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Cameroon loses 12.2-bn CFA to cybercrime in 2021

By , Freelance Investigative Journalist
Cameroon , 18 Oct 2022
Cameroon’s Minister of Posts and Telecommunications Minette Libom Li Likeng.
Cameroon’s Minister of Posts and Telecommunications Minette Libom Li Likeng.

Cameroon’s Minister of Posts and Telecommunications Minette Libom Li Likeng said the government is conscious of an increase in cybersecurity threats and called on stakeholders to unite in their response.

Speaking during the second edition of the National Forum on Cybersecurity and the Fight against Cybercrime, the Minister cited statistics by the National Agency for Information and Communication Technologies and said Cameroon lost no fewer than 12.2-billion CFA to cybercrime in 2021, double the amount lost in 2019.

She indicated that intrusions into computers systems cost public and private administrations at least 2.5-billion CFA each year.

“Due to the complexity of telecommunication links and ICT infrastructures, cyber threats are also becoming increasingly complex and jeopardising national security, the economy, social cohesion, democracy, health, culture and our different ways of life,” said Libom Li Likeng.

Experts at the Forum identified several loopholes which expose the country to cyber-attacks, most notably the obsolescence of existing legislation due to the essentially dynamic nature of ICT and the absence of a dedicated court to handle digital affairs.

Other challenges identified included Ignorance by some players of existing cybersecurity/cybercrime legislation, resistance to change, the absence a personal data protection authority, the reluctance to implement recommendations resulting from security audits, and the non-existence of a dedicated state datacentre.

Telecommunications operators, ISPs and regulators underscored the absence of a framework for collaboration and unreliability of data from the subscriber identification process.

Anatole Nseka, a cybersecurity professional at Essoka Cybersecurity Division said while the government understands the importance of cybersecurity, it needs to up its game.

“It is also very important to note that the absence of a united front from big operators in IIT-related fields is a big problem as it reduces the communication space and increases the chances of black hat hackers to use same methods across operators,” Nseka said.

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