Namibia top African target for cyber criminals

05 Jul 2016 07:10am
OSHAKATI, 04 JUL (NAMPA) - Despite its small population, Namibia has been identified as Africa’s top target for cyber criminals.
A media statement issued by First National Bank of Namibia (FNB) on Monday said Namibia was identified as being the country most vulnerable to cyber-crime in Africa by Check Point Software Technologies, an international provider of software and combined hardware and software products for Information Technology security.
FNB Namibia Chief Information Officer, Garth Kleintjies was quoted in the statement as saying cyber-crime is any criminal activity carried out on a computer or which originates from the Internet, during which criminals aim to steal information, money or defame their victims.
He said Namibia’s status as being a top target for cyber criminals might be surprising, but it comes down to the fact that the country has a good communications network and is well provided with internet services.
“This allows the criminals access and a way for them to move information and money out of the country,” Kleintjies said.
He also said Namibia has a thriving banking sector with multiple points of presence throughout the country and internationally via ATM networks, which offers opportunities for such criminals.
“Further, we have inadequate laws that focus on dealing with and bringing cyber criminals to justice. We also have limited capability of pro-actively monitoring and preventing such attacks as this requires huge investments in security infrastructure and systems,” he added.
Kleintjies said the government will have to play their part by providing laws that deal specifically with cyber-crime; ensuring capability to enforce and apply these laws and by developing capacity for specialist skills and reducing the time it takes to bring cyber criminals to justice.
“Joint agreements with other governments will have to be put in place as cyber criminals operate without borders and this in itself is the biggest challenge in bringing them to justice,” he said.
He also urged banking service providers to create awareness amongst clients and educate them on what communication they can expect from the banks and what to guard against.
“This will help to prevent cyber criminals obtaining client information and gaining access to transactional systems through phishing and malware,” he said.