The government is alert and keenly monitoring its cyberspace to ensure the malicious encryption-based ransom software that infected thousands of computers in several counties does not spread to Kenya.

Cabinet Secretary for Information, Communication and Technology, Joe Mucheru said cyber monitoring and surveillance mechanisms are heightened in the country to prevent and eliminate any possible attack.

Speaking in Nairobi during the official opening of the a one day conference on Thought Leadership on Cyber security today,  Mr. Mucheru said there is no reported case  of the attack in Kenya and assured the public that the government computer systems and networks and the information they hold is secure.

Mr. Mucheru called on the public and organizations to be cautious against malicious applications that attempt to infiltrate their personal computers and smart phone devices. He said individuals should avoiding clicking on unsolicited strange and suspicious links or opening attachments and emails from unfamiliar sources.

The Cabinet Secretary said the cyber risk is real and expressed governments concern over escalating risks in the region. He said it was challenging quantify exposure and resilience of public and private sectors to cyber security because of secrecy.

He called on institutions to give information of incidents of cyber-attacks to develop data and information needed to understand the nature of cybercrime and appropriate interventions.

CITI Bank head of Corporate and Investment banking Michael Mutiga said there is need for concerted efforts to prevent and fight cybercrime.

Mr. Mutiga said the criminals are becoming invisible, faceless and nationless and therefore there was urgent need to put in place measures that can prevent damage and loss and ensure recovery of data in case of attack.

Last week, malicious encryption-based ransom software infected thousands of computers especially those running on the Windows operating system disrupting operations at car factories, hospitals, shops and schools in several countries. Cyber security experts indicate that the virus locked up more than 200,000 computers in more than 150 countries.

By Cheruiyot Korir – May 16th 2017