A criminological analysis of the commission of cybercrime in the South African banking industry: a case study of cybercrime in banks in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.
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As expenditures in broadband infrastructure in developing countries have increased and barriers to internet access have decreased, this infrastructure has rapidly become a target for cybercrime. Developing countries such as South Africa, Kenya, and India have become the preferred destination for cybercriminals owing to their lack of cyber regulations and the prevalence of cybercrime illiteracy. Cybercrime has plagued numerous sectors in the South African landscape, one of which is the banking industry. This industry has experienced multiple types of cybercrime such as phishing, vishing, spams, identity theft, hacking, and malware. As all banks now rely on digital networks for their business operations, the risk of becoming a cybercrime victim has increased for both the banking industry and its clients. The focus of this study was to establish and analyse the causes of the increased rate of cybercrime in banks and to determine the effectiveness of legislation in addressing the threat posed by cybercrime to the banking industry. The study explored selected South African Police Service (SAPS) detectives’ experiences regarding cybercrime and ascertained these detectives’ views on factors that contribute to cybercrime within the banking industry. The researcher utilised a qualitative methodology as this approach allowed the elicitation of the view of various participants. The study could therefore focus on actual issues associated with cybercrime rather than on statistical significance. Ten detectives who investigated cybercrime in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal were interviewed and some intriguing findings concerning cybercrime were uncovered. The study revealed the prevalence of internal fraud within the banking industry, poor internal controls, ineffective processes and systems, banking clients’ lack of knowledge and awareness of the looming threat of cybercrime, low conviction rates for cybercriminals; and SAPS officials’ lack of skills in policing cybercrime in KwaZulu- Natal as some of the key factors that exacerbate cybercriminal activities in the banking industry. Based on the transnational character of cybercrime, it had been concluded that majority of the banks in South Africa and many other countries are under threat of cybercrime, and therefore they need to coordinate and implement a unified effort to tackle the growing threat of cybercriminal activities in the banking industry.