A summary of the Africa cybersecurity report 2019/2020 Uganda edition launched today

The Africa Cybersecurity Report 2019/2020 was launched today in a virtual event that started at 10 am involving different panellists who shared their thoughts on the state of cybersecurity in Uganda today. Cybersecurity in Uganda is worrying because of the growing level of digitisation in the country which makes more systems and processes vulnerable to cyber attacks.

Also read: Uganda Cybersecurity Report Launch 2019/2020

The major theme of the launch of the Africa Cybersecurity Report 2019/2020 event was Data Protection and Business Continuity. According to the Cybersecurity report, it was aimed at providing more insight into cybersecurity and how it can affect different sectors.

Uganda was ranked as the most secure cyberspace in the 2018 Global National Cybersecurity Index. Currently, it is in the second position after Nigeria. This simply means Uganda has very strong cybersecurity controls where computers, servers, mobile devices, networks and data are protected from malicious attacks.

A look at cybercrime in the Africa cybersecurity report 2019/2020

Cybercrime was on the rise in 2019 where Uganda lost Shs11.4bn and only managed to recover Shs51.8 million. The most common crime being electronic fraud where banks like DFCU bank and Centenary bank and Telecom companies like MTN lost billions. Other crimes include cyber harassment which involves bullying people through online platforms, unauthorized access also called hacking followed by cyberstalking. The number of cybercrime cases rose to 248 in 2019 from 198 in 2018 in reference to statistics conducted by Milima Security Company.

Read also: Mobile money hack investigations heat up, bank employee charged.

Emphasis is also put on the data privacy culture in Uganda and Africa as a whole. Africa being a continent with social people and running on a system where the culture is all about sharing, many people forget to be more vigilant when it comes how they protect their data. Physical interactions are different from the interactions via the internet where its very important to keep data private.

Uganda passed the Data Protection and Privacy Act in 2019 becoming the first African country to recognise data privacy as a fundamental human right. This Act is enforced by the National Information Technology Authority Uganda which overlooks the collection and processing of individuals’ data ensuring that it is well protected and kept safe.

There is a need to educate the population about data security and its importance as technology is advancing at a very fast rate. As it advances, this also means that malicious people are coming up with more advanced ways to access people’s data and use it for their own advantage. Weak cybersecurity systems put so many systems that people rely upon heavily at risk like banking systems.

Why its important to protect data in the banking sector.

In the Africa cybersecurity report 2019/2020, there is an emphasis on the importance of data protection in the banking sector. The banking sector in Uganda has leaned towards mobile banking which requires the use of customer personal data. It is important to know how this data is being used, whether it’s being shared with third parties and to what extent. Through NITA-U, any processes involving the handling of user data to make sure that banks act within the Data Protection Act.

Remote connection vulnerabilities increased in 2020. These vulnerabilities are weaknesses that could lead to unauthorized access to an organization’s systems and networks. These threats increased amidst the pandemic. Organisations can address such threats by using strong passwords, limiting internal and external remote connections, and auditing the network for systems using remote connection services.

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