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#263Tech: Zimbabwe A Victim In Africa’s $2Billion Annual Loss To Cyber Criminals

Credible researches say Africa has lost a record US$2 Billion to cyber criminals in 2016 alone, a very shocking revelations considering that many banks in this continent are still ignorant about hacking and other cyber related crimes.

Zimbabwe has not been spared either after the Reserve Bank reported in 2016 that the country’s commercial banks have been hacked a combined 72 times between 2011 and 2015. In the same period, RBZ reported 13 cases of credit card fraud, 24 cases of unauthorized bank accounts access, 10 cases of identity theft and 20 cases of phishing.

During these cyber attacks, Zimbabwe has lost unaccounted millions of dollars with most local banks continuing to ignore the safety of their online banking systems.

There has been a massive revolution in the transformation of the banking sector from traditional modes of financial accounting straight into the current digital trends of mobile apps and Internet banking. However, these disruptive technologies are coming at a huge costs to Zimbabwe and the rest of the African continent.

Mobile Money Transfer Fraud is probably the most common type of cyber-crime in Zimbabwe, at the moment. Criminals use stolen or fake identity documents to register mobile telephone lines and register more mobile money transfer services such as Ecocash.

In East Africa, Kenya recorded the highest losses with $171 million lost to cyber criminals. Tanzania lost $85 million while Ugandan companies lost $35 million. Over one-third of organizations that experienced a breach in 2016 reported substantial customer, opportunity and revenue loss of more than 20 percent, this according to Cisco 2017 Annual Cybersecurity Report.

Speaking during the Connected Summit 2017, Cisco Africa Regional General Manager, David Bunei said the increasing use of cyberspace and digital applications posed its own challenges, which are however, outweighed by the opportunities. He encouraged CEOs to make cyber-security a business priority.

Chief Security Officers cite budget constraints, poor compatibility of systems, and a lack of trained talent as the biggest barriers to advancing their security postures. Leaders also reveal that their security departments are increasingly complex environments with 65 percent of organizations using from six to more than 50 security products, increasing the potential for security effectiveness gaps.

If Africa does not start to invest heavily in cyber security infrastructure, the repercussions will be heavy considering its after effects such as financial or property loss, theft of intellectual property, loss of
customer confidence and trust and, in extreme cases, loss of lives.

Cyber crime also compromises national security in cases where national databases are hacked. A good case study is how the US government suffered heavily when Wiki-leaks founder Julian Assange hacked into their national databases and went on to release extremely confidential foreign policy information on the public domain which later strained the government’s foreign relations.

The Battle For Relevance Continues………..!! –

By Cisco Eng. Shingie Lev Muringi Cell: 0775 380 652        Email: shingie@263chat.com   

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