Seems like Postbank’s efforts to restrain cybercrime have paid off. Postbank has been striving hard to fight off the fraudulent crime that has been coming its way for the last three months. In this blog, we will stroll down to the series of events that took place in the history of Postbank related to the robbery.
Postbank Faces Multiple Cyberthreats
Steps to secure the institute from robberies became a major concern after the Postbank was looted in December 2022. This theft caused the institute a debt of R18 million, spurring a pause in the SASSA SRD grant withdrawal by the beneficiaries.
Another heist of over R150 million provoked potent measures by the authorities to shield against such crimes. The heist apparently had accomplices from the faculty as well. The loopholes in the system were addressed, and the measures have proven to be effective in achieving the aim.
Bank’s spokesperson, Bongani Diako, shares his angle of vision on the bank’s progress in security system against cybercrime:
“Postbank has roped in external expertise that has since assisted in putting more robust measures on its grant payments system, in addition to more stringent access and security protocols, the results of which are now visible in lessened fraudulent activities.”
A local newspaper in South Africa put out an audit of the bank’s most secure system. This audit report included the bank’s Integrated Grant Payment System (IGPS) along with other crucial data. The data depicted that the 40 employees who logged into the system had used the same key, making it a little shady. In addition to this, the IGPS system was not even protected by any in-built software to identify any crime.
These shortcomings had made the system prone to such crimes. However, Diako expresses his trust in the recent system revamps and asserts the system contains early warnings to identify any step intended for cybercrime;
“This is a continuous improvement process that we are doing on an ongoing basis. In addition, the grants payments system has been migrated to a more secure platform which has added a security measure, and we are also in the process of migrating the grants payments to our core banking systems as a long-term plan,”
He further adds;
“Subsequently, the IGPS, wherein more payment risks have been identified, will be canceled and decommissioned.”
The CEO of Postbank, Lucas Ndala, informed the parliament’s portfolio committee about the kind of cybercrime the bank has faced.
“a number of cyber fraud incidents – most of them relating to the Sassa beneficiary grant payment system”
She startled the committee as she stated that the auditor-general had flagged the IT system of the Postbank as bearing “ control weaknesses”.
She further explained;
“There has been a concerted effort to address these system deficiencies since the grant system was ceded to Postbank in 2021. A lot of these weaknesses come from the system itself because it came with a number of flaws that needed to be addressed over time,”
The good news is the South African Social Security Agency has initiated the implementation of a new and more secure cyber system that is more secure than the previous one.
“The Sassa grants cards are still being used to access grants as that has been allowed by the Reserve Bank, which has allowed us an extended period to use the cards while we simultaneously implement a program of replacing them.”
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He further explained that intricate details would be issued to the press and mainstream media in due course after the overflooding requests for the renewal of gold cards were addressed.
In relation to past unsolicited experiences of cybercrime, the Reserve Bank had offered Postbank a chance to vamp up its security system to deter the issues. This could be a big hit for Postbank as the security boost could give it a chance to participate in the national payment system.
Furthermore, the former minister, Mondli Gungubele, declared that the cabinet members have unanimously passed two bills that will help South African Post offices to keep a check on its new technological security developments. These efforts will ensure the security and complete functionality of the Postbank.
When asked about the theft incident dating back to the last year, the spokesperson of Postbank, Diako, conceded that the forensic investigation is still in progress. He revealed that a preliminary forensic report had been shared with all the stakeholders. He goes on to explain the scenario;
“Once concluded at the discretion of the shareholder, the outcomes of this investigation, including any law enforcement recourses where necessary, could be made known,”
The bank has geared up to make its security system unbreachable as it plans to spend almost R400 million to remodel the security system as much as possible. The bank aims to give a more modern and much safer touch to its already prevailing information technology which assures a bright future for the beneficiaries of the SASSA SRD grants.
During the ups and downs that SASSA has been struggling with, we are here to update you with every worth-knowing news. Let us know your confusion in the comment section, and we will be back with answers to all your questions that go unnoticed by the authorities.
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Is the SRD grant increased to R624?
SASSA has raised the means test threshold to R624, which means one should not earn more than this amount to stand eligible for SASSA SRD. Thus, the grant is still there. Rather the criteria for minimum pay has been increased.
How much is the SASSA payment now?
The current SASSA payment is R1990, which will be raised to R2100 on April 01, 2023. It will be further raised to R2110 on October 01, 2023.
How much is SRD grant 2023?
In order to counter inflation, the yearly non-SRD grants will be increased to R30 billion. The old state grants will undergo two hikes in the running year, 2023.
Will R350 be doubled?
SASSA has announced that they will pay the beneficiaries twice the original amount in June and July.