Cyber Security is a new area in Malawi and there is need for awareness as the nation is experiencing increasing electronic transactions which will enhance economic activity of the country.
Chief Secretary to the Government George Mkondiwa was speaking at in Lilongwe on Tuesday at a sensitization workshop on cyber security organized by Malawi Regulatory Authority (MACRA) in collaboration with Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).
He said government has placed Information Communication Technology including cyber security issues at the heart of the national development agenda.
Cyber threats include data theft, proliferation of destructive malware and denial-of service attacks which the ICT sector world over is facing.
Mkondiwa said the threats are a virus that can undermine the role of ICTs as a tool critical to national development and, at the same time, inhibit the growth of the ICT sector itself.
“At worst, cyber crimes are a threat to national security because cyber hackers have their way to private information which is not for public consumption,” he explained.
Adding: “In utilizing ICT’s, there is always the inherent aspect of having online cyber attacks that threaten the very existence of the nations that depend on ICT’s for their existence and national development.”
Cyber Security is therefore a process of applying security measures to ensure confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data, Cyber security attempts to assure the protection of assets, which includes data, desktops, servers, buildings, and most importantly, humans.
Mkondiwa disclosed that the Malawi government sees ICT as critical in human capital development, delivery of government services, and performance of the country’s industries.
“To harness the potential of ICTs and ensure good governance of the sector, the government has endeavored to go through some reform and put in place vibrant legislative and regulatory framework,” he explained.
The Malawi Government, like a good army general at the battle front, has taken the leading role in enhancing cyber security in the country through drafting of the Electronic Transaction Bill.
The chief secretary said among many other things, the bill provides for investment in public key infrastructure to ensure secure exchange of data between and among computer users.
On his part Director General for MACRA Andrew Kumbatira said the sensitization workshop on Cyber Security follows a study by COMESA that established that member states including Malawi were lagging behind in the formulation of policies and legislation that deals with cyber crime.
He added that the findings also showed that there is lack of awareness among government policy makers and top executives on the need to urgently formulate and pass laws relating to cyber crime.
“Cyber security is an area that has not been explored extensively in Malawi and there is need for awareness as the nation is experiencing increasing electronic transactions, which in turn will enhance economic activity of the country.”
The workshop which will takes place from 28th to 30th April will address issues related to cyber threats, a problem which is increasingly becoming major concern to the development of ICTs in Malawi and the world.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :