Zimbabwe declares war on cybercrime

Fidelis Munyoro Chief Reporter

The threat of cyber crime to national critical infrastructure calls for tough response mechanisms to the danger that is on the rise globally, a Cabinet minister has said.

Cyber criminals seek to exploit human or security vulnerabilities in order to steal passwords, data or money directly.

The most common cyber threats include hacking of social media and email passwords.

ICT, Postal and Courier Services Minister Kazembe Kazembe on Tuesday said cyber threats were on the rise with the perpetrators also getting increasingly sophisticated and difficult to mitigate.

He made the call in a speech read on his behalf by the ministry’s permanent secretary, Engineer Sam Kundishora, during a Cyber Security Lecture at the Zimbabwe National Defence Defence University in Mazowe District.

He called for robust response action to the evolving cyber threats.

“In normal circumstances, preventive action is less costly than corrective action,” said Minister Kazembe.

He said strong funding for research in the cyber crime area was required so as to have a pool of skills that were well-versed in global best practice in cyber security issues.

“Furthermore, international cooperation is also a key strategy as cybercrimes are being perpetrated across borders,” he said.

“It is imperative that we identify reliable partners regionally and globally in fighting cybercrime.”

Minister Kazembe also said the much awaited Cyber Security and Data Protection Bill was approved by Cabinet last week.

The Bill seeks to combat cybercrime and increase cyber security to build confidence and trust in the secure use of information communication technologies.

“Going forward, my ministry will coordinate and spearhead the cyber security aspects such as promulgating and enforcing the cyber laws, with the relevant Government security bodies,” he said.

“But, as we all know, we are fighting an unpredictable and illusive global menace which knows no sovereign boundaries, in certain instances perpetrated by governments, and in other instances by not so organized but highly determined disrupters.”

Minister Kazembe said the threat to critical infrastructure was real and wad already being felt across the globe. He urged the nation to be on the lookout and prepare against a cyber-attack.

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