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A lot of businesses in Kenya and in Africa, in general, are digitizing their operations. The development of ICT infrastructure in the country has also opened up new business opportunities within the cyberspace.

While all these developments is commendable, it also opens new opportunities for attackers. The fact that the digital and technology space is young in the country, it means there is not yet a satisfactory level of appreciation for cybersecurity measures.

A lot of businesses, especially the small one are not doing enough to secure their businesses. That means there a lot of ‘sitting ducks’ in Kenya just waiting to be attacked by hackers.

Ruediger Dorn, the Director of Cloud Technology and Strategy at Microsoft has warned firms in Kenya to take up cybersecurity very seriously in their quest to digitize their operation.

Speaking last Wednesday, Dorn said the rise of cybercrime in the country in the past few years has largely been attributed to weak (on non-existent) cybersecurity measures.

We regularly update our systems and this has helped keep hackers at bay compared to the current practice where companies buy annual internet security packages,” said Dorn.

Kenya has fallen victim to grand cybercrime in recent pasts, with banks having their confidential customer details stolen and their accounts wiped clean. Such attacks have called on speedy adoption of international best practice cybersecurity measures.

According to Microsoft, cybercrimes will account for economic losses of between Ksh. 600 trillion and Ksh. 300 trillion globally. That is according to a report by the company released in 2016.

There are jobs to be created in Cyber Security

Dorn further pointed out that the cybersecurity space currently promises many jobs for the thousands of unemployed youths in Kenya. He calls upon universities and the government to put up the infrastructures and measures to train the youth in the technical skills it takes to be a cybersecurity agent.

He also calls upon the government to set up an IT policy on cloud storage, data storage, and use of IT to make more people have trust in them. Dorn, who is currently visiting Kenya as a volunteer in the Microsoft 4 Africa Initiative says hacking is becoming a lucrative business around the world. Further pointing out the fact that some governments around the world are even sponsoring the activities in order to disrupt the development and right to privacy in other countries.

He cautions people from relying on public Wi-Fi network for official business or government transactions. End users should also be wary of transacting on their online mobile banking platform on such open networks. Last, but not least, the suggested that people should regularly change their email passwords, and each time set up a strong password by mixing letters, numbers, and signs.

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