2nd Cyber conference set for October

By John Churu, Gaborone, Botswana

The African Cyber Risk Institute (ACRI) will host its 2nd Annual African Cyber Conference on Thursday, October 8, 2015 at Cresta Lodge Hotel. The theme for this year’s conference is: Protect, Detect and Respond to Africa’s Fastest Growing Threat.

Last year, in their inaugural conference statement, ACRI warned that “The rise in cybercrime in Botswana is most noticeable for small businesses as they’re now experiencing incident levels previously only seen in larger organisations. Attackers are targeting companies in the broader supply chain. The supply chain is only as strong as its weakest link. All companies and government are targets and are in this together.”

“Today, cyber crime has become one of the fastest growing threats in Africa, raising the concerns of governments, citizens and businesses. Cyber attack and cyber theft are affecting all sectors of the economy, degrading security and development all over the world,” said Beza Belayneh, one of the brains behind ACRI.

Beza added that Cyber attacks were increasing in frequency, size and sophistication.  “Businesses are losing billions of pula, millions of individuals are losing their identities and money and government agencies losing huge amount of confidential information.”

With high profile cyber attacks and data breaches like those of Sony and Hacking Team growing in magnitude, sophistication and complexity with each passing day, the need to foster sharing of cyber threat data among businesses, government agencies and other organizations is more important than ever.

ACRI believes that apart from the theft of sensitive business information, there is also the threat that cyber-based systems can be disrupted to prevent normal service. “A denial-of-service (DoS) attack could, for example, prevent customers from accessing key websites and services, such as those for banking, government services and Industrial controls systems can also be disrupted.”

ACRI is a privately funded firm established to empower the next cyber intelligent cadre that the continent of Africa requires to counter emerging cyber threats and risks, while advancing professional cyber risk management services in order to counter both criminal and advanced persistent threats associated with cyber attacks.

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