Zimbabwe: Isoc Zim Seeks to Scale Up Cyber Security Awareness

Cyber security has become a topical issue across the world especially given the convergence of world economies and global politics.

However, most developing countries continue to lag behind in cyber security practice and awareness even under the much-talked about global village world order.

To that end, the Internet Society of Zimbabwe (ISOC Zimbabwe) is running a cyber-security awareness campaign during the month of October under the theme

#BeCyberSmart.

According to ISOC Zimbabwe Chapter's head of committee policy and governance Wadzanai Chihombori Ndlovu, the aim of the campaign is to empower individuals and organisations to play their role in protecting their part of cyberspace.

"Cyber security must be a concern for every organisation, individual and government and the Internet Society of Zimbabwe is doing all it can to bring members up to speed with developments in the regulation of cyber security in Zimbabwe," Ndlovu said.

"We are, therefore, going to host a Webinar on Friday, October 16, with various experts who will help us unpack issues around cyber security and ensure that authorities and citizens at large can gain meaningful awareness for policy direction and compliance."

The Friday Webinar will run under the theme, Understanding the cyber security discourse in Zimbabwe: What we are learning and where we are going.

Speakers will include Solomon Hopewell Tembo, an IoT and data science specialist, who is past president of ISOC Zimbabwe and IoT Mbare Makerspace, Simbarashe Machiridza, a legal practitioner and executive member of Zimbabwe Network Operators Group (Zimnog), as well as Cade Zvavanjanja, the Zimbabwe Internet Governance Forum (ZIGF) president.

According to Commercial & Industrial Security Corporation (CISCO), cyber-attacks are usually aimed at accessing, changing, or destroying sensitive information; extorting money from users; or interrupting normal business processes, thus efforts by ISOC Zimbabwe will go a long way in ensuring meaningful awareness and cyber security for all.

However, implementing effective cyber security measures is particularly challenging today because there are more devices than people, and attackers are becoming more innovative.

According to ISOC Zimbabwe president Jasper Mangwana, the organisation is doing all it can to ensure collaboration and dialogue for safer internet usage.

"As ISOC, we sometimes develop the appropriate mechanisms of participation, collaboration and dialogue to propose how to build trust, prosperity and security on the internet, and balance national security issues with fundamental and human rights such as privacy and freedom of expression," Mangwana said.

"We also hope our engagements during the Webinar will also enable innovation to foster the deployment of emerging technologies under the strictest privacy, data protection and security standards, especially given the fact that October is cyber security awareness month."

Mangwana also highlighted that his organisation is following parliamentary debates on cyber security and was hoping that through the Webinar they will add technological perspectives for the common good.

"We are also following parliamentary debates and we would want through this Webinar to have a discourse with technological perspectives and also present a legal perspective as we unpack and learn more about the Bill," he said.

"The ISOC Zimbabwe Chapter has made a concerted effort to ensure members engage on topical issues around use and access to the internet this year and to that end has engaged members on the development of cyber security legislation and continues to do so."

ISOC Zimbabwe is part of the global Internet Society (ISOC) and was recently awarded gigabit status for its efforts in ensuring equal and affordable access to the internet as a tool for development and empowerment for all.

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