Cyber security stakeholders are expected to meet this Thursday to appraise each other on the progress made with regards to cyber security, challenges faced, as well as to lay out a plan for 2019. Stakeholders will also look into the National Cyber security Strategy (NCS) that was developed by government in partnership with the private sector back in 2015.
The NCS was to provide a framework for a secure cyberspace in Botswana. It was also aimed at the public, to raise awareness and build capacity among them to safeguard against cyber threats, for the private sector and government to be prepared to prevent, defend and act against any cyber attacks.
The development of the NCS would also enable the government and other stakeholders to establish appropriate measures that would ensure Confidentiality, Integrity and Availability (CIA) of networks, systems and data as ICT services are offered to the public.
Despite the NCS, the prevailing environment indicates that cyber crime is a real problem in Botswana with statistics indicating an increase in registered cases for the past four years - 56 registered cases by September 2018, 39 registered in 2017, 25 in 2016 and 23 in 2015.
In the four years, a total of 143 cases were recorded, according to the Botswana Police Service. Botswana is also faced with the challenge of shortage of digital forensic examiners, which inhibits the prosecution of cybercrime offences with offenders going unpunished and companies and individuals losing millions of pula through such offences.
Currently, there are said to be less than 30 certified practicing digital forensic examiners in the country with almost 80 percent of them in law enforcement agencies including; Botswana Police Service, Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime, Directorate of Intelligence and Security and the Botswana Defense Force.
Douglas Sekgweng, Managing Director of Cloud Trade Botswana, a company that specialises in cyber security training and certifications says cyber crime has the potential to close down a company and cripple a country’s economy if gaps in the cyber infrastructure are not attended to, worse still, individuals and companies may never know the exact impact of breaches.
Trends have also revealed that finance industry and governments are among the most attacked sectors. Experts have attributed this to the fact that there is an ongoing focus on targets in the financial services industry as a result of large amounts of digital assets and sensitive customer data.
Gaining access to it enables cyber criminals to monetise personally identifiable information and credit card data in the underground economy. Attacks on government and government agencies have been attributed to the fact that among other factors; government agencies hold vast amounts of sensitive information, ranging from personnel records, budgetary data, and sensitive communications to intelligence findings. The stakeholder workshop is organized by the Ministry of Transport and Communications, through the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services.