These are some of the headlines we have run on here over the last couple of months:
Notice a recurring theme?
You’re not safe. Not just on your Android smartphone but basically, everywhere; on every device that you use to get online. Android happens to look like an easy target or an insecure platform not because it is but because thanks to the billions of users and millions of apps available, it has the numbers. However, as the use of our mobile devices is not just limited to personal use and it’s now a normal thing for companies to ask their staff to bring their own devices, the threat has moved to the enterprise where so much more is at stake.
Instances of banks and other financial institutions being hacked are not a new thing. In fact, owing to this, the Central Bank of Kenya, the financial industry’s regulator in the country, issued a Guidance Note on Cybersecurity [PDF] that, among other things, instructed banks to submit to the Central Bank their cybersecurity policies, strategies and frameworks by the end of November.
Things are not rosy for the small man, too. Small and medium enterprises are bearing the brunt of cyber attacks around the globe and Kenya is no exception. Websites of local companies have fallen prey to such attacks where some have been used by attackers to mine cryptocurrency while others have either had their websites completely defaced and as such lost access to valuable data and information or simply had their data held ransom, a practice commonly referred to as cyber extortion.
Ransomware, malicious software that limits access to system resources or files is no longer the preserve of mobile devices where it has commonly popped up in the recent past. Businesses are having it rough having to deal with unknown people demanding huge sums of money in order to be able to grant access to data or systems they have hacked.
A recent spot check by Android Kenya on the most popular apps in the country revealed that mobile finance apps were some of the most popular. As a result of the rise in popularity of mobile finance apps, there has been a corresponding rise in the overall uptake of online banking and, generally, making of financial transactions online, locally. That has meant attracting even more threats targeting both the money and the highly valuable credit data which can be sold in the dark web for a fortune.
It is with such in mind that AON Kenya has today unveiled its Cyber Enterprise Solution which offers a cover targeted at organizations in guarding them against cyber risk. Some of the aspects covered include cover for property damage arising out of network security breach, business interruption, extra expenses incurred as a result of the system failure after a breach, media liability (because an organization may have to spend on putting up messages in the press after a breach reassuring clients and other partners) among others.
“The launch of our new Cyber Risk Solution underlines our commitment to provide cover for the wave of new and emerging risks that worry risk managers the most. Our simplified policy wording and holistic approach to risk management and incident response means clients and brokers can feel confident about what they are getting,” notes AON Kenya CEO Sammy Muthui.
This may be quite a relief to businesses, government agencies and other enterprises.
According to an ICT survey by the Communications Authority of Kenya and the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, 7.1% of government institutions and 5.1% of businesses are hacked every year. Scarily, almost half of all government agencies report data loss as a result of virus attacks annually. This results in huge financial losses annually. Last year, the figure was pegged at Kshs 18 billion.