Govt to spend Sh13bn in war against hackers

Thursday January 28 2016

Alarming statistics show that 30 companies suffer cyber-attack daily in Kenya. PHOTO | AFP


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Technology firms and insurers are among those set to benefit as government bolsters its 2016 cyber defence budget by 15 per cent to Sh13 billion underlining the rising threat posed by hackers, a new report shows.

A report from the International Data Corporation states that government will spend Sh13 billion in its ICT systems, especially trying to fight the rising cases of cybercrime.

“The communications sector will lead the way in 2016 with the year to year increase in IT spending for this sector of 15 per cent followed by the financial services sector,” states the IDC Future Scape 2016 Predictions report for East Africa.

Mark Walker, associate vice president at IDC Sub-Saharan Africa, states that organisations in both public and private sector will focus more on cyber insurance even as attacks become more sophisticated.

Cyber criminals

The report points directly at a Presidential directive to have ICT functions in state agencies and ministries streamlined under one authority.

The directive from the office of the President October last year, stated that uncoordinated ICT systems left the government vulnerable to cyber criminals.

This came after the 2015 Cyber Security Report said businesses lost Sh15 billion to hackers, quoting the public sector as most affected.

“The ICT ministry shall develop and issue guidelines to framework contracting for purposes of managing price, quantity, quality and standards in acquisition of ICT equipment,” said the directive signed by Chief Of Staff and Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua.

Cases of redundancy, wastage and difficulties in sharing government data are also to blame for the current lack of standards in State-run platforms.

While government focus on ICT system grows, the IDC also predicts that the overall IT spend in Kenya is expected to grow at 8.2 per cent to settle on Sh225 billion.

The mobile phone space is expected to lead the growth by 48.9 per cent as consumers purchase more trendy mobile phones that come with better experiences.