Cybersecurity is a central challenge of our digital age; Microsoft Hosts Cybersecurity event in Nairobi

Jul 9, 2019

Several Kenyan government and public service websites were hacked early this year rendering services unavailable. According to the Communications Authority of Kenya, cyber-attacks in Kenya increased by 167% from October to December 2018. This cybersecurity firm Serianu Ltd says cost the Kenyan economy about 29.5B KSH [286M USD]. The firm also shared from their report that African businesses lost US$3.5bn in 2018 from cybercrime. With Kenya being one of the hardest hit countries in the region per the report.

At a cybersecurity roundtable event, Microsoft shared emerging security trends highlighted in the Microsoft Security Intelligence Report. Emphasizing its commitment to protect and provide a safer and more trusted platform to its customers in the region. The report shows Ethiopia, Cameroon, Tanzania, Zambia are top countries mostly impacted by ransomware and cryptocurrency mining malware.

Cybersecurity is a central challenge of our digital age says Microsoft East and Southern Africa Manager Sebuh Haileleul.

At Microsoft, we are committed to educating, empowering and enabling individuals and organisations. To digitally transform in a secure online environment.
As organisations continue to pursue a fully digitally transformed future, threats within the cyberspace will continue to become more advanced. This will leave individuals and organisations alike with no choice but to turn to the ever-improving capabilities that advanced technologies and solutions bring with it

Cybersecurity trends in Kenya

Speaking about the cybersecurity trends in Kenya, Sebuh shares that ransomware attacks had declined.

We found that in the past year ransomware attacks as a vector declined. Software supply chains became a risk, cryptocurrency mining prevalent and that phishing still remains the preferred attack method. While this may indicate progress in blocking ransomware attacks against organisations, it also draws our attention to new avenues now being identified for attacks.”

Microsoft Business Group Director, Pratik Roy, chipped in that the global cost of online crime is expected to reach $6 trillion by 2021. He says organisations now, more than ever, need to continue building organizational resilience and meaningful risk reduction.

For the Microsoft Kenya country manager, Sebuh Haileleul companies need to take immediate action to address security concerns. This he says improves their security postures.

It is critical for companies to strengthen their core security hygiene. (Across things like monitoring, antivirus, patch and operating systems), adopt modern platforms and comprehensive identity, security and management solutions“.

Organizations can improve their security by moving to the cloud, adopting modern platforms and embracing comprehensive identity, security and management solutions. – Kellington Kituku, Enterprise Business

Using AI and Quantum Computing

The Microsoft manager shares on how emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and quantum computing help tackle cybersecurity.

The use of AI to combat cybersecurity to fill crucial gaps by analyzing a vast ocean of threat data to prevent attacks before they occur is a factor that organisations, through partnering with the correct solutions provider, remains pivotal. Furthermore, the cloud is and still will be imperative to securing the modern workplace.
Lastly, quantum computing, although still in its infancy will require threat analysts to keep an eye on what advances in quantum computing would mean for security in 2019 and beyond