You probably have seen several Facebook accounts hacked and disturbing images posted. Such a situation can cause embarrassment for a victim. This is however not the only threat you need to worry about.
HumanIPO had an interview with Network Support Engineers at Isolutions Associates (ISOLS), a leading ICT security provider in Kenya and Africa.
Daniel Kiilu one of the Network Support engineer at Isols, says that the biggest factor that leads to cyber threats is lack of knowledge on the matter. Joe Mwangi also a network security engineer concurs.
“Clients are always reactive, not proactive. They look for solutions when the disaster has happened,” Kiilu said.
With technological advancements, criminals are also getting tech savvy and more dangerous. African is quickly adopting the broadband access and the cloud movement meaning more and more sensitive information is being uploaded on the Internet.
Social media is one way that users are uploading their personal lives online. This includes names, pictures, place of work, location, family members and friends. In the wrong hands, such information can be damaging.
Online banking and mobile banking is also being embraced quite fast in Africa. Today, transactions can be made through the phone without visiting a bank. Even government bodies embracing this new trend and submissions such as pensions can be done via phone. However, how sure are you of your security? Can anyone just hack into the systems and retrieve your data.
According to Kiilu, one of the other problems is that website designers and developers never look at the security side while creating websites.
Smartphones are now one of the biggest gateway for security threat. More and more Kenyans are buying smartphones which allow them to log into various sites and download myriads of applications. But little is being done by smartphone users to protect their information.
The Android platform has been singled out as one of the most vulnerable mobile OS by Kaspersky. The trend analysis for 2012 reports that there will be more calculated attacks on the operating system.
“There will be an increase in the number of malicious programs finding their way into app stores, especially Android Market. The fact that Google’s policy of checking new apps has changed very little, despite numerous malicious programs being discovered at Android Market, means the virus writers are unlikely to refrain from uploading malware to official stores,” the Kaspersky report says.
Daniel and John agree on this. Android posses much threat to the users. Kelvin Njora from a Kaspersky Presales Engineer also confirms that despite there being mobile antivirus solutions in the market, very few Kenyans would embrace it. His reasons range from lack of awareness to cost implications.
Kelvin called on the government’s ICT board to come out and sensitize the public on cyber threats even on their handsets. This would give legitimacy to the sale of products such as the antivirus software for mobile phones.