Mistrust between private, public sectors a bottleneck to combating cybercrime: experts

The rising incidents of cybercrime could be easily checked if the private and public sectors learnt to trust each other and share relevant information regarding combating the vice, experts have said.
Vez (C) speaks at the WEF session on cybercrime in Kigali on Wednesday as Hall (L) and Koné  look on. (Timothy Kisambirai)
Vez (C) speaks at the WEF session on cybercrime in Kigali on Wednesday as Hall (L) and Koné look on. (Timothy Kisambirai)

The rising incidents of cybercrime could be easily checked if the private and public sectors learnt to trust each other and share relevant information regarding combating the vice, experts have said.

The call was made, on Wednesday, at the World Economic Forum on Africa, which closed yesterday in Kigali. 

Participants at the forum heard that cybercrime costs the global economy about $445 million annually, with security experts at WEF warning that cybercrime is Africa’s ‘next big threat’, hence calling on leaders from public and private sectors and law enforcement agencies to share insights on how to tackle the vice.

Jean-Luc Vez, the head of public security policy and security affairs and a member of the WEF executive committee, said trust between public and private sectors was needed to combat “rising sabotage” to world’s economic development path. 

This was echoed by Noboru Nakatani, the executive director of Interpol Global Complex for Innovation, who noted that cybercrime has, in the recent past, shifted focus from public to private sector, hence cooperation between private and public sectors is the most effective way to combating the crime.

“Cybercrime has begun to attract business models for the criminals worldwide. The power has shifted from state to non-state actors, If you see the current situation with FBI and Apple Company, this is a very challenging situation that involved parties needing to cooperate in order to arrest criminals,” said Nakatani.

“Multi-stakeholder approach is the most effective way to combat cybercrime. Trust needs to be institutionalised between private and public sector. Working together is the easiest way to building trust and fighting cybercrimes.”

African as a cybercrime target 

Experts at the forum, speaking on a panel discussion dubbed, “How can we combat cyber-crime in Africa?”, noted that Africa’s thriving economies have an undeniable link to the success of technology on the continent.

However, with technology advancements comes the threat of hacking, cybercrimes and malware. 

They said that with companies attempting to find more effective ways to connect with their consumers, cyber security is posing a big risk, and has potential to compromise customer loyalty and trust. 

Bruno Nabagné Koné, the Ivorian minister for information and communication, technology, said time has come for Africa to build trust and cooperate in combating cybercrimes, otherwise there is bound to be a challenge to the continent’s transformational ambitions.

Larry Stone, an entrepreneur and the President of Group Public and Government Affairs, BT Group Plc, said the growing threat of cyber security needs more partnerships, “especially now that we are moving into the fourth industrial revolution.”

Rwanda’s push to combat cybercrime 

In April last year, the Government of Rwanda launched a countrywide campaign to sensitise the public about cyber crime, cyber security and how to detect and report them. 

The campaign, dubbed “Stay Safe Online,” is meant to address the growing concerns on cybercrime as more Rwandans to embrace information and communication technology (ICT). Rwanda is experiencing a high rate of Internet uptake, with more Rwandans incorporating Internet use in several aspects, including financial services, business transactions, and data management, among other services.

Cyber attacks to specific sectors such as mobile money transfer can be disastrous to the national economy. Last year, the sector had more than 104 million transactions, worth more than Rwf691 billion. 

The Ministry of Youth and ICT placed Internet penetration rate at 25 per cent and is expected to grow further as more government services are availed online while there are high expectations from recent advances in 4G LTE Internet technology.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

 

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