Kenya lost millions through cybercrime in 2013
28 February 2014, 10:25
Nairobi - Kenya could have potentially lost up to KES 1,955 million in 2013 through cybercrime alone, an alarming figure, which could increase in 2014 if action is not taken.
This is according to computer security firm, Kaspersky Lab, which issued a warning to Kenyans over cybercrime.
“Cybercrime could become a main topic of discussion in 2014. In fact, according to the Director of Public Prosecutions in Kenya Keriako Tobiko, cybercrime is now recognised as a threat to national security; key ICT infrastructure and the enjoyment of constitutional human rights of Kenyans such as the right to privacy. It is a serious issue,” said Bethwel Opil, Channel Sales Manager for East Africa at Kaspersky Lab.
Opil said that mobility and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) had made a huge appearance in Kenya in 2013 and the trend in cybercrime seemed to be swinging towards using mobile phones to access sensitive data.
He added that Kaspersky Lab believed that cybercriminals would spread malware on Android-based phones to hack into consumer and businesses bank accounts to potentially have access to their most personal details.
“This means that end users will also likely face problems as they try to protect their personal information stored on their computers and mobile devices, while also ensuring their online social media profiles remain confidential,” said Opil.
The Bitcoin craze, Opil said, could be an avenue that cybercriminals could be eyeing this year especially after 2013 saw its popularity.
“A Bitcoin account essentially allows consumers to transfer money from one “wallet” to another via their mobile phone or computers,” said Opil.
If a user does not have a secure password on their Bitcoin account or an appropriate anti-virus system in place, they would be vulnerable to cybercriminals who will be on the lookout for easy targets, he added.
Companies have in the recent past embraced cloud computing and Opil says that cybercriminals are focusing towards cloud storage providers and software developers.
“For this reason, it is critical that not only consumers pay attention to these predictions, but businesses too! Kaspersky Lab believes that the more aware we are of cybercriminals, the easier it will be for users and businesses to keep them at bay. Therefore, IT security should be a number one priority in Kenya, to ensure that consumers and businesses do not fall victim to cybercrime in 2014,” said Opil.
– CAJ News
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