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5G key in cyber security and privacy in Kenya – expert

It was launched in Nairobi, Kisumu, Kisii and Kakamega and is expected to be expanded to other regions.

In Summary

•Huawei and Nokia were chosen as the two technology partners to implement the roll out of Safaricom's 5G network.

•Huawei’s role in the cyber ecosystem is to implement solutions offering service providers and operators tools to provide end-to-end cyber security systems.

The arrival of the 5G network in Kenya in March this year is a major leap in supporting cyber security and privacy, global technology experts have said.

Safaricom launched the 5G network in the cities of Nairobi, Kisumu, and Kisii and Kakamega towns.

It is expected to be expanded to other regions.

Huawei and Nokia were chosen as the two technology partners to implement the roll out of Safaricom's 5G network.

Mika Lauhde, Global Vice President for Cyber security and Privacy at Huawei, says: “The arrival of 5G into Kenya this year, with its much improved encryption and security standards, is a major leap to support security as well privacy.”

Lauhde said governments across the world should participate in development of network security standards to continually respond to new evolving threats in cyber security.

He said Huawei’s role in the cyber ecosystem is to implement solutions offering service providers and operators tools to provide end-to-end cyber security systems.

“We pay particular attention to independent verification systems for every part of the solution and capability to trace every part in our supply chain. We work closely with our Kenyan suppliers, and encourage all Kenyan companies to invest more in this area which is going to be one key success factor for Kenya,”Lauhde said.

He was speaking virtually during the official opening of the three-day Information Systems Audit and Control Association (Isaca) conference at Travellers Beach Hotel Mombasa on Wednesday.

150 experts in technology are attending the conference.

Technology has become more ubiquitous than ever during the Covid-19 pandemic, therefore, there is a need to ensure safety for all internet users, experts say.

Lauhde raised a concern over recent trends where some government regulations in cyber-security are over-reaching to become extraterritorial.

“Governments should work together with industry to support free and open communication because this trend is weakening the encryption,” he said.

Kenya’s Auditor-General, Nancy Gathugu, who was present during the conference, said they were forced to adapt new ways of doing things when Covid-19 struck in March last year.

“Technology is no longer a choice, it is a fundamental business strategy that must be interwoven in the processes; we must integrate data between the public and private sector to enhance the potential of big data,” said Gathungu.

The Communications Authority Head of Cybersecurity and E-commerce Joseph Nzano said Kenya is facing a threat following an increase in online fraud and online impersonation.

He highlighted how CA monitors such risks and works with businesses to make them aware and help them act in a timely fashion.

 “I call on businesses to adopt better cyber hygiene practices, invest in cyber threat detection, prevention and analysis infrastructure as well as regularly perform information security audits and cyber risk assessments,” said Nzano.

The Huawei logo.
The Huawei logo.
Image: REUTERS