Kenya pledges investments in cyber security as threats mount


Kenya will increase budgetary allocation to acquisition of new technologies and training to enhance response to cyber-attacks that pose increasing threats to the country, officials said Tuesday

Defence Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo said Kenya will boost security of its digital infrastructure amid threats from organized criminals.

“The exponential increase in internet penetration across the country has been accompanied by threats such as hacking. The government has recognized this challenge by increasing investments in cyber defense,” said Omamo.

She spoke in Nairobi during the launch of the 2017 Africa Cyber Security Report that revealed that Kenya’s public sector institutions and commercial enterprises lost 210 million U.S. dollars last year due to attacks on cyberspace.

The report authored by a Nairobi-based pan-African cyber security consulting firm Serianu disclosed that the world’s second largest continent lost 3.5 billion dollars in 2017 as cyber-attacks soared.

Kenya was among ten African countries covered in the report that sought to illustrate the magnitude of cyber threats in the continent amid weak deterrent measures.

Omamo said Kenya had established solid measures to help neutralize attacks aimed at state and privately-owned digital infrastructure.

“The government has established early warning systems to detect and deter cyber-crimes targeting our internet infrastructure,” said Omamo.

“We have increased public awareness, enacted several regulatory frameworks to ensure our cyber space is safe and secure,” she added.

Omamo noted that investment in cyber defenses could not only create jobs for unemployed but also innovative Kenyan youth.

John Sergon, CEO of ICT Authority, said the anticipated passage of a cyber-crimes bill in Kenyan parliament will boost the war against attacks on digital infrastructure owned by state agencies and industry.

“With a bill in place, we expect robust action on cyber-attacks whose frequency has intensified with adoption of emerging technologies like block chains and crypto currencies,” Sergon said. Enditem

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