Wednesday, 11 March 2015


I would like to emphasize on  "DAILYNEWS" article, I wrote –  CYBER crimes are a new type of occurrences in today’s digital age, different from the conventional crimes that we all are used to. Unfortunately, the crimes are rapidly increasing and have no borders.

Above all, the criminal techniques are swiftly changing. In Tanzania for example, more than 999 cybercrimes were reported, according to available data. However, only 212 cases were filed and 132 suspects were charged before a court of law.

This is clear indication that cyber-attack is a real threat and that the cyber space is not a safe environment. Moreover, there could be more than a thousand cybercriminal suspects out there who have not been reported, and the number could be rising.

Evidence may be derived from the social media where irresponsible individuals have been spreading propaganda such as publishing doctrines promoting violence, extremism, recruitment and training of potential terrorists, and transferring confidential information.

It is clear that if authorities fail to intervene immediately to halt any such move, this can be an opportunity for cyber criminals to advance. Combating cybercrime starts with the authority responsible for the country’s security, to establish a cyber-security policy.

This can be followed by regulatory and legal infrastructures, cybercrime units, organisational and institutions and public awareness. The more these strategies take time to be put in place, the faster the cybercrimes. To date, Tanzania has no policy or cyber security laws and this puts her cyber space at a greater risk.

It is hoped though that when a Bill is tabled in Parliament, the process would not take a long time before a law is passed. In addition, there should be sustainable public awareness programmes on cybercrimes. The previous cyber-attacks should serve as a wakeup call.

Cybercrime is also a global challenge. Its control needs joint judicial cooperation and Tanzania is, without doubt, part of it. However, the country needs to put an institutional framework first so as to be fully involved in the war against global cybercrime.

The cyber security policy for any country especially, those who have embarked on ICT development is very important. The policy protects information and builds the capability to prevent cyber-attacks through developing cyber security skill sets, cyber crisis management, critical infrastructure protection, public and private partnership security issues and other related policy issues.

The general objective of the cyber security policy is to make the country safe on the cyber space, by taking care of different aspects, including strengthening regulatory control, promotion of research and developments and securing the critical infrastructure.

The document can be updated and changed to suit the advance in technology and counter new cyber-attack techniques. The Computer Security Incident Response Team in Tanzania is a dedicated technical team with the responsibility of coordinating response to cyber security incidents at the national level and cooperate with regional and international entities involved in the management of cyber security incidents.

The government and private organisations have sensitive resources that need security. These include banks and other financial institutions which have been victims of cyber-attacks, some of which have lost millions of shillings through ATM and mobile banking thefts.

It is the responsibility of the bank and an individual who operates an account to ensure that his or her money is safe. Anything wrong with the money or transaction involving a third part, means that one part must be liable. The bank is required to ensure the customer’s transaction is safe, through preventing ATM and credit card fraud, phishing and money laundering.

Banks need to have cyber security policy. The learning institutions need to include the cyber security in their curriculum to enable lawyers, advocates, regulators, IT professionals, policy makers, managers and other people involved in security to be able to combat the cyber security in their organisations.

It is through security awareness programmes that organisations can develop, grow and maintain the culture for their employees, vendors, and suppliers.

The country may also take advantage of international events like ‘Cyber security awareness month’ and ‘Data privacy day’ to run a national level awareness programmes. Many CEOs and managers think that cyber security is technical and not a business problem.

This is a wrong perception. Reading culture builds the enthusiasm and skills for lifelong learning. Cyber security basic knowledge doesn’t need one to be engineer or scientist. There are a number of websites an individual can learn a lot about security. Public awareness of cyber security seems to be very low.

Many people are using their date of birth, phone numbers, and other simple passwords which are easily identified for their mobile and ATM cards. Cybercrime in the social media is creeping in and this includes, the spread of weird and frightening pictures and pornography.

Government through ministry responsible need to create the awareness for people to use the information communication technology in the proper way.

Sharing password among the members of family, friends and sometimes to unknown people claiming to be working in Telecommunication companies and banks have been used by many citizens to create a loophole for cyber criminals.