How Africa can address the issue of cybercrime

What you need to know:

  • Cybercesurity and digital forensic experts propose a raft of measures that can be implemented by African governments to curb online attacks

Dar es Salaam. Governments in Africa, through respective ministries responsible for information and communication technology (ICT), have been challenged to raise public awareness on the proper use of technological advancement in order to curb cybercrimes.

The enactment of cybercrime legislation has also been proposed as a curbing mechanism, with experts cautioning that previous cyberattacks recorded in many African countries should serve as a wakeup call.

Cybersecurity and digital forensics expert, Mr Yusuph Kileo, made the call in Dar es Salaam as the world is approaching the cybersecurity awareness month of October.

He said there is a need for sustainable public awareness programmes on cybercrimes to safeguard the public from possible cyberattacks.

“Through ministries responsible for ICT development, African governments should create awareness for people to use the technology in a proper way,” he said.

He said the countries should also take advantage of international events like Cyber Security Awareness Month and Data Privacy Day to run national-level awareness programmes.

Furthermore, he said the continent needs to establish a strong and workable institutional framework so as to be fully involved in the war against global cybercrime.

Cybersecurity policy and effective cybersecurity awareness for any country, especially those that have embarked on ICT development, are very important,” emphasized Mr Kileo.

The policy protects information and builds the capability to prevent cyberattacks through the development of cybersecurity skill sets, cyber crisis management, critical infrastructure protection, public and private partnership security issues, and other related policy issues.

The general objective of the cyber security policy is to make the country safe in cyberspace by taking care of different aspects, including strengthening regulatory control, promoting research and development, and securing critical infrastructure.

According to him, the document can be updated and changed to suit the advancement in technology and counter new cyber-attack techniques.

He said the Computer Security Incident Response Team in Tanzania is a dedicated technical team with the responsibility of coordinating response to cyber security incidents at the national level and cooperating with regional and international entities involved in the management of cyber security incidents.

Furthermore, Mr Kileo said the learning institutions need to include cyber security in their curriculum to enable lawyers, advocates, regulators, IT professionals, policymakers, managers, and other people involved in security to be able to combat cybersecurity in their organisations.

It is through security awareness programmes that organisations can develop, grow, and maintain the culture for their employees, vendors, and suppliers.