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'Piracy, lack of cyber security policy drives Kenyan cybercrime'

Kenya , 02 Dec 2013

'Piracy, lack of cyber security policy drives Kenyan cybercrime'

Insufficient cyber security policies and high levels of pirated software use are key factors holding back Kenya in its fight against cybercrime.

This is according to a managing director of software antivirus firm ESET in Kenya, Geoffrey Ombachi, who says his firm has joined in the fight against cybercrime in the country.

Ombachi, though, has made these comments despite Kenya being ranked low in terms of cyber security threats.

According to data from the Kaspersky Security Network (KSN) for the first quarter of 2013, Kenya ranked 115 on a list of countries subject to web-based threats. The East African nation is also ranked 80th in terms of countries where hosting services are used by cybercriminals.

The KSN data therefore places the country in the low risk and moderate category for web-based threats.

Moreover, Kenya’s government is supporting the The African Union Convention on Cyber Security (AUCC), which is expected to be voted on in January 2014 and proposes “establishing a credible framework for cyber security in Africa through organisation of electronic transactions, protection of personal data , promotion of cyber security, e-governance and combating cybercrime.”

But cybercrime is a growing problem in Kenya, with the East African country’s ICT cabinet secretary, Dr. Fred Matiangi, having said that it could cost the nation an estimated KES 2 billion (about $23 million) this year.

And Ombachi is calling upon government to institute stronger legislative measures to curb the menace.

He added that his company has also been disseminating information about the looming problem through its blog in a bid to raise awareness.

“We are at the forefront in the fight campaign for proper cyber security policies that will see cybercrime perpetrators being tried and sentenced in a court of law.

"We have strategies of joining hands with internet security corporate in a bid to scrap off pirated software from the market,” said Ombachi.

“Pirated software has contributed to a lot of security breaches in the country.

"Microsoft Corporation started that fight in 2011, Adobe got into the fight in 2012, we would like to take the fight to the next level by April 2014,” added Ombachi.

According to piracy statistics released by the Business Software Alliance for 2012, Kenya’s piracy rate stands at 79%.

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