On the 6th of February Frederico Links of the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) provided a grabbing presentation on the status of Cyber Security/Crime in Namibia. If you are unfamiliar with the subject, cyber security refers to the practice of defending computers and servers, mobile devices, electronic systems, networks and data from malicious attacks according to Kaspersky Labs. To give you a picture of the threat at hand, if cybercrime continues to disrupt the global economy as it is now, approximately US $3 trillion in productivity and growth will be lost worldwide according to research from Public Knowledge.
African countries, and subsequently Namibia are particularly vulnerable to hacking, financial ransoms and technical disruptions due to vulnerable networks and inadequate information security according to the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).
The Electronic Transactions and Cybercrime Bill brought to parliament in early 2017, has been the government flagship against cybercrime thus far. However, according to Mr. Links the Bill has been severely misinformed due to the Government’s inactivity towards ratifying the African Union (AU) Convention on Cyber Security and Personal Data Protection, using the expertise offered by the convention, and not supplementing that with international best practices such as the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime.
Without these measures the bill will function with gaping holes vulnerable to attack, and jeopardizing the privacy and security of Namibians and Namibian institutions throughout the country!! In his presentation and the free publication available from the IPPR, Mr. Links suggests that the Namibian Authorities immediately return to the drawing board, incorporating these international standards and establishing a multistakeholder approach in order to compliment their efforts.
Written by: Mpho Katjiuongua