The Advancement of 4IR Technologies and Increasing Cyberattacks in South Africa




Fourth industrial revolution, advanced technologies, digital business, digital transformation, cyberattacks, cybersecurity


The fourth industrial revolution (4IR) is an era characterised by accelerated technological progress. Even though access to 4IR technologies is not yet widespread, in the current era, 4IR technologies affect socio-economic activities and digital business. The pace of digital transformation also has some implications for cybersecurity. The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of these 4IR technologies on cyberattacks in South Africa. The study used qualitative data collection methods, namely, interviews and document collection. Purposive and convenience sampling were used to select the study participants. An analysis of the collected data yielded four major findings. A major tenet of these findings was that there is a correlation between the advancement of 4IR technologies and the rapid increase in cyberattacks in South Africa. The study has made theoretical and practical contributions as well as some essential contributions to digital transformation and cybersecurity theories. The findings and recommendations of the study can be used in other countries in southern Africa. One recommendation is for business executives to implement certain measures to strengthen cybersecurity in their organisations. Further, policymakers in South Africa are advised to ensure that public policies and law enforcement agencies are able to use advanced technologies to prevent and deal with cyberattacks.


Brynjolfson, E., and A. McFee. 2014. Second Machine Age: Work, Progress and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies. New York: W.W. Norton.

Calland, R., and M. Sithole. 2022. The Presidents: From Mandela to Ramaphosa, Leadership in the Age of Crisis. Cape Town: Penguin Books.

Campbell, D. 2005. E-Commerce and the Law of Digital. London: Oxford University Press.

Chaka, C. 2023. “Fourth Industrial Revolution: A Review of Applications, Prospects, and Challenges for Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Blockchain in Higher Education.” Research and Practice in Technology Enhanced Learning 18 (2): 1–39. DOI:

Corallo, A., M. Lazoi, M. Lezzi, and A. Luperto. 2022. “Cybersecurity Awareness in the Context of Industrial Internet of Things: A Systematic Literature Review.” Computers in Industry 137 (4): 1–16. DOI:

Crume, J. 2000. Inside Internet Security: What Hackers Don’t Want You to Know. New York: Addison-Wesley.

Dagada, R. 2013. “Digital Banking Security, Risk and Credibility Concerns in South Africa.” Paper presented at the Second International Conference on Cyber Security, Cyber Peacefare and Digital Forensic (CyberSec2013), Kuala Lumpur, 4–6 March.

Dagada, R. 2021. Digital Business Governance in the Era of Fourth Industrial Revolution in South Africa. Pretoria: Unisa Press.

Dagada, R. 2022a. “The Luddites Are Back: But Both Technology and Humans Shall Prevail.” In Research in Southern African Digital Business, edited by G. J. Lee and R. Dagada, 269–290. Johannesburg: Silk Route Press.

Dagada, R. 2022b. “A Chequered Journey en route to Digital Business: Lessons from the South African Banking Sector.” In Research in Southern African Digital Business, edited by G. J. Lee and R. Dagada, 291–322. Johannesburg: Silk Route Press.

De Kare-Silver, M. 2001. E-Shock: The New Rules – Internet Strategies for Retailers and Manufacturers. New York: Amacom Books.

Diamandis, P. H., and S. Kotler. 2020. The Future Is Faster Than You Think: How Converging Technologies Are Transforming Business, Industries, and Our Lives. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Dunlop, A. J. S. 2005. “South Africa.” In E-Commerce and the Law of Digital Signatures, edited by D. Campbell, 559–578. London: Oxford University Press.

Fang, Y., and I. Qureshi. 2014. “Trust, Satisfaction, and Online Repurchase Intention: The Moderating Role of Perceived Effectiveness of E-Commerce Institutional Mechanisms.” MIS Quarterly 38 (2): 407–438. DOI:

Fourie, J. 2021. Our Long Walk to Economic Freedom: Lessons from 100 000 Years of Human History. Cape Town: Tafelberg. DOI:

Gavaza, M. 2020. “South Africa Number Three on World List of Most Cybercrime Victims.” BusinessDay, May 29.

Gcaza, N., and R. von Solms. 2017. “A Strategy for a Cybersecurity Culture. A South African Perspective.” Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries 80 (1): 1–17. DOI:

Ghimire, B., and D. B. Rawat. 2022. “Recent Advances on Federated Learning for Cybersecurity for Federated Learning for Internet of Things.” IEEE Internet of Things Journal 9 (11): 8229–8249. DOI:

Greenhalgh, T., and R. Taylor. 1997. “Papers That Go Beyond Numbers (Qualitative Research).” British Medical Journal 315 (7110): 740–743. DOI:

Holden, P. 2023. Zondo at Your Fingertips. Johannesburg: Jacana.

Jackis, K., and S. M. Abass. 2019. “Developing History of the World Wide Web.” International Journal of Scientific and Technology Research 8 (9): 75–79.

Kenny, N., A. Doyle, and F. Horgan. 2023. “Transformative Inclusion: Differentiating Qualitative Research Methods to Support Participation for Individuals with Complex Communication or Cognitive Profiles.” International Journal of Qualitative Methods 22 (5): 1–17. DOI:

Li, Y., and S. Zhang. 2022. “Qualitative Data Analysis.” In Applied Research Methods in Urban and Regional Planning, edited by Y. Li and S. Zhang, 149–165. Cham: Springer. DOI:

Mabunda, S. 2021. “Cybersecurity in South Africa: Towards Best Practices.” In CyberBRICS Countries, edited by L. Belli, 227–270. Cham: Springer. DOI:

Maiwald, E. 2004. Fundamentals of Network Security. New York: McGraw-Hill Technology Education.

Merriam, B. S. 1998. Qualitative Research and Case Study Applications in Education. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Mijwil, M., O. J. Unogwu, Y. Filali, I. Bala, and H. Al-Shahwani. 2023. “Exploring the Top Five Evolving Threats in Cybersecurity: An In-Depth Overview.” Mesopotamian Journal of Cybersecurity, 57–63. DOI:

Netshakhuma, N. S. 2023. “Cybersecurity Management in South Africa Universities.” In Cybersecurity Issues, Challenges, and Solutions in the Business World, edited by N. S. Netshakhuma, 196–211. Hershey: IGI Global. DOI:

Othman, K. 2022. “Exploring the Implications of Autonomous Vehicles: A Comprehensive Review.” Innovative Infrastructure Solutions 7 (2): a165. DOI:

Paulus, T. M. 2023. “Using Qualitative Data Analysis Software to Support Digital Research Workflows.” Human Resources Development Review 22 (1): 139–148. DOI:

Saura, J. R., D. Palacios-Marques, and B. Barbosa. 2023. “A Review of Digital Family Businesses: Setting Marketing Strategies, Business Models and Technology Applications.” International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research 29 (1): 144–165. DOI:

Schoonenboom, J. 2023. “The Fundamental Difference between Qualitative and Quantitative Data in Mixed Methods Research.” Forum: Qualitative Social Research 24 (1): a11.

Schwab, K. 2017. The Fourth Industrial Revolution. London: Penguin Books.

Sharikov, P. 2023. “Contemporary Cybersecurity Challenges.” In The Implications of Emerging Technologies in the Euro-Atlantic Space, edited by J. Berghofer, A. Futter, C. Häusler, M. Hoell and J. Nosál, 143–157. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan. DOI:

Shrivastava, S. R., and P. S. Shrivastava. 2023. “Data Collection Process in Qualitative Research: Challenges and Potential Solutions.” Medical Journal of Dr DY Patil University 16 (3): 443–445. DOI:

Steiger, S. 2022. “Cyber Securities and Cyber Security Politics.” In Cyber Security Politics, edited by M. Dunn Cavelty and A. Wenger, 141–153. London: Routledge. DOI:

Sutherland, E. 2017. “Governance of Cybersecurity: The Case of South Africa.” African Journal of Information and Communication 20: 83–112. DOI:

Truman, S. E. 2023. “Undisciplined: Research-Creation and What It May Offer (Traditional) Qualitative Research Methods.” Qualitative Inquiry 29 (1): 95–104. DOI:




How to Cite

Dagada, Rabelani. “The Advancement of 4IR Technologies and Increasing Cyberattacks in South Africa”. Southern African Journal of Security, 27 pages.



Received 2023-10-31
Accepted 2024-02-05
Published 2024-03-06