Mobile Money Revolution Rises Cyber Security Risk In Africa

Friday, June 13, 2014

Africa is celebrated as the birth place of mobile money revolution, piloting the initiative that has seen more people come into the financial fold in many countries in the region and front running developed nations with much advanced form of financial inclusion.

But the mobile money revolution that the continent is experiencing comes with unprecedented cyber security challenges. Unlike other technological challenges that Africa imports from other developed regions of the world, mobile money challenges are unique and do not have any copy-paste solutions.

“When it comes to end user security Africa has a number of challenges because we are adopting phones and moving into mobile money. In a typical sense we usually rely on the west to help us protect our IT systems, but with mobile money and mobile fraud we have to build our own routes around that,” Wiliam Makatiani, CEO Serianu Limited, told AFKInsider on the sidelines of a Cyber Security Workshop in Nairobi.

“So there are no models to copy and that is where we are going to face challenges. I’ve seen some people from Harvard and Oxford building some controls but I think we have to reinforce these ourselves.”

Serianu, a Kenyan based business data analysis and protection firm, together with Telecommunications Service Providers Association of Kenya (TESPOK) launched Kenya’s cyber security report 2014 on Wednesday.

Makatiani says even with the other technologies imported into African countries the security levels are still wanting and the continent, with its lax ICT laws and policies, remains the most exposed region in the world.

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Source: AFK Insider (link opens in a new window)

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