Kenya to roll out cyber security plan

November 21, 2011
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A National Cyber security master plan will be rolled out in the next three months to safe guard public information over the internet.

Information and Communication PS, Bitange Ndemo said that as the government stores more data in a digital format, the need to build capacity in the area of cyber security is becoming crucial.

“In five years practically most of the data will be online. We are finished lands. We are going to judiciary. Most of the government records will be in digital format,” said Ndemo.

The master plan comes even as the PS revealed organized unscrupulous individuals are behind the persistent cable cuts. About 25,000 kilometers of fiber optic cables have been laid down in Kenya, 5000 of which have been done by the government at a cost of $60 million.

“We were going through the number of cable cuts that we had over the weekend; 15 in total affecting several GSM and landlines. There is an aspect of competition that is why we are saying there must be big boys behind the crisis,” he said.

Ndemo, who was speaking during the National CIRT (Computer Incident Response Team) Capacity Building Workshop, said the Master Plan in conjunction with the USAID seeks to establish a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) framework.

“We should finish in the next three months before we begin implementation of the PKI which creates virtual identities, which creates more trust in the internet, more than we have right now,” he said.

The Master Plan will include the development of information security management controls and procedures, cybersecurity systems, and identity and access management systems.

The government has already undertaken initiatives to enhance its digital capacity including the launch of the Kenya Computer Incident Response Team (KE-CIRT) earlier this year and the soon to be finalized National Data Centre.

The Data Protection Bill meant to provide a framework for handling citizen personal information is also in the works.

“For the first time e-government has a division to take care of the issue of information security. We have also created a common gateway protection for government traffic, so firewalls have been installed at Herufi House and the government data center,” said Katherine Getao, ICT Secretary of the Directorate of E-Government.

(By Victoria Rubadiri & Ken Macharia).

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