KICTANet,Global Partners Digital and UK to hold Roundtable Meeting on Improving Cybersecurity in Kenya

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The Kenya ICT Action Network (KICTANet) in partnership with Global Partners Digital (GPD) with the support of the government of the United Kingdom will hold a roundtable meeting on improving cybersecurity in Kenya.

The meeting is premised on the theme ‘Cybersecurity in Kenya: Priorities for 2019.’

It embodies the contemporary economic and security threats industries are facing the rise of cyber-crime in today’s dynamic economy.

“This will include a broad overview of the current state of play in cybersecurity globally, regionally and in Kenya; while providing space to identify stakeholder common priorities and to make recommendations for the year ahead,” reads part of the round table meeting concept note.

GPD, a social purpose company dedicated to fostering a digital environment underpinned by human rights and democratic values, and the roundtable is part of its project on “Promoting an inclusive and value-based approach to cyber policymaking in the Commonwealth” which is funded by the government of the United Kingdom.

Kenya has invested heavily in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) not only to improve service delivery but also to cut on transaction costs and safeguard Government revenue.

This is significant because of its enormous implications for information security, critical infrastructure, economic prosperity, public safety as well as their relations with other countries.

From a policy and legal perspective, Kenya has enacted the 2006 ICT Policy, the ICT Master plan, 2014 – 2017 and the National Cybersecurity Strategy, 2014, the Kenya Information and Communications Act, and the Computer Misuse and Cybercrimes Act, 2018. There is also a Senate Data Protection Bill, 2018 and a draft Data Protection Bill and Policy currently under development.
Further, the draft ICT Policy developed in 2016 is yet to be adopted.

READ: Kenyan MP Mulls at Re-Introducing Bill to Register ICT Practitioners

Despite this progress, the country continues to experience challenges in the realm of cybersecurity. Key concerns include third-party misuses or shares of confidential data; malware attacks and disruption of business processes; data breaches; and attacks on IT infrastructure resulting in downtime.

The key challenges include among others: insufficient technical, investigation, prosecutorial and judicial capacity of law enforcement agencies; low levels of public awareness on security; outdated laws, policies and strategies; weak internal security practices and standards in key institutions; poor detection and reporting of attacks; and, weak coordination among relevant agencies,
industries and institutions.

“Kenya, therefore, needs to develop and promote forward-looking and responsive policy and legislative environment with cutting edge strategies, designed to promote confidence and integrity of its information systems,” according to the conveners of the meeting.

The meeting will not only seek to identify the problems but offer solutions as they review the current Cybercrime bill and other supporting laws of Kenya. It will be an opportunity for the various industry players to interact and learn from each other’s experiences as well as gain insights from the industry regulators and help streamline stakeholder inputs and refine national priorities to ensure the country achieves its Vision 2030 goal of becoming a regional ICT hub.