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Saturday, July 22, 2017

Internet security firm calls for law to compel information sharing to tame hackers

People busy on computers.
People busy on computers.

Internet security firm, ESET East Africa, is lobbying for legislation to compel private and public institutions to share information in case of a cyber security breach.

The firm says that this will help responsible branches of government businesses as well as cyber security firms stay ahead of hackers.

“Due to the isolated and secretive manner in which breaches are reported in Kenya, another attack similar to ‘WannaCryptor’ ransomware could be devastating if directed to critical institutions such as health, government and especially the financial services sector,” ESET country manager Teddy Njoroge said.

Ministry of Information and Communications Technology CS Joe Mucheru during a Cyber Security forum on Monday said breach reporting had to be industry driven as the ICT state department has no mandate to force firms to report online crimes.

“Even if we put policies and laws in place, if people do not feel confident enough to come out and actually say there has been a crime here on cyber security, by law we can’t necessarily force you to report,” Mucheru said.

Njoroge said that a standardized and shared reporting system would be a welcome move in developing a unified preventive or counteractive measure to cripple the growth of malware and other forms of cybercrime in the country.

“Breach notification eliminates the clandestine attempts by hackers to attack systems and enables synergized efforts towards the prevention of the criminal activity as well as their prosecution,” Njoroge said.

ESET recorded eight ‘Wannacryptor’ attack attempts in Kenya during the period May 14 and 16 2017. In Africa, worst hit was Egypt which recorded 1,592 attempts followed by South Africa at 386 and Nigeria at 42 attempts out of the 15 countries that registered attack attempts.

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