New cyber security hub set up to tame internet attacks


Dr Vincent Ogutu, vice-chancellor designate, Strathmore University, cuts the ribbon to launch TAI SOC. Looking on is Judit Galambos (second left), Charge De Affairs of the Hungarian Embassy in Kenya, Dr Joseph Sevilla (second right), director of @iLabAfrica, and Pat Muthui, director of BCK Kenya. PHOTO | POOL

A cyber security operations centre has been established in Nairobi as part of efforts to fight cyber-attacks that have risen sharply due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The centre, TAI Security Operations Centre, will offer real-time monitoring and analysis to detect, prevent and address security threats against local Kenyan businesses.

The TAI Security Operations Centre has been launched through a collaboration between Strathmore University’s @iLabAfrica, ACPM Ltd based in Hungary and BCK Kenya Ltd.

Its launch comes at a time when more than 48.5 million cyber-attacks were detected in the six months to June 2020.

“I encourage businesses and corporations alike to develop their own measures in curbing cyber threats,” said Joe Mucheru during unveiling of the centre.

Common cybercrimes in Kenya include phishing attacks, malware, false publications, money transfer fraud, credit card fraud and cyber terrorism.

The attacks are a menace to non-governmental organisations, government agencies, corporates, SMEs, e-commerce platforms, as well as financial institutions such as banks and Saccos

Mr Mucheru attributed the increase in the number of cyber security threats to the global increase in malware and the high level of unemployment among highly skilled tech savvy youth.

Kenyan businesses lose billions of shillings and troves of sensitive information to hackers every year, according to experts and various reports.

Kenya lost about Sh18 billion to cybercrime in 2016, according to an ICT security survey conducted by Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) and the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA).

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) warned in 2017 local lenders are exposed to cyberattacks and ICT-enabled fraud.

The CBK noted that data on fraud reported to Banking Fraud and Investigation Department indicates cases relating to computer, mobile and Internet banking are rising.

Joseph Sevilla director, @iLabAfrica- Strathmore University, said TAI SOC is an opportunity for the Kenyan cybersecurity landscape to actively focus on the vulnerabilities of systems and strengthen the defense mechanisms.

“If we want to want to make a difference in the cybersecurity world, we need to encourage young people to invest in academics as well as the business world,” said Dr Sevilla.