Responding to a cyber attack appropriately is a crucial aspect of cyber security

12 April 2019

In light of an increasingly vulnerable digital environment in Namibia and across Africa, companies must not only protect themselves against targeted cyber attacks, but must also work to ensure that they “bounce back” quickly in the case of such an attack, according to Wynand Gariseb at Headway Consulting.

Headway Consulting has been an integral part of Namibia’s digitalisation process, having organised training programmes to equip organisations with skills in advanced IT tools, as well as facilitating the integration of Industry 4.0 mechanisms. The firm has now commented on cybersecurity.

Africa is rapidly digitalising, and is due to be home to as many as 1 billion internet connections by as early as 2021. Given the relatively new exposure to the online environment, a number of businesses on the continent are susceptible to cyber attacks on their operations.

Responding to a cyber attack appropriately is a crucial aspect of cyber security

According to Wynand Gariseb, the resilience of firms to cyber attacks is just as important is their resistance to attacks. Most digitally integrated organisations are at risk of being targeted by cyber criminals at one time or another. The question is one of restoring stability to operations in the wake of an attack.

“How quickly they recover demonstrates the true mettle of the organisation, its cyber resilience, if you will. It should bounce back. Ask yourself; “Would your organization have the ability to withstand, respond to, and recover from a cyber-attack or data breach?,” says Gariseb.

“The goal of cyber resilience is to maintain the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data and business operations,” he adds. In order to ensure that the response to such an attack is appropriate, Gariseb recommends the establishment of clear procedures and mechanisms in the instance of an attack.

As per Gariseb, Headway Consulting’s cyber security framework offers the right tools to tackle such a scenario, particularly as it emphasises a balance between an organisation’s prevention, detection and correction priorities; their people, process and technology priorities.

More fintechs in the Kenyan market means more vulnerability to cyber crime

18 February 2019

As an increasing portion of Kenya’s finance and financial services sector transitions to the online domain, consulting firms and bankers alike have expressed their concern that large repositories of personal and financial data are now under risk due to vulnerable cybersecurity. 

Kenya – much like the rest of Africa – represents the dichotomy of a newly digitalised market. As the country’s economy grows to become a regional hub of growth and foreign investment, an increasing portion of the Kenya’s population has now gained familiarity with the digital sphere.

Nevertheless, new online users tend to be vulnerable to predators in the cyber arena, which is particularly dangerous when a growing portion of users begins to conduct financial activity online. Banking and financial services is one sector that has rapidly taken to digital applications across Kenya in recent times.

More fintechs in the Kenyan market means more vulnerability to cyber crime

Management consultancy McKinsey & Company has explained in the past how small fintechs are gradually expanding their influence in the sphere of daily borrowing and lending transactions. Other consulting firms have indicated that cyber criminals are growing increasingly active in the Kenyan market.

“Cyber criminality follows broadband and Internet penetration. As we become more online, these risks and threats start manifesting themselves. One of the clearest statistics is that this market isn’t slowing down from a cybercrime perspective. This is growing year-on-year by close to double-digit,” said Samresh Ramjith of EY.

The scenario is one that has prompted action from government authorities in the country. The Kenya Communications Authority, for instance, announced last year that it would introduce extra regulatory measures on the exchange of data on online platforms such as Skype, Facebook and WhatsApp.

Bankers associations as well as the Central Bank of Kenya have urged customers to maintain a degree of vigilance when conducting financial transactions online, particularly in terms of engaging in such activity on public networks. Meanwhile, consulting firms in the country have been establishing advanced cybersecurity practices to help meet the growing demand for support in this domain.