Slovakian IT firm partners with Strathmore to tackle cybercrime

Students arriving for class at Strathmore University. FILE PHOTO | JENNIFER MUIRURI | NMG
Students arriving for class at Strathmore University. FILE PHOTO | JENNIFER MUIRURI | NMG 

The fight against cybercrime in Kenya received a boost following a deal between IT security firm Eset and Strathmore University that will see the Slovakian firm support the institution’s academic programmes on internet security.

The memorandum of understanding (M.O.U) with the Nairobi-based University’s @iLabAfrica centre provides that ESET East Africa will jointly develop and introduce additional courses on emerging technologies to impart skills required to tackle new threats such as Internet of Things (IoT) Security, Security for Industrial Control Systems, Cybersecurity for Executives, Advance Malware Analysis and Secure Application Development among others.

“Through this M.O.U., we will support Strathmore University’s current academic programmes on cyber-security, through collaborative research and benchmarking approaches on issues of local interest such as ethical hacking, phishing and ransomware studies,” said ESET East Africa country manager Teddy Njoroge.

Skill shortage

Mr Njoroge estimates that Kenya has just about 1000 certified cyber-security specialists, which he reckons is way below the optimal 40,000 needed.

The latest Cisco cyber security report cites lack of trained personnel as the greatest obstacle to tackling online-based threats affecting banks, telecommunication companies and governmental organisations.

The study also showed that the gap in cyber security professionals grew from 22 per cent in 2015 to 25 per cent in 2016.

Companies are prone to external and internal attacks that could lead to revenue losses amounting to millions of shillings, a reality that has seen organisations - especially those in the private sector - raise their cyber security budgets and invest more in software to detect malware.

About 29 per cent of firms that faced attacks last year experienced loss of revenue, 23 per cent lost opportunities while 22 per cent lost customers.