Cyber crime a major hurdle to confidential data storage, IoT

Hacker accessing data. PHOTO | FOTOSEARCH

What you need to know:

  • You need technology to improve the quality of life but your efforts can be rendered useless when malevolent people use it to cause harm.

As the world prepares for a hyperconnected Internet of Things (IoT) landscape where billions of devices will be interconnected and zillions of confidential data stored in servers, only one snag scares many IT professionals — cybercrime.

You need technology to improve the quality of life but your efforts can be rendered useless when malevolent people use it to cause harm.

This was the case with Georgia when on October 28 more than 2,000 websites including those of the president, courts and the media were hacked in a massive cyber-attack.

On the front page, the malicious key punchers displayed a photo of the country’s exiled former president Mikheil Saakashvili with an inscription "I'll be back!"

But it was last July’s attack in Bulgaria that shook the world, when five million of the total of seven million citizens lost access to their financial data in an incursion that was reported to have compromised nearly every adult’s private records.

It can be remembered that in June, several Kenyan government websites running on the Unix-based FreeBSD operating system were hacked.

In a recent cyber security forum that brought together the government and the private sector in Nairobi, cyber resilience dominated the discourse over how the world can mitigate against the vagaries of a growing digital economy.

It was noted during the culmination of the cyber security month – October – that the nature of attacks is rapidly changing but data breaches no longer need to be spearheaded by highly skilled hackers.

Hacking software and malware placed on the dark web make it easy for amateur hackers to orchestrate massive destruction adding into the complexities of fighting cybercrime.

Themed "Redefining Cyber Resilience and Incidence Response,” the event centred on how government agencies can move from cyber security monitoring and managemen to incorporating incidence response to their daily operations.

Speaking during the event, ESET East Africa CEO Karen Cherry voiced her support for Kenya’s Vision 2030 through cyber resilience.

With more than 50 million attacks between January and June this year, she said, there is certainly good reason for the Kenyan government to be kept abreast of global threats and how to mitigate against them.

“It is encouraging to see that following the introduction of the European General Data Protection Regulation, Kenya has tabled a data protection bill. We see ourselves as the enablers of the African Union and president Kenyatta’s Vision 2030 when it comes to securing Africa’s digital wealth,” she said.

She added that it was time for governments to make cyber security an attractive career for the youth.

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