Africa should unite to fight cybercrime | #cybercrime | #infosec

It is crucial for Africa to work together, share experiences and foster a collaborative approach to cyber governance. At the same time, countries must focus and develop strategies on growing online security breaches that have become a pressing concern and hindrance to development.

In particular, countries must build the required capabilities and partnerships to effectively deal with the increasing frequency, complexity and severity of cybersecurity incidents.

Cyber technology is significant and has brought an unprecedented level of connectivity. Technology has changed various aspects of life, from financial transactions to education, agriculture and healthcare. However, the innovations need to be safe for people to benefit from them. 

Governments and companies in Africa and around the world are increasingly digitalising services, as different aspects of people’s lives depend on digital tools more than ever.

There are potential threats in cyber technology, particularly regarding data security, and robust measures including data protection and regulations are required to safeguard individuals’ information.

Efforts must be made to ensure technology benefits the people. More so, government services must be better. People must feel that they can transact with the government and with each other. They must feel secure that their information is private, where it needs to be private.

As attack vectors expand, countries must learn from each other and use their collective expertise, resources and efforts to combat malicious actors. In particular, countries must work together to battle the scourge of cyber threats.

Rwanda has responded to increasing threats by strengthening its response capabilities in both the private and public sectors while building partnerships with foreign governments and organisations. 

South Africa has a national cyber security policy and implementation plan that provides holistic approach to the promotion of cyber security. 

Similarly, Kenya is implementing various policies and initiatives to improve cybersecurity. The country enacted cybercrimes and data protection laws as a response to the challenges and risks that threaten security and digital transformation.

Noteworthy, 39 out of the 54 African countries have established cyber security legislation. However, the laws and regulations need to be harmonised, and the cybersecurity gap needs to be closed.

Raphael Obonyo, public policy analyst

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National Cyber Security