Africa’s invasive cyber threats showed red light

Africa Computer Emergency Response Teams (AfricaCERT), an Internet security firm, has pledged help to African countries in helping to combat the prevalent cyber threats the continent currently faces.

AfricaCERT made the declaration during last week’s African Internet Governance Forum (AFIGF) in Cairo, Egypt, revealing it has already put in place measures to ensure that the Internet is safe for governments and individuals to use.

Perpetus Jacques Houngbo, an ICT security specialist, said the company will endeavour to help users in Africa by having awareness campaigns through training, free seminars and events, giving technical support and guidance in implementation of CSIRT (Computer Security Incident Response Team), disseminating information about security and ensuring more collaboration on security projects.

AfricanCERT aims to assist governments and official bodies, private companies and end-users of IT to secure their online operations. To do this, the firm not only passes on technical knowledge to users but also advises on policy change and effecting laws that would curb the menace.

Just last week, a report by WolfPack Risk and sponsored by the British High Commission in Pretoria said that South Africa had lost US$320 million in 20 months to online fraud and insecurities. One of the recommendations by the report was to set up computer emergency response teams to quickly deal with online threats.

The report also showed that the small and medium businesses and enterprises are more vulnerable to online threats due having little resources to address the issue.

Cybercrime is a problem that threatens to derail the gains made in the ICT sector, especially in banking where millions can be lost. In January this year, the Kenyan government had 103 of its websites hacked by an Indonesian hacker named Direxer.

The African Internet Governance Meeting in Cairo held on October 3 and 4 brought together stakeholders in the ICT sector to discuss major advances on the continent.

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