Kenya to enhance cyber security

December 3, 2013
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The digital certificate will help to monitor an individual or an organisation from a central place, hence differentiate genuine online users and fraudsters/FILE
The digital certificate will help to monitor an individual or an organisation from a central place, hence differentiate genuine online users and fraudsters/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 3 – The Kenya ICT Authority has announced plans to come up with a system that will allow all citizens to have a personal digital certificate in efforts to fight cyber crime.

The digital certificate will help to monitor an individual or an organisation from a central place, hence differentiate genuine online users and fraudsters.

The authority’s Project Manager Andrew Lewela said this approach is being adopted globally to fight the vice which he said stands as the main challenge to growing technology.

“We are currently testing the system which will allow everyone to have a digital signature so that on any transaction you are doing online you will have almost a hundred percent guarantee that that transaction is protected,” Lewela said.

“It’s like a password, but it’s much more robust. You know someone can steal your password and access your online accounts, but they cannot steal your certificate. So we are going to the next level in terms of protecting you, the user,” he explained.

He said the new system was crucial especially at a time when the government intends to put most of its important services online hence the need to be more cautious.

The authority will in the next few weeks roll out a campaign to enlighten Kenyans on how to have the digital certificate and other basic procedures of ensuring proper protection against cyber crime.

“Most Kenyans remain ignorant as far cyber risks are concerned and this stands as a big challenge. So, as we move forward, we need our people to observe some of the key things to help them protect their information,” he noted.

Lewela was speaking on Tuesday in Nairobi, at a World Economic Forum which focused on developing ICT in the continent.

The authority also plans to push the private sector especially the financial sector to cooperate and assist in coming up with a specific data on cyber crime, which currently lacks in the country.

He lamented that most of the financial institutions are still hesitant to give detailed information on cyber crime in the name of protecting their institutions’ image.

“As an authority we will soon be talking to Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) to see how to tackle this because banks are among the institutions that are losing a lot from cyber crime. But for us and other stakeholders to deal with the issue, we need data,” Lewela said.

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