THERE has been a low uptake of Information, Communication Technologies (ICTs) because government departments, individuals and corporations fear being hacked by criminal syndicates who publish private data and demand ransoms from their victims.
This was said by Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) director general Gift Machengete at a World Summit on the Information Society this week.
He said cybercriminals had been hacking government websites and important national assets like power infrastructure systems across the world to steal data or extort money.
The Potraz boss said corporations have also been snooping into competitor websites to steel information on which to build their businesses.
“For corporate entities and businesses, the fears include competitor driven hackings designed to steal business secrets, sabotage and spying by competitors, in order to gain strategic advantage,” Machengete said.
“The rate at which ICTs have advanced has resulted in increased cyber-attacks, computer and network security breaches.
Cyber criminals hack economic institutions, government websites and power infrastructure in order to steal or extort money or advance an ideological agenda.
Reported intrusions on government comSnooping fears behind low ICT uptake puter systems, networks and websites for both developed and developing countries are enough to scare governments from adopting new telecommunications applications.” .
Reported intrusions on government computer systems, networks and websites for both developed and developing countries are enough to scare governments from adopting new telecommunications applications,” he said.
“Machengete said for governments, the greatest fears emanated from the threats of cyber terrorism, data breaches, espionage and human error by employees.
Fear of cyber terrorism, keeps every nation more alert than the possibility of an attack by a physical army, as the former can be executed at the click of a button, with consequential damage to organisations and individuals, while the latter can easily be spotted coming,” he said.
“For corporate entities and businesses, the fears include competitor driven hackings designed to steal business secrets, sabotage and spying by competitors, in order to gain strategic advantage.”
However, Machengete said Zimbabwe was putting in place several strategies to help the country address the problem of cybercrimes.
“As for Zimbabwe, the draft Cyber Security Bill and a Data Protection Bill are essential for building trust in the use of ICTs.
We have also commissioned a sizable local Data Centre and a Regional Internet Exchange Point, which gives assurance to users of telecommunication/ICTs that their personal data does not get exported. Furthermore, the country is in the process of setting up a National Computer Incidents Response Team. This should go a long way in building confidence and security in the use of ICTs in Zimbabwe, and other administrations may be well advised to do the same,” he said.