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Kenya: Major telecoms firm invests in cybersecurity business

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Safaricom CEO, Bob Collymore

The advent of technology and higher internet usage has made things easier and convenient for both businesses and individuals. However, this has brought with it the risk of cyber-attacks by hackers.

A new cybersecurity report from Vodafone highlights that the more cyber-ready a business becomes, the better its overall business outcomes. According to the Cyber Ready Barometer 48% of cyber-ready businesses are reporting more than 5% increases in annual revenue as well as high stakeholder trust levels.

Safaricom has moved to diversify its business portfolio with the launch of a cybersecurity solution targeted at Kenyan firms looking to protect their information and communications technology (ICT) systems.

The telecommunications firm, which is the region’s most profitable company, now says it is offering security services to businesses and individuals to help them reduce the risk of loss of money and sensitive data.

The new service will enable firms to secure their emails and websites, manage vulnerabilities, test and audit IT systems as well as access real time monitoring as companies face increasing threats of hacking and fraud from tech-savvy criminals.

The Safaricom CEO, Bob Collymore, had this to say about the new product,  “We realise that customers all have unique needs and different budget levels. Our I.T cybersecurity solutions are designed to cater for each customer’s needs so that they can get the best value and strategically select their solutions. We are excited to see that the solution is gathering interest with some of our customers in the financial services and transport industries already signing up for the service.”

The venture comes as a study last year revealed that financial institutions in Kenya lost approximately Sh21.2 billion to cybersecurity attacks in 2017.

According to a report by IT Solutions firm Serianu, criminals withdrew more than Sh18 billion from victims’ accounts, forcing banks to compensate nearly the same amount.

Several lenders, saccos and even the Kenya Revenue Authority reported losing millions of shillings in daring attacks, forcing firms to scramble for products to increase the resilience of their IT systems to attacks.
The highest risks faced by financial institutions came from insider threats, banking malware and ATM skimming.

Edited by Neo Sesinye
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