Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Botswana’s cybercrime infrastructure under the spotlight

Botswana’s integration into the global economy is underscored by the country’s snowballing susceptibility to the growing incidence of cybercrime. With new threats anticipated to come to the fore in 2020, a fresh report indicates that hackers are working round the clock to find new ways of penetrating the country’s systems.

A report entitled Southern Africa cyber security trends 2020 states that cyber-security technicians in Botswana have need of more than just the skills taught at college or university. “They need to possess knowledge that enables them to circumnavigate the dark web and also know emerging cyber security threats,” states part of the report.

Botswana’s formal business sector, like much of the developed and developing countries relies heavily on digital platforms. Whilst the country has over the past few years taken well calculated steps to put more emphasis on mobile technology, the report says the country must “take serious and targeted investment of time for technicians to learn various systems and technologies” and also comprehend how they integrate.

“Major data breaches occurred globally in 2019 and some of the victims include Yahoo and Facebook. Most Batswana citizens do have a yahoo account and some of them reported that their personal records were found on the dark web. The fact that such stories do not make headlines in Botswana shows that cyber security is not regarded as an important sector which deserves financial investment,” states part of the report.

The report also states in clear cut terms that organisations across Botswana continue to face challenges since they do not have the appropriate in-house skills to address the ever increasing cyber security needs. 

“There is a gap in the market for recruitment agencies that focus on the cyber security sector. The only way out is for local companies to co-source services to tackle their cyber security needs. They must partner with experienced outsource partners to complement their own teams, thus building on their skills while benefiting from their knowhow,” states the report.

A security analyst, Thato Mokgethi, who spoke to Sunday Standard said cybercrime trends in 2020 will mainly be concentrated on data security. He urged government of Botswana to invest more in cyber security initiatives and rethink its data protection policy to guarantee maximum data protection.

“There is need for cyber security specialists to stop playing catch up because enhancing cyber security skills involves much more than just keeping pace with digital and technological expansion. As quick as cyber security methods improve to address present security gaps, so does cyber threats, resulting in a constant deficit of rightfully skilled people competent of shielding networks from infringement,” said Mokgethi.

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