8 July 2014

Kenya: Cyber Security Issues Take Centre Stage at Fifth Kenya Internet Governance Forum

Photo: Tami Hultman / AllAfrica
Computers (file photo).

Cyber security was a key focus during the 5th Kenya Internet Governance Forum (KIGF) held last week at Strathmore University under the theme 'Connecting Counties for Enhanced Multi-stakeholder Internet Governance'.

The key points raised at the forum - which brought together representatives from government, private sector, civil society, academia as well as the internet community - revolved around the emerging legal issues and challenges relating cyber security. According to the Kenya Cyber Security Strategy released in February 2014, criminal organizations and hack-tivists from all over the world are - and will continue - to exploit ICT vulnerabilities in Kenya as the country matures into an Information Society, adding that country faces an increasingly evolving cyber threat landscape. Currently, Kenya ranks fifth in terms of hacking globally.

To deal with the threat of cyber insecurity and protect data, Kenya's ICT Ministry developed the National Cyber Security Strategy which defines Kenya's cyber security vision, key objectives, and ongoing commitment to support national priorities by encouraging ICT growth and aggressively protecting critical IT infrastructure.

Angela Ng'ang'a, corporate affairs manager for East and Southern Africa, Microsoft said: "The choices we make will be critical in how the cyberspace evolves. There is need to develop a clear cyber security strategy as the cyber attacks have become more sophisticated."

She added that the threats are expected to increase with the increased access to the internet as well as increased uptake of cloud computing solutions and big data.

Dr Joseph Seville, director, @iLabAfrica pointed out that there is need to develop local expertise by improving knowledge of technical issues and skills to fight crime on cyberspace, along with creating awareness on the importance of such training.

In recent years, the government, financial institutions and other key players in the private sector have suffered from various forms of cyber-related crime, with financial institutions losing millions in revenue due to poor cyber security systems and lack of proper guidelines on how to deal with the incidences.

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