Cyber-crimes fight intensifies

Gone are the days when you imagined that cyber security is something that you hear about in the news! Locals have started engaging this new and fierce foe in an aggressive way. Loerie, a Harare-based training and development organisation, recently conducted the first international face-to-face training in Zimbabwe on cyber security.

BY PATSON CHAPEYAMA

Zimbabweans have encountered a cyber security attack of one sort or the other. The day to day phenomenon of “fake news” is in itself an attack on readers. Whether delivered via WhatsApp, print or other electronic media, it constitutes an attack on the target audience.

Recently, a video was doing the rounds of a gang of robbers who were going around stealing point of sale (POS) machines. They were recorded stealing one at a service station. Effectively they were stealing people’s debit and credit card details stored in the POS machines. These are just indicators of the size of this scourge.

“We need to grow continental competencies using locally gathered intelligence and start building relevant defences” said the Cyber Security Institute of South Africa’s Justin Westcott. Westcott, a former South African airforce pilot, and now a cyber security expert trainer, delivered the international cyber security training at Loerie. The continental effort has started, with the establishment of the Loerie partnership for Zimbabwe joining other centres of competence across Africa.

Broadly, awareness is the first challenge in the cyber security landscape. Once a reasonable level of awareness is attained, the community will realise the capacity gap that needs to be filled in order to effectively fight cyber security threats. Experts say education bodies, formal or informal need to include in their curriculum cyber security.

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