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‘Cyber-crime a threat to national security’



GOVERNMENT has warned that failure to secure the cyberspace was a major national security threat which could harm businesses and individuals.

Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services minister Jenfan Muswere told guests at the cyber-security awareness meeting yesterday that while positives have been drawn from use of ICTs, dangers remained lurking in the form of online fraud, sexting and identity theft among others.

The event was organised by his ministry and the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) to raise awareness and threats posed by the internet.

“When it comes to cyber-security, businesses and individuals must take a holistic approach. There is no doubt that malicious cyber activity is increasing in frequency, scale, in sophistication and also in its impact. This activity harms our national security and economic interests,” Muswere said.

“The computers and digital infrastructure that we rely on as a government, as individuals, and as businesses also mean that we are potentially connected to many who, regretfully, would do us harm,” he said.

Muswere said having knowledge of the threats, challenges, risks and opportunities in cyberspace provided evidence needed to enhance the safety and security of citizens and the economy.

He said stakeholders like Potraz, the central bank, service providers and law enforcement agencies must collaborate in combating the scourge so as to protect citizens.

Muswere said through the Cyber Security and Data Protection Bill which is now in its second reading in Parliament, the government has already demonstrated its commitment to addressing the threats.

Potraz director-general Gift Machengete said awareness was key especially at this time where focus was online due to COVID-19.

“Speaking of crime, cyberspace has become a haven for criminals who target unsuspecting Internet users for monetary gain and sexual exploitation among other things. Here we have fraudsters who engage in bank card cloning, identity theft and hacking among other crimes,” Machengete said.

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