State agencies and private firms must take a keen interest in what their young employees and ICT experts are doing behind their computers as Kenya anticipates a rise in corporate security threats in the coming year.
This is after a new report by the National Crime and Research Centre (NCRC) on cybercrimes committed in the country has fingered the duo followed by prisoners as eading perpetrators of these crimes in the country.
According to the report dubbed Information Communication Technology Crimes and Offence in Kenya, the youth account for 50.1 per cent of the crimes reported; ICT experts (43.9 per cent and inmates and/or prisoners (23.1 per cent).
Other groups implicated in these cyber offensives include students, hackers, and even internal staff in some institutions.
“The most prevalent offenses include identity theft and impersonation, computer fraud, interception of electronic messages or money transfers, and unauthorized access. These crimes have significant consequences, leading to financial loss, psychological distress, reputational damage, and even loss of life in extreme cases,” the report states.
Perpetrators’ lead targets include financial, education, and telecommunications sectors followed by major business players, the elderly, and illiterate individuals whose vulnerabilities have continually made them victims of these attacks.
“The financial sector is the hardest hit with 68.4 per cent of cases involving online banking fraud and phishing attacks, while the education sector faces significant threats at 27.8 per cent affecting universities and colleges, highlighting the importance of protecting academic data.”
“Telecommunication companies are also targeted at 27.0 per cent, emphasising the critical need for network security to safeguard both companies and customers,” the report says.
The illiterate/uninformed and elderly persons are mainly affected through identity theft, impersonation, and interception of their electronic messages or money transfers.
“Digital money transfers, including popular platforms like M-Pesa, account for 26.5 per cent of the cases, necessitating improved verification processes. The Business, Trade, and Commerce sectors at 23.1 per cent are vulnerable to cybercrimes, impacting the Kenyan economy from small businesses to large trade operations. Governmental bodies are not spared at 14.0 per cent posing risks to public services and national security.”
Crimes targeting the digital and social media platforms are related to misinformation and privacy violations, demanding increased vigilance in these areas.
“Overall, the diverse range of affected sectors emphasises the crucial need for comprehensive cybersecurity measures in Kenya,” the report warns.