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Kenya steps up fight against cybercrime

SCI & TECH
By Fredrick Obura | November 8th 2020

Dr. Vincent Ogutu, Vice-Chancellor Designate-Strathmore University cuts ribon (PHOTO: Courtesy)

NAIROBI, KENYA: The government has challenged businesses and corporations to develop and in-still measures in curbing cyber threats.

ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru said the attacks are real emanating from the high unemployment rate among tech-savvy youth and policy gaps among others.

“The Communications Authority, an agency within my ministry, attributes the increase in the number of cybersecurity threats to the global increase in malware that includes ransomware other attribution include the high level of unemployment amongst highly skilled tech-savvy youth, policy regulatory and enforcement gaps, weak cybersecurity mechanisms and standards within organisations as well as the yawning gap in cybersecurity skills in our region,” he said.

“I encourage businesses and corporations alike to develop and instil their own measures in curbing cyber threats. I support the six elements within the cyber resilience strategy that is,  Prepare, Protect, Train, Detect, Respond, and Recover.”

He spoke at the launch of TAI Security Operations Centre an initiative by Strathmore University, ACPM Ltd based in Hungary, and BCK Kenya

The centre is dedicated to offering real-time monitoring and advanced contextual analysis to proactively prevent, detect, and address security threats for local Kenyan businesses.

The launch of the TAI Security Operations Centre is a timely response to the massive increase in cybercrimes across the country. The National Kenya Computer Incident Response Team and Coordination Centre detected over 48.5 Million cyber-attacks between January 2020 and June 2020.

Some of the most prominent cybercrimes in Kenya being false publications, phishing attacks, malware, money transfer fraud, credit card fraud, and cyber-terrorism. From non-governmental organizations, government agencies, e-commerce platforms, financial institutions such as banks, SACCOs cyber threats are proving to be a common menace for all.

The theme of the launch event “‘The Kenyan Cybersecurity Landscape- How well prepared are Kenyan Businesses?” was a reflection on the evolution of the cybersecurity industry, how external factors affect the growth of the sector, and the impact of cyber- attacks on Kenyan businesses.  

The unique collaboration is a renewed multilateral partnership between Kenya and Hungary.

Judy Galambos - Charge De Affairs of the Hungarian Embassy in Kenya said: “The main strategies from our embassy is to promote the Hungarian small, medium and middle-sized enterprises and help them intensify their trade development and collaborations with this part of the world and so far it is working and it is the reason we are standing here today launching the TAI SOC Collaboration.”

Mr. Marton Miklos - CEO, ACPM IT Consulting said “according to research Africa as a region shows massive growth in advance massive cyber-attack due to an increase in internet and mobile devices. Industry such as banking, mining, education, and telecommunication companies are all suffering from cyber-attacks in this region. Cybercriminals are also taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic with new types of cyber-attacks affecting organisations in financial, healthcare and government agencies that deal with sensitive data, therefore, information protection is the top priority for corporations, and SOC as a service will soon be a good adoption to ensure that data exchange is safe. He further added, “Building cybersecurity resilience for the Kenyan Businesses is imperative for business and economic growth.”

TAI SOC aims to implement an organizational (internal) Computer Incident Response Team (CIRT), which will assist our clients and co-ordinate with the National KE-CIRT/CC to expose and avert cyberattacks targeting local organizations through actionable advisories and alerts.

"We shouldn’t ask our customers to make a tradeoff between privacy and security. We need to offer them the best of both. Ultimately, protecting someone else’s data protects all of us" Mr. Pat Muthui Director BCK Kenya Limited. "Today your defenses will work, tomorrow it's never guaranteed. This is why we need cybersecurity as a service, to solve challenges as they come". He added.

In addressing the immense skills gap in the industry, Dr. Joseph Sevilla Director, @iLabAfrica- Strathmore University commented “If we want to want to make a difference in the Cybersecurity world, we need to encourage young people to invest in academics as well as the business world.”

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