The UK phone hacking scandal dominated debate as Dr. Ignace Gatare, the Minister in the President’s Office in charge of ICT, tabled a long overdue ICT bill.
As he discussed provisions of the bill, Gatare reassured the Lower Chamber on Rwanda’s plans to safeguard against cybercrime.
Emmanuel Gatera, the vice-chairperson of the Committee on Security and National Sovereignty, supported the preamble of the bill but requested to know more about “consumer protection and information security,” subsequent to the news of the UK’s News of the World phone hacking scandal.
The MP, like several others, was keen on the present status of cyber security in the country.
The minister assured parliament that apart from the country’s other ICT plans, government is working with ‘developed countries’ to guarantee the nation’s information security.
In a subsequent interview, the minister told The New Times that attention is paid to three key components of information security; physical protection of infrastructure, public awareness and capacity building, and a security operations centre – a more strategic infrastructure that can monitor and counter threats.
“As we advance in terms of ICT infrastructure implementation, there is need to also strengthen information security and protect this infrastructure against cyber crime. We need to add another component – a security operations centre for the monitoring of potential threats,” the minister said.
“We are going to put in place a computer emergency response team which can deal with the monitoring and distributing of information, which is linked with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).”
He noted that apart from an efficient protection system, there is need to educate people on how to behave in order to be less exposed to cyber crime. This involves issues like e-mail management and spam management among others.
The minister said that the country has the physical layout of protection and no one can enter a system without authorisation.
“Of course, there are no 100 percent sure security measures. It’s a dynamic sector, where cyber crime is growing at the same speed with ICT development. It is an international issue.”