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Cyber crime costs financial sector billions in losses

NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 19 – The financial sector in the East African region is losing over Sh170 billion every year through cyber crime, according to Cyber Security Africa, a UK-based information and e-commerce security provider.

The firm’s manager for Africa Sammy Kioko says most of the crimes are perpetuated by some employees in the institutions who hack into the systems and transfer money to unauthorised accounts.

“The issue of cyber security threats in East Africa is actually increasing and this shows that huge amounts of money are being channelled out by hackers. We need to see a lot of government engagement by trying to enlighten people on what exactly is happening with cyber threats,” said Kioko.

He has also called for the need to educate Kenyans to be cautious with mobile phone hackers due to the increased use of the phones for financial transactions.

“People need to be aware how to use their phones to make sure that they don’t get into the traps of these hackers. What happens for example is someone can send you a malicious PDF material with a photo then when you click to open, he gets to access all the information in your phone and then use that to do all the transactions illegally,” warned Kioko.

Kioko was speaking ahead of the East African Cyber Security Convention in Nairobi next month.

Cyber attacks have become a recurrent phenomenon in the East African region due to infrastructural, legal and policy loopholes. Currently, 60 percent of east African banks are susceptible to cyber crimes according to Deloitte.

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