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Government tightens security following cyber attack

By Fredrick Obura | Published Wed, May 17th 2017 at 12:11, Updated May 17th 2017 at 12:16 GMT +3

Nairobi, Kenya: The Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology has reassured the public that the government computer systems and networks are secure following the recent WannaCry Ransomware attack that hit the world on Friday, May 14.

Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru said on Tuesday, that the government was keenly following developments on the encryption malware which effectively disabled over 200,000 computers running the Windows operating system in over 150 countries.

“We have heightened our cyber monitoring and surveillance mechanisms to prevent and eliminate any remote possibility of attack”, explained Mucheru.

He was speaking at the Cyber-Security and Banking Forum organized by Citibank and the ICT Authority, where he challenged the financial services sector to improve information sharing and reporting on Cyber-security breaches.

“Breach notification eliminates the clandestine attempts by hackers to attack systems and enables synergised efforts towards the prevention of the criminal activity as well as their prosecution”, he said.

The ICT CS added that this would also aid in quantifying the exposure and resilience of organisations both in public and private sector to cyber security incidents.

Michael Mutiga, Managing Director, Corporate and Investment Banking at Citibank said that the creation of a shared industry reporting structure was the next phase in the evolution of Cyber-security awareness in Kenya.

The Kenya Cyber Security Report 2016 by Serianu indicated that about 44 percent of financial institutions run on a cyber-security budget of a paltry USD1 to USD1,000 annually, whilst another 33 percent of financial institutions in Kenya have zero spending on all matters cyber security. The report further noted that a whopping USD175 million has been pilfered from Kenya’s economy by savvy cybercriminals.

“We must ensure that our aspirations for innovation in the various sectors of the economy are matched with prudent security risk management especially in the Fintech services area” concluded Mucheru.

Estimates show that cybercrime could cost the global economy up to USD575 billion in 2017. 

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