By Chrispinus Omar NAIROBI, (Xinhua) — Cyber security experts from the world are due to meet in Nairobi next week for an international conference aimed at assessing the readiness of Kenya to combat cybercrime.
The Kenya 2014 Cyber Security Conference will provide an opportunity to review the outcomes from the previous conference, chart a way forward as well as disseminate advancements and trends in the security sector, organizers said on Tuesday in Nairobi.
“We have noted that the trend globally is for a public private partnership approach to solving cybercrime problems,” said William Makatiani, Managing Director of Serianu Limited, a local cyber security consulting and intelligence firm.
Serianu Limited has teamed up with experts from Canada, Singapore, South Africa, India and the United States to organize the conference.
The June 11 conference is a follow up to the inaugural conference held in 2012 that provided a basis/benchmark for the state of cyber security readiness in the country and region.
Makatiani said the forum will discuss the impact of the new national cyber security master plan developed by the Government and other initiatives driven by COMESA and African Union (AU).
“With more governments realizing that the threats could be from outside their borders and as the relevant institutions work on legislation to enable apprehension and prosecution of cybercriminals, it is likely that broader multinational agreements facilitating actions including extradition will be necessary,” Makatiani said.
The conference comes a week after experts in Internet crime warned terrorists are using the country’s cyberspace to coordinate their attacks due to lack of necessary laws and capacity to deal with thriving cybercrimes.
The experts meeting in Kenya’s Mombasa also said the country’s criminal justice system lacks skills to deal with cybercrime and this is also contributing to its rampant increase.
They affiliated to the Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) deliberated on ICT and security in light of increased terror attacks in the country.
During the June 11 conference, Serianu will launch its latest cyber security report dubbed Kenya Cyber Security Report 2014 that contains a comprehensive analysis of the most vulnerable organizations, and the extent to which cybercrime is a problem in Kenya.
The report 2014 is prepared by the Serianu Cyber Threat Intelligence Team in partnership with Telecommunications Service Providers Association of Kenya (TESPOK) and United States International University (USIU) Africa’s Center for Informatics Research and Innovation (CIRI), at the School of Science and Technology.
According to Makatiani, criminals target computers and the information stored and transmitted in the networks. Cyber security has widely come to be regarded as an element of national security and the upcoming conference is designed to generate workable solutions that are also cost effective and easily implemented.
Associate Director at the USIU-CIRI Paula Musuva Kigen said while technology adoption has increased business innovation and growth in Kenya, it has also exposed the country to emerging threats.
“Cyber-terrorists, spies, hackers, and thieves are increasingly motivated to target Kenya’s ICT infrastructure due to the increasing value of information it holds,” she said.
Kenya’s growing ICT infrastructure has resulted in the use of systems and networks to connect various organizations easing the process of obtaining information, communicating, and controlling these systems across great distances.
A vast number of applications have also been incorporated into virtually every sector of the country’s critical infrastructure.
But the reality of external threat continues to loom every day. Today, it is possible for a malicious agent to penetrate millions of computers around the world in a matter of minutes.
Kigen said to successfully combat cyber-criminal activity there is a need for the private sector and government to work together to understand emerging threats and to develop proactive modern security solutions to safeguard the Internet and physical infrastructure that relies on it.
The key note presentation will be presented by senior executives from e-COP, one of the leading Asian managed security services provider headquartered in Singapore.