Britain has expressed commitment to supporting Malawi in its fight against cyber crime and its resultant risks on the economy and social livelihoods.
The British High Commissioner to Malawi, Holy Tett, made the commitment on Monday during the capacity building workshop for cyber security assessment specialists, which the Malawi Communication Regulatory Authority (MACRA) has organised with funding from the UK.
Tett observed that cyber threats are among the greatest security challenges that are leaving ‘small states and their economies vulnerable without the support and capacity building to protect themselves’.
She said the increasing digitisation of the economy and society adds to the challenge, as people’s dependency on connected devices and services increases the potential vulnerabilities.
She disclosed that in 2017 alone, over 70 percent of large businesses, 64 percent of medium businesses and 42 percent of micro/small businesses in Britain suffered some sort of cyber breach.
“It’s a cyber world that is changing at an incredible rate, making the world more interconnected than ever before. The way we do business, use information and communicate with each other has changed beyond recognition in our lifetimes,” she said.
“In the wrong hands, cyber technology can be used to disrupt our lives, instead of improving them. It can be harnessed by malign actors to disrupt our democracies, undermine our financial systems and cripple our critical infrastructure. [Hence], we are keen to share our learning so you do not have to make the same mistakes as we did! The UK team will also be training your local team who will lead the process for Malawi, so you have the capability to run future iterations without our support,” she added.
In his remarks, the Minister of Information, Civic Education and Communications Technology, Mark Botomani, said government has devised a number of measures to deal with cyber crimes.
Botomani also told journalists that Malawi was recently elected as second vice chairperson of the Bureau of the Specialized Technical Committee on Communication and Information and Communication Technologies (STC-CICT-3) in Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt.