12 July 2017

Ethiopia: Nation Strives to Protect Cyber-Crime

Nation is building reliable cyber security capacity to prevent any attack that it may encounter, said Information Network Security Agency (INSA).

It is building reliable cyber security capacity and systems for various institutions to enable them develop self-assessing capacity and active cyber defense mechanisms.

Sam Keiru is a Cyber Security Specialist for the United Nations of Africa told The Ethiopian Herald that technology is offering people a chance to improve their quality of lives. However, tech related crimes have become a major global threat.

Cyber crime has become one of the greatest threats of the age. So that protecting from very common cyberspace attacks is advisable through shutting all the possible doors and establishing effective security, he said.

An effective cyber security should have simple, open and automated security components. He said adding, "There needs to have prior consideration as 92 percent of the global data center traffic will come from the cloud (Cyber world or space) such as from Skype's, e-mail, viber, mobile and other digital technological products."

The specialist recommended that nations should build proper infrastructure to stay vigilant and safe as hackers set up infrastructure to attack their targets.

Senior Cyber Security Expert and Lecturer in the area Dr. Ahmed Hussen on his part said the government, to secure nation from the emerging cyber attacks, has enacted Cyber Crime law.

Ethiopia is late on implementing digital technology which is very crucial for development as it reduces costs through offering efficient and quality services. "However, we need to have a strong regulatory framework," the expert added.

To this effect he commented "The government should work with intellectuals, academicians and private stakeholders on creating awareness to institutions and the public at large as digitalization is changing the way ofpeople's life even at an individual level."

Cyber, ifnot managed properly, it causes colossal damages as seen in many countries. "As hackers' target financial and political institutions, as well as infrastructure dismantling activities, their economic cost is massive," he stated.

"We are novices in terms ofembracing digital structure and other domains such as electronic governance (e-governance)." Many sectors such as the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and other sectors, however, are undergoing a lot ofdevelopments on that regard he said adding that "Ifwe get hacked and data breached, I doubt ifwe have the required skills, procedures and capacities to withstand it."

The scope ofcyber attack is global as there is no border in the space and the consequence is incalculable. "Therefore, we have to think about security regulations and laws and protection rights before things going out ofhand," he underscored.

As to him, even though there are threats in the area, in this interconnected world, there is no other alternative other than deploying the technology. in a trusted and reliable way, to withstand emerging attacks, he capitalized.

SpecialAdvisor to ChiefDirector ofINSA Mohamed Endris also explained that high tech investments are important tools to realize various development programs ofthe nation. that it is advantageous to implement the technologies at the earliest.

"The need to promote cyber security strategies, set up legal frameworks, strengthen Public-Private Partnerships cooperation, and develop national capabilities is no longer optional," the Advisor further elaborated.

In this regard, the government ofEthiopia has given due focus to take the leadership initiative to build strong capacity on the area.

"With the focus to accelerating the required human capital development and fill the gaps of qualified workforce, Cyber Talent Development Institution has become operational." as he stated.

Moreover, he said Addis Ababa and Mekelle Universities are now offering PhD programs on the subject. "We are building capacity in key infrastructure areas to protect future cyber attacks."

According to the information from INSA, thousands ofattack trials are made to Ethiopia in every single day. And over the last nine months of the Ethiopian fiscal year alone the national Cyber Defense Force has handled 353 major attacks.

The trials were targeted in the areas ofmega infrastructure projects, websites, denial ofservice and illegal entry to various sectors and others which may probably otherwise have severe consequences.

It was learnt that the legal frameworks such as Telecom Fraud Offence Proclamation, Computer Crime Proclamation, National Spatial Information Technology Policy, Critical Mas Cyber Security Standard, National Information Security Policy have been introduced as part of the legal perspectives.

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