Cyber crimes on the rise in Kenya, Information PS Joseph Tiambati says

By: Gitonga Marete

Cyberattacks in the country increased by over 100 per cent last year due to poor detection and lack of capacity to respond to the crime, Principal Secretary Information, Communication and Technology Joseph Tiampati has said.

The PS said although the ministry has not completed compiling data on attacks in 2014, the number of incidents reported and their severity indicate a serious threat on government and privately owned information, communications and technology systems.

“Last year alone we experienced some of the most significant cyber attacks in the country’s history. Hackers targeted key government institutions’ websites, including some belonging to the military,” he said.

The PS, who was addressing ICT experts during the Information System Audit and Control Association (ISACA) conference at Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort, Mombasa County said the crimes were an indication of the vulnerability of systems not only in the country but also other states in Africa.

“We are living in an era where ineffective cyber safety measures mean loss of critical data, and even loss of financial assets. There is need to make resolute efforts to tackle this problem by devoting more resources to secure cyber space,” the PS added.

Mr Tiampati said besides enactment of the Kenya Communication Act, which spells out modalities of dealing with ICT related crimes, consultations were on to formulate a Bill that will address emerging issues.

“The Kenya and Computer Crimes Bill aims at sealing the legislative loopholes that make it possible for cyber fraudsters to perpetrate offences in the country,” he said.