November 21, 2018

Minet Uganda cautions on cyber-crime risks to businesses

The Minet team said everyone is vulnerable to cyber-crime, but not enough is being done to combat it.

November 21, 2018—Uganda’s legal system is falling short in providing deterrence amidst rising criminal cases associated with the fast changing technology environment that businesses now operate in.

“While technology keeps growing and evolving every day, our legal regime is hardly shifting. We need the Data Protection and Privacy Bill to quickly be passed into law so that we can sufficiently protect ourselves from cyber risk,” said Dr Karuhanga, the Chairman, Minet Uganda Limited, and a Managing Partner at law firm, Kampala Associated Advocates (KAA). Speaking recently at the launch of an awareness campaign to highlight Cyber Risk Insurance, Dr. Karuhanga called for the urgent enactment of laws and regulations protecting the privacy of institutional and personal data.

In his keynote address, ICT Expert, Noah Baalessanvu, the Chairman, National Information Security Advisory Group, said companies and organisations needed to create departments solely dedicated to handling cyber risk, if they were to adequately address the threat. Banks rank high as leading targets for hackers.

“Information technology should no longer be a preserve of one IT guy somewhere in the office. ICT now needs similar or even more attention like that given to the accounts or human resource departments as most organisations are increasingly running their operations using ICT infrastructure,” Baalessanvu said.

Minet Uganda Limited is a insurance broker and CEO, Maurice Amogola, said everyone is vulnerable to cyber-attacks so long as they use computers and phones, especially smart phones.

“Cyber risk has become a leading issue for many organisations due to the exponential internet growth and spread of ICT infrastructure. Hacked devices, crashed websites, breached networks, denial of service, copied emails, stolen credit card data among other fraud-like ICT incidents have become commonplace,” Amogola.

He said, “Uganda loses over $42 million to cybercrime annually as per the Uganda Cyber Security Report 2017. No organisation is assured of total security from cyber risk. In an active legal and regulatory environment and the evolving cyber threat landscape, forward-thinking companies are taking proactive steps to assess and transfer cyber risk.”

Amogola said the real cost of cybercrime may not be fully known. “Only a fraction of cyber-crime loss is reported in Uganda mainly due to fear of brand reputational damage and also lack of a clear legal regime addressing the vice,” he said.

Ms Winnie Kiwuwa, the Chief Operations Officer at Minet said the brokerage firm was obliged to caution its clientele about looming dangers and risks. She said the time was now ripe to shine the spotlight on cyber risk.

“Cyber Insurance was launched in Uganda two years ago, but never took off.  Minet is now taking a collaborative approach to create awareness, work with clients to access, analyse and mitigate the risk.  Minet will offer an end to end solution to the cyber risk,” Kiwuwa said.In his keynote address, ICT Expert, Noah Baalessanvu, the Chairman, National Information Security Advisory Group, said companies and organisations needed to create departments solely dedicated to handling cyber risk, if they were to adequately address the threat.

“Information technology should no longer be a preserve of one IT guy somewhere in the office. ICT now needs similar or even more attention like that given to the accounts or human resource departments as most organisations are increasingly running their operations using ICT infrastructure,” Baalessanvu said.

 

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