Kenya has unveiled the National Computer and Cyber Crimes Coordination Committee with the Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i putting on notice cyber criminals engaging in digital banditry.
Speaking on Thursday during the unveiling of the Committee, CS Matiangi said the government will not shut the internet during the election period next year but will act decisively against any culprit regardless of status or political affiliation including misuse of digital technologies and social media.
“Train people to understand the complexity of the challenges we are facing. Cybersecurity is a major thing,” he said.
Matiang’i said digital-based crimes are a major challenge in the lead-up to 2022 elections noting that cybersecurity is key in driving any economy ahead.
“Train people to understand the complexity of the challenges we are facing. Cybersecurity is a major thing,” he said
He also called for investment in the cybersecurity industry to be able to match with other parts of the world and ensure safety.
According to the government, the abuse of social media is rampant with the committee being created under its new director is Evans Ombati of National Command Cyber Centre.
- 78% of Kenyan businesses experiencing increased Cyber threats
- Cyber attacks on the rise in Kenya
- Hundreds arrested in joint US-Nigeria crackdown on cyber scams
This comes at a time when frauds such as phishing, malware and ransomware attacks pose a threat to entire economies, governments, and human life.
Recently, ransomware attacks have become one of the biggest cybersecurity threats, affecting nearly all industries dependent on the internet to function, from healthcare institutions to supply chain networks and financial institutions, among others.
According to a 2019 research carried out by the Journal of Global InformationTechnology Management, a survey conducted among banks in Kenya, Rwanda,Uganda, Tanzania, and Zambia revealed that financial institutions were at high risk from cyber threats, such as hacking and ransomware attacks.
In 2016, Ghana’s financial institutions were reported to have experienced more than 400,000 incidents related to malware, 44 million related to spam emails, and 280,000 related to botnets.
A 2011 Deloitte study showed that only 40 percent of banks in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania were prepared against cyber-threats.
This means the safety of depositors’ funds and properties remains at risk, and further reduces trust in financial institutions, impacting the rates of inclusion, among other key factors.