Monday, November 29, 2021

Botswana moves to have national cybersecurity framework

Botswana has, for the first time, put under one roof custodians of critical information in the economy susceptible to cyber threats to piece together a National Cybersecurity Framework.

The Botswana Telecommunication Authority and the Ministry of Transport and Communication have enlisted the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in partnership with the International Multilateral Partnership Against Cyber Threats (IMPACT) to facilitate the five-day training workshop.

The Bank of Botswana, commercial banks, telecommunications operators, Internet Service Providers, Law enforcement agencies, Botswana Unified Revenue Service and the Judiciary are some of the stakeholders participating at the workshop.

“In the first phase of our first efforts in coming up with a cybersecurity structures and framework, we asked ITU to do a readiness assessment in terms of cybersecurity whether we have a proper infrastructure structure and proper governance structure. They did that. This is the second stage sharing with information with stakeholders. The next phase will be upsetting up of cybersecurity structures and framework,” said the ICT Coordinator at the Ministry of Transport and Communications Mabua Mabua.

Mabua said Botswana has bench marked on cybersecurity with countries such as Mauritius, Singapore, South Korea and Germany.

“Botswana is not an island. We have to work with other countries to provide the necessary or requisite environment for pre-emptive action. We also believe that there are certain activities happening in banks where money is being transferred fraudulently or stolen from people’s personal accounts. We have heard of false alarms being raised in some countries that some people are going to be attacked by a certain group of others hence the need for a cybersecurity framework,” the Minister Transport and Communications told The Telegraph on the sidelines of the workshop.

“We need to provide a [cybersecurity] framework now so that as we develop and integrate our economies with those of our neighbours, we have the requisites instruments to live together with others. Ultimately will work on a regional framework to fight cyber crime,” Minister Nonofo Molefhi said.

The Minister has disclosed that the government is currently working on developing various e-legislation in order to ensure that the electronic communication and transactions are safe. He told the workshop participants that the Southern African development Community (SADC) has developed model laws on cybersecurity which Botswana will take a leaf from.

The minister said in his opinion, the government must take responsibility and mobilize resources to fight cybercrime and invite other stakeholders including the private sector come to the party.
 
“We may need to segment various participants to contribute resources for instance the banking sector, telecommunications, education institutions etc. to fight cybercrime,” Molefhi told The Telegraph.

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