Cyber-crimes on the rise, experts call for skilling

By Wilson Manishimwe

The Uganda cyber security report 2017 indicated that companies, both private and public lost over sh155.5b in cyber crime last year

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KAMPALA - About 400 cases of cyber-crime such as information alteration, money laundering and electronic fraud were recorded in 2017, the Police have revealed. Most of them, according to Richard Ndaboine, the cyber unit head in Uganda Police, are still in courts.

Ndabione said over 50 new cases have been reported early this year (2018).

This was revealed during the digital forensics training that took part at Serena Kigo Hotel in Wakiso. Ndaboine’s comments follow the Uganda cyber security report 2017 that indicated that companies, both private and public lost over sh155.5b last year.

The report indicated that 95.6% of cyber security incidents went unreported or unresolved and only 4.4% of the reported cases were followed through to a successful prosecution. He revealed that some companies, especially financial institutions sometimes do not report cyber-crimes for fear of losing customers.

“That could be true, because until the cyber unit was set up about two years ago, most investigators had not embraced the use of technology. We need to do a lot of training because you cannot investigate them unless you are trained,” said Ndaboine.

Organised by Preg-Teg Communications in conjunction with US-based forensics company, Digital Intelligence, officials from the Judiciary, Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) and Bank of Uganda got skills in identifying, handling evidence and analyzing cyber-crime.

Charles Giglia, the vice-president for Digital Intelligence noted that cyber criminals have taken advantage of the advancement in technology to execute their dubious acts.

He said companies must ensure they train experts to identify threats of cyber-crime.

“With technological development, more criminals are committing crimes using computers. There is a lot of information online, but some organisations do not look it up in order get updated on fighting cyber-crime,” he stated.

Simon Peter Lwanjo, a digital forensics expert, noted most of the crimes committed today are highly connected to electronic devices, yet the investigators still lack skills.

“Training is expensive so I understand when they do not prioritise it, but the time is now for both the Government and private sectors to focus on getting the necessary training and capacity to counter the growing number of cyber crime cases,” he stated.

What NITA says

According to Arnold Mangeni, the director information security in National Information Technology Authority-Uganda (NITA-U), some of motives of cyber criminals are financial gains.

“Users should be trained on proper logins, use of passwords and responsible use of electronic gadgets so that they are not easily hacked into,” he stated.

Mangeni noted that governance at company level has a lot to do as far as fighting cyber-crime is concerned. He said it is through governance that right people can be recruited as cyber experts, as well as having right company policies.