In recent years, the technology landscape in Kenya has seen tremendous growth. This can be said to have been as a result of the digital wave that has hit Kenya as from 2012.
According to the Quarterly Statistics Report for the Financial Year of 2016, over 26.7 million Kenyans are currently online and engaging in digital transactions daily. Kenya also boasts the largest mobile money transaction service in the World. According to UN Research, at least one out of ten mobile money transactions in the World occur in Kenya.
These statistics make Kenya rank higher as a target for cyber criminals who, according to the National Cyber security Strategy, published by the Ministry of ICT, have continued to evolve in terms of the complexity and brutality of their attacks.
The socio-economic impact has been massive. According to Kenya Cyber Security Report 2016 by Serianu, the estimated cost of cybercrime in Kenya stood at $175 million a sharp increase from $100 million from the previous year. This cost continues to grow as many organizations automate their processes. The most affected sectors are banking and other financial institutions which have lost huge amounts of money due to the introduction of mobile and e-services.
We are all aware of the recent malware attack that has taken the world by storm. The Wannacry Ransomware has caused most Chief Information Officers sleepless nights as businesses continue to lose millions in paying huge ransoms to the attackers.
Africa has not been spared either and Kenya is among the countries that have reported several attacks. Following the adoption of digital technologies by most companies, hackers have identified and noticed this change and are utilizing the vulnerabilities present in these technologies.
According to research done by Serianu, the largest contributor of direct losses to cybercrime is insider threat. Most organizations don’t budget on awareness and training of the staff. The hackers use this knowledge and exploit staff to cause security breaches.
In order to stay ahead of the threat, we need to be vigilant and invest in research, build threat management infrastructure, invest in awareness and staff training and enhance our ability to anticipate and detect security threats by investing in security solutions.
It is crucial that organizations budget on security training programs where issues such as phishing scams, email and internet usage best practices as well as best password practices.
It is also important for organizations to adopt a culture of continuous risk assessment to check for vulnerabilities and patch them in time. Use of antivirus and firewall software is also crucial to detect and remove malware.
With the increase of workload on the security teams, it is important for organizations to consider the option of engaging managed services providers. These providers are experts in security and will dedicate their time to your organization therefore anticipating any security threats before infection.
Manage IT Africa is a recognized IT solutions provider in Kenya that has partnered with some of the largest security providers such as Eset and Sophos to provide their security expertise to organizations. Manage IT Africa is also involved in suggesting cyber security practices to organizations which want to stay ahead of cyber crime.
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