Sh20m centre to help firms keep hackers at bay

theft of financial data
Increased adoption of digital transactions expose clients to theft of financial data. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Technology firm, Internet Solutions (IS) has invested Sh20 million to set up a cybersecurity centre in Nairobi.

The Cyber Threat Intelligence (CTI) Centre, to be manned round the clock, is tasked with helping companies to develop a risk-based strategy that fends off cyber-attacks within their IT environments.

“Monitoring, analysing and responding capabilities are a costly and complicated exercise that businesses must undertake to remain safe. We now have a local threat intelligence centre that will assist businesses be cyber-resilient,” said IS Head of Cyber Security Services Dr Bright Mawudor.

Cyber-attack is now an existential threat to almost all companies that have automated their services and operations.

TransUnion Kenya chief executive Billy Owino said online fraudsters are a growing risk to Kenyan businesses as they operate from remote locations within and outside Kenya.


Mr Owino noted that businesses keen on tapping e-commerce billions should embed their systems with identity verification and fraud detection systems.

Secure e-commerce platforms, he said are now inevitable with up to 9.5 million e-commerce users reported to have bought goods and paid for services online — via mobile payment platforms and via bank apps — in 2018 .

Increased adoption of digital transactions expose clients to theft of financial data and passwords making them easy prey for fraudsters.

A recent study by audit and financial advisory firm PWC dubbed Global Economic and Fraud Survey 2018 named Kenya as an economic fraud hotspot after South Africa due to its high number of online e-commerce activities.

April’s Communications Authority’s quarterly report said cybersecurity threats increased by 167 percent to 10.2 million from 3.8 million detected in the previous quarter while 12,197 cyber threat advisories were issued to affected organisations, marking a 91 percent increase.

Banks, saccos as well as state entities have in the past reported loss of funds as well as data theft, threatening to reverse major gains in the use of mobile for business transactions.

These threats have motivated the need to come up with watertight security solutions. For instance, last month, USIU Africa University partnered with Cyber-security Institute (CSI) to launch a cybersecurity training school. The deal will see CSI develop a curriculum on cyber-security.