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Kassait Assures Kenyans that Data Held in Government Institutions is Secure

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The Office of the Data Protection Commissioner has partnered with the Kenya School of Government to create awareness and enhance Kenyans’ data protection in government institutions. This is due to the fact that government agencies in Kenya are the largest data holders and controllers.

Speaking during a visit to the Konza Technopolis, Data Commissioner Ms. Immaculate Kassait said the agency was keen on ensuring that data is safely processed and secured within the country.

“Following enactment of the Data Protection Act, 2019, certain categories of data which are of strategic importance to the country must be processed in Kenya or a copy must be kept in Kenya. The Commission is therefore keen to work with relevant institutions such as Konza Technopolis Development Authority (KoTDA) to ensure that data is safely processed and kept within the country”

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The Data Protection Commissioner was there to inspect the Technopolis’ infrastructure and to assess its readiness to host and hold and secure data.

Ms. Kassait said that the Data Protection Act of 2019 recognizes the need to increase human capacity in the field of data protection and urged organizations to invest in data protection professionals because the field is both difficult and promising. As a result, there will be fewer data breaches in the country.

Eng. John Tanui, KoTDA Chief Executive, assured Kenyans that the agency has put in place systems to safeguard the security of data kept at the National Data Centre in Konza.

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“Through industry collaborations, we are keen to make Kenya an attractive investment hub that assures all stakeholders of safety of their data. The National Data Centre is therefore equipped with facilities and man power who meet global standards.”

KoTDA’s partnered with the Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs, Huawei Technologies, and VMware to host a cyber security forum on Monday in efforts to raise data security awareness. The event brought together both experienced and aspiring ICT professionals to discuss data security and growth opportunities in the sub-sector.

Tanui said that Konza is enhancing its cloud storage capabilities to ensure that data is stored securely.

Read also: Google To Limit Data Tracking on Android Apps

“Many Government and private institutions are transitioning to cloud storage because of the advantages it offers. Cloud provides additional flexibility and security to data users and owners of applications because data is stored in shared infrastructure and it cannot be traced to a specific hardware therefore giving additional security features” said Eng. Tanui.

The cyber security webinar was hosted as part of the Girls in ICT Initiative Kenya, a program run by the KoTDA, the Ministry of ICT, and Huawei aimed at commemorating Girls in ICT Day locally and stepping up efforts to close the digital gender gap.

“While cyber security breaches have continued to rise in the past few years, the gap in cyber security skills continues to persist with women lagging even further behind – making up approximately 20 percent of the cyber security workforce,” Ms. Maureen Mbaka, Chief Administrative Secretary at the Ministry of ICT said while presiding the event.

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“The global demand for cyber security skills far exceeds the current supply of traditionally qualified individuals. Skilled cyber security professionals are therefore a unique resource at the moment and we would like to prepare and position young girls to take up these opportunities through forums such as this”, She added.

The Initiative launched in August 2021 and will conclude in April 2022 with an event to commemorate International Girls in ICT Day.

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Written by Vanessa Murrey

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