THE government is reviewing the current Information and Communication Technology (ICT) policy in quest to incorporate other relevant issues, including addressing cyber crime, reported to be on the increase.
The Deputy Minister for Communications, Science and Technology, Mr January Makamba, said that the current policy that was formed in 2003 was too old-fashioned to address challenges in the sector. "There are so many players in ICT industry, number of mobile phones subscribers has tremendously gone up.
We also have national fibre optic cable, all these were not addressed in the 2003 ICT policy, we therefore need new policy to deal with them," Mr Makamba said. Officiating at the web security training in Bagamoyo over the weekend, Mr Makamba said that cyber crime was now threatening operations of various government and non-government's websites thus it was vital to set a system that would address it.
The training was organised by Twiga Hosting Ltd to enable webmasters, IT managers, specialists and web developers improve their capacity to eliminate the security holes from their website and web systems to avoid being hacked. Mr Makamba also officially inaugurated the website www.esecurity.co.tz that is meant to offer services to prevent websites and web systems from hacking attacks.
"The website has come at a time that the country needed control hacking attacks, the government is determined to back up all efforts meant to address these cybercrimes," he said, adding that, the ministry would soon release a draft on new ICT policy that would also among other thing, emphasize on web security.
He said that even the government websites were not properly managed thus the ministry wanted to ensure that all webs are secured and improved. On his side, Twiga Hosting Ltd Managing Director Jacob Urasa said that over 80 per cent of the website and web applications in the world were at risk of being hacked thus having knowledge on how to deal with such attacks was vital.
"Many websites and web applications are vulnerable to security threat including the government's and non- government's websites, we are therefore cautious to ensure that the problem is checked," Mr Urasa said. Citing some of the reasons leading to hacking, he said inadequate auditing in website and web applications caused by lack of standard security auditing were among problems that many Web developers faced.
As IT experts, Mr Urasa said that they have come up with the solution to solve those issues by establishing standard auditing procedures by measuring security and testing Website's authentication scheme.
One of the participants from Tanzania Standard Newspapers Ltd (TSN), Mr Richard Kazimoto who is the company's webmaster, said that web security in Tanzania was still very low thus sending dire picture that many webs were at a serious risk of being hacked.
He said that technology was growing too fast with Tanzania taking up the technology at an early stage and implemented without considering security issues thus making the country vulnerable to web hacking attacks. Mr Kazimoto added that working as a webmaster for authoritative and up-to-theminute websites--www.dailynews. co.tz and www.habarileo. co.tz for state-owned media house required more and deliberate skills to fight the hackers.