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#nationalcybersecuritymonth | What’s been done to fight cybercrime in East Africa

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

East Africa attracts millions of tourists every year. Over the past 10 years, its earnings from tourism have doubled. Compared to the rest of Africa, the region is experiencing healthy economic growth. This makes it a promising investment destination.

Factors like regional tourism, movement of workers and technology development have catalysed East African integration and cross-border banking.

Many cross-border banks originate from Kenya with branches across the region. One example is Kenya’s Equity Bank, which relies heavily on digital technology. The digital space has many positive attributes but the threat of cybercrime and insecurity is prevalent.

Uganda lost 42 million shillings to cybercrime in 2017. In 2018, Rwanda lost 6 billion francs. In Kenya, between April and June 2019 alone, the country experienced 26.6 million cyber threats.

Across the region, with the increase of digital banking, financial institutions have become targets. These institutions are attractive to cyber criminals because they hold the biggest cash reserves. Africa’s digital infrastructure is ill-equipped to manage the continent’s growing cyber-security risk.

Equity is a pioneer in online and mobile banking with technology that merges banking and telephony. However, it recently suffered a cyber-attack. Last month, Rwandan authorities arrested a cybercrime syndicate comprising eight Kenyans, three Rwandans and a Ugandan. The syndicate had attempted to hack into the Equity Bank system. The group has been involved in similar attacks in Kenya and Uganda.

Early in the year, Kenya’s director of criminal investigation issued warrants of arrest against 130 suspected hackers and fraudsters for alleged banking fraud.

These incidents show that financial losses to cyber insecurity are a growing threat to East Africa’s economy.

Cybercrime occurs through the use of computers, computer technology or the internet. It often results in identity theft, theft of money, sale of contraband, cyber stalking or disruption of operations.

Within East Africa, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda are taking steps to manage the huge cybercrime risk. But the cyber attack on Equity Bank is proof that these countries need to do more to protect their financial institutions from massive losses going forward.

Regional instruments

The African Union’s Convention on Cyber Security and Personal Data Protection is East Africa’s overarching policy guideline on cybercrime. It was adopted by member states in 2014. The Convention is similar to the Council of Europe’s Cyber Crime Convention which established a cyber security on the European continent.

Rwanda signed the Convention earlier this year, but it’s the only East African country to have done so.

The Convention requires member states to share responsibility by instituting cyber security measures that consider the correlation between data protection and cybercrime. These measures will keep data safe from cyber criminals and preempt its misuse by third parties. It also encourages the establishment of national computer emergency response teams.

The Convention advocates closer cooperation between government and business.

The Convention also creates a provision for dual criminality. This means that cybercrime suspects can be tried either in the country where the crime was committed or in their home country. This provision is meant to ensure smooth cooperation and sidestep any conflict of laws.

There is also a provision on mutual legal assistance. This allows for member states to share intelligence and collaborate on investigations.

Even though Uganda and Kenya aren’t yet signatories, they have nevertheless been establishing legal and policy frameworks provided for under the convention. Rwanda is doing so too, and as a signatory is one step ahead.

Rwandan approach

In 2015, Rwanda came up with a national cyber security policy that established a National Computer Security and Response Centre. The centre detects, prevents and responds to cyber security threats. And in 2016, the Regulatory Board of Rwanda Utilities rolled out network security regulations to protect the privacy of subscribers. They also empower the government to regulate and monitor internet operators and service providers.

The country also has a National Cyber Contingency Plan to handle cyber crises.

Further, Rwanda’s telecom network security regulations require service providers to secure their services by protecting their infrastructure. Every service provider must be licensed and must guarantee the confidentiality and integrity of their services. They must also set up incident management teams. These teams work with the government to manage cyber security threats effectively.

Additionally, Rwanda passed an information and communication technology law in 2016. This contains provisions on computer misuse and cybercrime which criminalise unauthorised access to data.

The country has managed to build the foundations of a strong regulatory framework. It has also taken measures to raise awareness around cyber security. In fact, in the attack on Equity Bank, the authorities acted on a tip from members of the public.

Kenyan measures

In 2014, Kenya launched its National Cyber Security Strategy to raise cyber security awareness and equip Kenya’s workforce to address cyber security needs.

In line with this strategy, Kenya amended its information and communications law to criminalise unauthorised access to computer data.

Kenya has also set up a national computer incident response coordination centre to consolidate key cyber infrastructure and create pathways for regional and international partnership.

Generally, Kenya has a robust cyber security policy which includes a legal and regulatory framework. The result has been that impending cyber attacks are discovered before massive damage is done and ongoing attacks are rapidly arrested.

Uganda’s security

Uganda has legislation to protect cyber security. This includes the Computer Misuse Act which ensures the safety and security of electronic transactions and information systems, and the Regulation of Interception of Communications Act to monitor suspicious communications. It also has a national computer emergency response team.

This regulatory framework is similar to those in Kenya and Rwanda. But in addition, Uganda has a National Information and Technology Authority that provides technical support and cyber security training. It also regulates standards and utilisation of information technology in both the public and private sectors. These measures have boosted the countries’ cyber security strategy.

While Uganda has these measures in place, Kenya and Rwanda are two of the top three cyber secure countries in Africa.

Moving ahead

Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda have taken solid steps to harmonise cybersecurity processes, data protection, and collaborative prosecution and investigation measures.

They have criminalised cybercrime and established frameworks to manage cyber attacks. International cooperation within the region has also enhanced cyber security.

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#nationalcybersecuritymonth | GLACY+: Inter-Ministerial Round Table on cyber security and cybercrime in West Africa, Ghana an ECOWAS best practice

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

An Inter-Ministerial Round Table on cyber security and cybercrime in West Africa was held in Accra, Ghana, as high-level event of the Climax Week of the National Cyber Security Awareness Month. The meeting gathered together Ministers, diplomats and other dignitaries of countries from the ECOWAS Region, including Ministers from Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Niger, Sierra Leone. The meeting was chaired by the Minister for Communication of Ghana, co-chaired by ECOWAS and the Council of Europe, and attended by additional participants coming from Embassies of Burkina Faso Togo and Benin, Ministry of Communications of Nigeria, U.S. Department of State, UK High Commission.


A declaration was prepared in the end of the meeting, reporting the main take aways of the day, and will be formally submitted by the Ghanaian government to the next gathering of the ECOWAS Technical Committee.


During the meeting, ECOWAS Commission endorsed Ghana as the champion in the region on cyber security and cybercrime matters, requesting the country to act as “ambassador” in the field and share best practices with neighboring countries.


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Africa Cyber Defense Summit 2018

General Cybersecurity Conference

 July 9 – 10, 2018 | Nairobi, Kenya

Cybersecurity Conference Description 

The World Economic Outlook 2017 has recognized that Africa currently hosts some of the fastest growing economies in the world and that the entire continent is set for a huge economic transformation. Information and communication technology and cyberspace are key enablers of African national visions including Kenya’s Vision 2030 which aims to use science, technology and innovation to transform Kenya into an industrialized and secure middle-income country.

Given the role of ICTs in Africa’s rapid economic growth, cybersecurity breaches and attacks have the potential to slow down development. It is urgent and important to drive vigorous African cybersecurity dialogue and action to enable the continent to secure our critical infrastructure and protect our sensitive data.

It is with this in mind that the Ministry of ICT, Kenya, the International Telecommunications Union and the African Union have partnered with Naseba and the Africa Cyberspace Network to hold the Africa Cyber Defence Summit scheduled for 09-10 July, 2018 at KICC, Nairobi, where over 300 delegates from across Africa and partners from across the globe will sit together address cybersecurity issues, enhance our continental cybersecurity strategies and promote cybersecurity-oriented businesses.


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OWASP AppSec Africa 2018

Source: National Cyber Security News

General Cybersecurity Conference

 May 10 – 12, 2018 | Casablanca, Morocco

Cybersecurity Conference Description

The OWASP AppSec conferences represent one of the largest outreach efforts to advance our mission of spreading security knowledge. These events help fund the non-profit organization and provide a great learning experience for everyone involved.

Although not a ‘one-off’ Cybersecurity Conference, we list OWASP as one of our ‘best cyber events for 2018.’‘

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South Africa #sees #shortage of #cybersecurity #skills

Source: National Cyber Security News

South Africa is facing a shortage of cybersecurity skills. It’s nothing new and we are not alone – this is a global challenge – yet, the gaps are growing locally. The biggest obstacle: these skills take time and experience to build. In a world in which technology is advancing at breakneck speed and security threats are evolving at the same pace, this is something local businesses need to address now by investing in security technology and people.

South Africa is losing many of its top cybersecurity skills to international demand. Specialist security companies able to utilise scarce skills fully are essential to fill the gap for businesses. It’s the smart choice for corporates who are unable to find or keep these resources – and for security professionals who need to constantly update and grow their skills to keep pace with changing technologies and new threats.

Today, technology change is rapid. The three to five-year change cycles of yesterday have shrunk to less than 12 months in many instances. While not all topologies will change with these advancements, it is necessary from a security perspective to cover all potential aspects. So, for example, adoption of cloud technologies means all systems must be tested and secured against cloud vulnerabilities.

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Africa is least committed to cybersecurity than the rest of the world

To Purchase This Product/Services, Go To The Store Link Above Or Go To Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans Global cybersecurity threats are real and there is an ongoing malware attack after the recent WannaCry ransomware that infected millions of computers …

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French priest jailed over child abuse in Central Africa

A French court sentenced a priest on Thursday to up to five years in jail after finding him guilty of sexually abusing two young boys in the Central African Republic.

The priest, whose sentence may be suspended after two years, has also been banned from carrying out any professional activity that puts him in contact with minors.

The priest had admitted to one case of abuse in a letter in 2011 to the prosecutor of his home town in central France, Clermont-Ferrand.

But investigators had initially identified a total of four victims.

However, they lost track of two of them in the chaos of the Central African Republic’s civil war, which erupted in 2013.

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Japan ATM heist prompts call for vigilance from South Africa central bank

Customers queue to draw money from an ATM outside a branch of South Africa's Standard Bank in Cape Town, March 15, 2016. REUTERS/Mike HutchingsYour ads will be inserted here byEasy Plugin for AdSense.Please go to the plugin admin page toPaste your ad code OR Suppress this ad slot. The theft of $13 million from ATMs in Japan using counterfeit cards from South African lender Standard Bank prompted a call for vigilance from South Africa’s central bank on Wednesday. […] View full post on | Can You Be Hacked?

‘Staggering’ Rates of Child Abuse in East, Southern Africa

A new report finds that children across East and Southern Africa suffer huge amounts of abuse.  UNICEF says this epidemic of violence hurts more than just the children – it hurts society.

Researchers say they have found a “staggering incidence” of violence against children in East and Southern Africa.

The numbers, indeed, are hard to swallow. The new study, released Tuesday, found that that two in five girls under 18 have endured sexual abuse and that more than seven in 10 children have reported severe beatings at home or school. In Tanzania, for example, kids said those beatings included being kicked or punched.

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How Ebola led to more teenage pregnancy in West Africa

While the Ebola outbreak raged through Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea in the summer of 2014, public life ground to a halt. The danger of congregating in groups meant that public institutions, like schools, shut down. But the months of sickness and segregation left a legacy for girls that’s only now starting to be felt: teenage pregnancy spiked, and some of the girls are now being victimized by the government’s education policies.

Data on teenage pregnancy in West Africa is difficult to obtain, especially as it’s often stigmatized and underreported. But Plan International, a children’s charity, said back in 2014 that teenage pregnancy rates in West Africa—already among some of the world’s highest—were on the rise.

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