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Kenya Lost Ksh21 Billion To Hackers In 2017, CBK Wants New Rules Set

Kenya suffered a Ksh21 billion loss on cyber security crimes according to 2017 Seriamu report on the status of the Kenya Cyber security. In turn, the central Bank of Kenya (CBK) proposed implementation of new cyber security rules that would see the cost go down, or done away with.

In the new rules, the board of directors and senior management of payments service providing institutions are expected to formulate and implement cyber security strategies, policies, procedures, guidelines and set minimum standards set for the institution. All these must be documented and made available for review by external auditors and CBK

Hackers and cyber security criminals have garnered a safety corner in Africa by hunting down big companies and Government authorities for some good amounts of money. Most of the targeted are financial institutions like banks and mobile money services.

In the case of mobile money services, individuals perceived to be rich are targeted by the fraudsters. To this core point, Kenyan banks and telcos are now filing new cyber security rules in a battle against online fraud.

Read: EACC Detectives Arrest Kisumu OCS For Demanding Ksh20,000 Bribe

The 2017 Cyber security survey shockingly reveals that over 90% of African businesses
are operating below the cyber ‘security poverty line’.

CBK has so far suffered a massive loss of over $210 million (Ksh21 billion) in hacking attempts against banks and telecoms.

Deemed as a plan to tighten financial security amidst increased cyber attacks, Kenyan banks could be on the right track to save huge chunks of money lost to online criminals.

Kenya will not be the first country in Africa to escalate cyber security laws to fight the fraud. In 2009, Uganda created the National Information Technology Authority (NIRA) to oversee and regulation information technology services.

However much, Kenya and Tanzania have just woke up from the deep sleep, Hackers robbed a total of $394 million (Ksh39.4) in 2017 alone.

While Kenya lost at least $210 million (Ksh21 billion), Tanzania by $99 million (Ksh9.9 billion) and least followed by Uganda at $89 million (Ksh8.9 billion). Hackers reaped big from fresh grounds to a sense that Kenya’s central bank now wants fresh new cybersecurity rules implemented.

In the same fashion, the Kenyan national computer emergency response team & co-ordination center has been created to tackle all cyber-related incidents. To clarify the creation of a new cyber body and pull up of new rules, the central bank of Kenya released this statement in support of new measures.

The purpose of this is to create a safer and more secure cyberspace that underpins information system security priorities, to promote stability of the Kenyan payments system sub-sector; establish a co-ordinated approach to the prevention and combating of cybercrime.

Kenya hopes to improve the identification and protection of critical information in order to maintain public trust in the national payments system according to CBK. However, with new Cybersecurity rules to be implemented, the officials claimed this is an extra step in tackling all cyber-related crime with financial institutions developing new modules for this.

A cross-country conference will be held in Kampala next month to tackle all cyber-related issues concerning the region. Although Kenya is now applauding its official steps towards the hard to locate hackers, the conference will be a common ground to tackle all cyber loopholes.

The biggest challenge African countries face in fighting cyber security crimes is the few number of certified professionals in the field. According to Seriamu report, Africa has a total of 10,000 certified professional with some countries having as little as 30 like the case of Lesotho.

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Written by Francis Muli

Follow me on Twitter @francismuli_. Email francis@kahawatungu.com

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