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Cameroonian public and private organisations missing out on cyber security

In Cameroon, 74 public and private organisations were audited on their exposure to cyber-criminality. 8,954 weaknesses were detected. The analysis was made by the National Information and Communication Technologies Agency (ANTIC).

It is not very difficult to attack the country via internet or to hack the digital information systems of the administrations and companies. Actually mentioning it only serves as a reminder. But some American companies thought it necessary to organise a conference on 6 September 2016, for this assessment to be repeated again, as the threat is of a great nature. The timing is perfect, as these companies, gathered within the ATR Cyber consortium, are penetrating Africa through Cameroon where they are established. Other countries are also in their sight: Benin, Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea.

It was thus necessary to re-assess Cameroon, with the different public partners, particularly the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications as well as ANTIC which is the regulatory body for electronic security activities. The watchdog had to present the limits of the national defence system against cyber-attacks.

We learned that the Cameroonian regulation is still incomplete. Indeed, ANTIC still has no authority to sanction though it is in charge of regulating the sector. There is also no legal data protection framework. And this when 53% of cyber-criminal attacks worldwide are on identity theft.

Moreover, there is no collaborative platform between the different entities engaged in the fight against cyber-criminality. Apart from ANTIC, there is the Army, the General Delegation of the National Security Forces and the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications.

Against the threat, the ATR Cyber consortium proposes solutions to contain the existing risks, and prevent problems which may occur on a daily basis. There are many malware circulating, with about 100,000 created throughout the world every month. Just one of these software could hack the data in a computer and even a whole database. In consequence, there can be a risk to the information system of a company or even the entire State. In this case, confidentiality will not be enforced, and the hackers could even take control of the information. Cameroon is not safe in a world where 16 pieces of data are stolen every second. It could start with an email which should have been opened, or a counterfeit software which opens the door to all kinds of threats. ANTIC even reminds that over 90% of software and operating systems used in Cameroon are hacked.

Moreover, it is common for email addresses and social media accounts to be hacked, even those belonging to government members. Telephone calls fraud is also rampant in Cameroon. In 2015, the mobile phone sector lamented losses of FCfa 18 billion for operators; another FCfa 4 billion for the State. According to the 2014 report from the National Anti-Corruption Commission, cyber-criminality cost FCfa 3.5 billion to Cameroon between November and December 2013.

BIC

Concord Newsdesk

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Cameroon Concord  is an online publication covering and reporting on  local and world news, sports, entertainment, politics, business, and religious news. Serving Cameroonians .

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