Technology

Dimension Data eyes SMEs with cybersecurity service hub

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Dr Bright Mawudor (left), head of cybersecurity services at Dimensions Data, explains the workings of the data intelligence hub to a journalist during a media briefing session in Nairobi on Tuesday. PHOTO | COURTESY

IT firm Dimension Data is eyeing a bigger share of the cybersecurity services market following the increase in threats as companies shifted operations online.

The firm said on Tuesday it had developed an intelligence hub dubbed the Dimension Data Threat Intelligence Centre, through which it will establish a central point for cyber security threats control.

It cited an internal survey that found that 58 percent of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), experience some form of cyber-attack, with 81 percent of these having had to draw new security strategies and discard the old.

During the launch of a cybersecurity sensitisation campaign on Tuesday, the firm’s head of managed security services Bright Mawudor underscored the need for small enterprises to be wary of cyber attacks, noting that the threat actors are increasingly moving away from targeting large enterprises.

“SMEs have tighter IT budget constraints, coupled with limited capacity to invest and maintain an in-house cybersecurity expert,” said Mr Mawudor, noting that small firms are constantly being tasked to do more with less and digital security being an afterthought.

“These small businesses are ending up compromising on security controls making them a prime target for cybercriminals and vulnerable to all kinds of threats, especially ransomware and internal threats, which has seen an increase in recent months,” said Mr Mawudor.

As the world celebrated the cyber security month in October, it emerged that a large number of startups are experiencing struggles in adapting to cyberspace operations. The largest part of the struggles is tied to security threats facing unsuspecting traders.

The Kenya Financial Sector Stability Report 2020 released by the Central Bank of Kenya indicates that SACCOs alone, who are the latest entrants into the adoption of digital operations, lost Sh106 million in 17 months to March this year. According to the report, cyber attackers are targeting weak controls of the systems given minimal verification of members’ identity.

A cybersecurity report by the Communications Authority of Kenya shows that at least 38 million SMEs reported cases of cyber-attacks in the period between January and April 2021. Out of these, 51 percent were related to malicious software, what is commonly referred to as malware.

Further, SMEs are facing additional challenges in their quest to digitise operations, emanating from the provisions of the Data Protection Bill (2019) which places legal responsibility on them to protect their clients’ data.

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