Critical Infrastructure Monitoring Operations Centre (CiMOC) that operates COMRiC.

CiMOC will prioritise the collective monitoring of critical network infrastructure theft and vandalism across the combined South African telco network footprint.

This includes working closely with law enforcers to identify and apprehend suspects in network vandalism, store robberies, battery theft and fraudulent application scenarios.

– CAJ News