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Deloitte warns Kenyans to brace themselves for increased Cyber Attacks in 2017

by Milicent Atieno
Deloitte warns Kenyans to brace themselves for increased Cyber Attacks in 2017

Fellow Kenyans, take this as a warning. Kenya is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world with some of the weakest cyber security in place to protect its ICT installations.

That is according to a report by a financial service firm, Deloitte. In the report titled, ‘Technology, Media, and Telecommunications Predictions 2017’ Deloitte unearths just how vulnerable Kenya has become to cyber attacks.

The country is ranked number 69 out of 127 countries listed in the research done last year. Showing Kenya’s cyber security measures have deteriorated further from the year 2015 when the country’s ranking stood at position 45.

In 2016, Kenya lost a total amount of $171 million to cyber attacks alone. That is about 0.28 of the country’s GDP all lost because of weak and vulnerable ICT systems. The Deloitte report further paints a gloomy picture for Kenya for the year 2017, saying the country stands to lose even greater amount to cyber attacks. Lest appropriate cyber security measures are put in place.

Why are Cyber Attacks becoming rampant in Kenya?

Most firms outsource services such as cleaning and even IT services from individuals who they have not done a proper background check on,” said Erik Van Der Dussen, the Associate Director at Deloitte. “This makes it easy for hackers to blend in.”

Deloitte pins the blame on the country’s poor investment in the ICT infrastructure and the under appreciation of cyber security measures. Deloitte singled out financial service companies as one of the examples of sectors where there is a poor investment in cyber security to guard their ICT infrastructure. By doing so, the put their client’s deposits at greater risk.

We have noticed a worrying trend where 96% of Kenyan companies invest only $5,000 in infrastructure to guard against cybercrime,” Dussen added.

Incidences of Cyber Attacks expected to be higher in 2017 thanks to the widespread use of smartphones, which are not well secured. The proliferation of smartphones in the Kenyan market, and the increasing reliance on these mobile devices to conduct virtually all online activities and as a storage medium for documents and multimedia files, has made hackers increasingly turn to targeting mobile phone services. Unlike previously where hackers would primarily, focus their attention on the desktop computers, as these smart mobile devices are increasingly replacing them.

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