Assessing the cyber-security status of the metropolitan municipalities in South Africa.
Mabaso, Nkosiyephana Jerome.
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The intention of this enquiry was to assess the status of cyber-security in the metropolitan municipalities in South Africa. The focus on this level of local government was driven by the fact that metropolitan municipalities are the economic hubs with a variety of industrial facilities and are the places with high population densities. The metropolitan municipalities have adopted information infrastructures to support the daily administrative processes and, equally important, to support the delivery of essential services such as the distribution of electricity and clean water to the local citizens and communities. Entrenched in the adoption of information infrastructures are the cyber ills which if left unattended could have devastating consequences on people and industrial facilities. Failures or interruptions to information infrastructures have cascading effects due to interconnectedness of these infrastructures. The study used the Constructivist Grounded Theory Methodology to explore the activities that are performed by the metropolitan municipalities with the intention to determine what needs to be in place to safeguard their information infrastructures from cyber ills. Cyber-security is a serious concern in all types of businesses that are largely supported by information infrastructures in pursuit of the business objectives. Information infrastructures are susceptible to cyber-security threats, which if left unattended can shut the municipality operations down with disastrous consequences. A substantive theory of integrated development cyber-security emerged from the Constructivist Grounded Theory Methodology processes of data collecting through comprehensive interviews, initial coding, focused coding, memoing, and theoretical coding. A municipal cyber-security conceptual framework was developed from the integrated development cyber-security theory constructs of integrated development cyber-security which are the core category, cyber-security governance category, cyber-security technical operations category, and human issues in cyber-security category. The conceptual framework was used to formulate the cyber-security status assessment survey questionnaire that was adopted as an instrument to assess the cyber-security status in the metropolitan municipalities. The cyber-security status assessment instrument was deployed in metropolitan municipalities, wherein data was collected and statistically analysed to test and confirm its validity. The assessment results were analysed and showed the as is posture of cyber-security, the gaps in the current implemented cyber-security controls were identified together with the risks associated with those gaps, corrective actions to address the identified deficiencies were identified and recommended/communicated to the management of relevant municipalities.