Nairobi is set to play host to more than 200 international cyber warfare experts at the first ever African Congress on Cybersecurity. The one-day event, scheduled for June Monday, 27th is also the Agora Group’s maiden foray into the African continent, having chosen Kenya as the multinational’s continental launch pad for the region.
Agora Group’s Chief Executive Officer Hadi Malaeb said in a statement that the company had been attracted to the region by the high rate of technology adoption in Africa, with Kenya being singled out as a leader in all spheres including software and hardware use as well as human capital capacity.
Hailing from the Middle Eastern country of United Arab Emirates, Agora Group expects to leverage on the deepening use of ICT across all Kenyan sectors to bring to the fore the latest cyber fraud solutions. “Despite advances in technology offerings, we know that the rate of cyber-crime is rising rapidly, as reflected in losses incurred on even the newer cryptocurrencies,” said Hadi while noting that over the last decade, investments in cyber security had tremendously, expected to hit Kshs 47.5 billion by end of 2022.
The Africa Congress on Cyber Security comes at a time when the Communications Authority has raised the flag on growing cybercrime. The Kenyan ICT regulator captured a 47.3% increase in cybercrimes in the past year reaching 37.1 million separate attacks officially reported in Kenya alone, suggesting that
cybercrimes are growing faster in East Africa. This elevated growth rate is expected to be compounded going forward as other private sector reports in Kenya indicate that nearly 90% of cybercrimes are not being reported.
Hadi added that solutions to emerging threats to organizations and individuals could only be proffered from open discussions in which players from the government, private sector and research institutions share ideas and collaborate on the intervention projects.
“This congress is designed to address current cyber security issues in a methodological way that gives rise to a collaborative action plan whose implementation we will monitor collectively on a digital dashboard,” he added.
The demand for cybersecurity is expected to increase in the African region, owing to the growth in non-cash volume, fueled by the growing population aged 15-24. This factor is expected to drive the new mobile money and digital payment schemes, with Kenya emerging as the regional leader in the implementation and uptake of mobile payment solutions, such as MPesa.
Outlining the finer details of the areas to be covered, he counted cloud security, identity and access management, cyber security regulatory frameworks and the evolving roles of Chief Information Security Officers in organizations. The themes that will drive these discussions include ‘Building a resilient framework for Cybersecurity challenges in Eastern Africa’; ‘Integrating Cybersecurity policies into the strategic mission of public and private institutions’; ‘The need for a robust identity and access management (IAM) strategy has become an integral part of enterprise IT’; Online scams – the biggest Cybersecurity risk in Africa’; ‘What can be done to fight it? Cloud computing trends – Security Mesh, Hybrid and Multi-Cloud Environments, and Cloud-Native Tools and Platforms’; and ‘Data Management, Governance and protection’.