SATA Members Urged To Act On Cyber Crime

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Cyber-Criminals are getting more sophisticated and pose security risks to any country and government, therefore steps must be taken to improve the capacity to deal with cyber threats and cyber criminals before they cause irreparable damage to various economies.

This was said by the deputy permanent secretary in the ministry of communications, knowledge and technology, Cecil Masiga during the 44th Southern Africa Telecommunications Association (SATA) annual conference that was held in Kasane this week.

Masiga said that Cyber-Crime, as one the new challenges in ICTs should not be forgotten in an earnest drive to develop the economy.

“We need to step up our capacity building to ensure that governments and law enforcement officials remain ahead of existing cyber threats, and on the pulse of emerging ones. Simultaneously, we must also look into the ethics of internet use, to the extent that the internet is governable,” he said.

Masiga noted that the internet by its very nature renders it almost impossible to completely regulate, however irresponsible and unethical behaviour in the borderless world of the internet must somehow be managed.  He stated that the public and the future generations need to be educated to use communications and ICTs in a safe and responsible manner.

Masiga revealed that societal values are sometimes negatively impacted due to the rapid advancement of ICTs citing that indecency and anarchy can seep into any environment if not anchored on ethical value. He pointed out that the cultural and societal values can come into play and he strongly believe in embracing developments in ICT, not forgetting cultural roots and values.

“We should never, in the name of development, compromise on our values. I understand some of these issues are also at the forefront of SATA discussions and I urge you to develop a cohesive and comprehensive plan for us to work together to protect our peoples as much as possible from the negative elements hiding in the darker realms of cyberspace,” he said.

In an interview, SATA Executive Secretary Jacob Munodawafa said that where there is internet connectivity cyber crime becomes a threat as criminals take advantage of connectivity. He stated that as providers in the region they have grouped to encourage all operators to make sure that the services and networks are all secured.

Munodawafa noted that they also educate customers on how to protect connectivity, and this includes identifying the authenticity of websites before using them to avoid losing their credentials to hackers.

“Different stakeholders including citizens and departments should be educated about internet security and follow the recommended practices to make sure that what they do in the internet is secure,” he said.

For his part, Chobe District Council Chairman Chimney Mululwani said that SATA members need to have the right policies, strategies and a regulatory environment that is relevant for today’s world. He encouraged SATA members to have progressive conversations about harmonization policies and regulatory frameworks, to be able integrate and create an ecosystem that advances all interests in the region.

Meanwhile, the 44th Southern Africa Telecommunications Association (SATA) annual conference was held under the theme “ICTs for the Benefit of All: Transforming our Society through Broadband and ICTs Developments”.

SATA is a SADC recognised ICT industry association that fosters collaboration among telecommunications network operators, service providers and knowledgeable suppliers. It’s a platform for members to exchange experiences, data and information, participate in shaping favourable policies, regulatory and commercial landscapes for the economic development of Southern Africa.

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