Kenyan businesses need to pay more attention to cybersecurity heading into 2016
Kenyan Businesses Need to Pay More Attention to Cybersecurity. Recent findings from the 2015 Kenya Cyber Security Survey show that of the 275 organizations in Kenya that participated, 21% of respondents within these organizations in Kenya are not concerned about cybercrime at all. The same survey also revealed that many reported that these organizations do not have enough staff and security expertise dedicated to IT security.
Says Bethwel Opil, Channel Sales Manager for East Africa at Kaspersky Lab; “Given the fact that cybercriminal activity is advancing globally and as Internet usage grows (with the estimated figure of 26.1 million* Internet users in Kenya), with more businesses in Kenya relying on technology and aspects like Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) or the Internet of Things (IoT), for work purposes – this is a major cause for concern!”
The last year alone has seen many organisations around the globe face numerous threats – some of which have been detrimental. Continues Opil; “The reality is that it doesn’t matter how big or small a business is, or how well known a brand is – cybercriminals target any business of any size – as most of them have data or money that they can make use of. In my experience, local corporates tend to think that their businesses are insignificant to cybercriminals, and as result, they won’t be targets. This is a false sense of security. Business owners and decision makers must look into effective IT security measures proactively.”
Education around cybercrime and the need for IT security within organisations, is becoming key in changing this mind-set among Kenyan corporates. In fact, the 2015 Kenya Cyber Security Survey* showed that 35% of respondents consider that better education of users around the Internet is one of the most important topics that should be researched in order to make the Internet a safer place.
Cybersecurity aspects to look into include:
- Undertaking a risk assessment
- Have IT security policies in place – and ensure these are updated as required
- Train and educate staff on IT Security – and the realities of cybercrime today
- Having an emergency plan in place, should the business be threatened by cybercriminals
- Deploy a dedicated IT Security team – if budget doesn’t allow for this, ensure 1 person looks at this role for the business
- Implement effective security software solutions for IT protection
The above suggestions are a good guideline for a holistic approach to cybersecurity. Companies could also seek advice from cyber security experts to get optimal measures specifically for their business.
“A new year often brings new good things along with some challenges, including those in the IT security industry. I want to encourage Kenyan businesses to stop shying away from this subject and to start paying attention to IT security today – to ensure reliable protection tomorrow, and well into the next year.” Concludes Opil. Kenyan businesses need to pay more attention to cybersecurity since this digital age calls for a good cyber security presence.