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Team to counter cyber-terrorism in pipeline

by Staff reporter
24 Mar 2021 at 06:09hrs | Views
Plans are underway to set up a National Computer Incidence Response Team (NCIRT) to improve issues surrounding cyber terrorism, data theft and any breaches of privacy.

 This was said yesterday by Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) director general, Dr Gift Machengete, during the International Telecommunications Union World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Forum's high level policy session on building confidence and security in the use of ICT.

"Having a robust legal framework gives assurance to users that they are protected online, the same way they are protected offline," said Dr Machengete.  

"As Zimbabwe, the draft Cyber Security Bill and a Data Protection Bill, are essential for building trust in the use of ICTs.

"We have also commissioned a sizable local data centre and a regional internet exchange point, which gives assurance to users of telecommunication/ ICTs that their personal data does not get exported. Furthermore, the country is in the process of setting up a National Computer Incidence Response Team."

Dr Machengete said for governments, training of officials on how to protect their ICT systems is vital in the event of cyber-attacks.

Such training, he said, includes training on password rules given that passwords are the first line of defence against breaches.

"Use of secure and sophisticated hardware, as well as robust anti-virus solutions, can help not only allay fears of cyber terrorism, data theft and any breach of privacy, but also provide real protection," he said.

Dr Machengete said the overall fears for both governments and corporates can be reduced through monitoring of data assets, creating an effective risk plan, which is well known and owned by employees and enforcing security protocols.

Other measures include providing firewall security, securing wi-fi networks, limiting employee access to data and updating protective solutions as technology improves and changes.

"These measures can help governments and commercial entities, as well as individuals. For individuals, the biggest measure other than technical measures that policy–makers can take to build trust and confidence in the use of ICTs, is to have a strong and robust legal framework that can protect users.

"Perhaps the biggest confidence booster would be to ensure that the level of knowledge is synchronised from the current asymmetry between those that create and use emerging technologies and, those that regulate the technologies," he said.

Dr Machengete said this should go a long way in building confidence and security in the use of ICTs in Zimbabwe, and other administrations may be well advised to do the same. He cautioned that it takes years to build a business, a country, a customer base, a reputation and respect, but it can take just one cyber incident to destroy it all, if cyber security was not taken seriously.

Source - the herald

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